The Knox County Commission is dealing with the separation of church and state after they received complaints and a threat of a lawsuit.
A letter from the Wisconsin based group Freedom from Religion claims that the commission's prayers are nearly always Christian. The group asks the commission to stop praying altogether at their meetings or they say legal action could be taken.
The letter states that "calling upon commissioners and citizens to pray is coercive and beyond the authority of the local government."
Monday at the commission's work session they agreed to take the issue on in detail at their rules committee meeting on Thursday.
Commissioners commented that the vast majority of e-mails from constituents are in favor of keeping an invocation at the meetings.
They have decided to write a policy that gives them a structure of what can be said legally during the prayer at that meeting.
Commission Chairman Mike Hammond said he wants to see the prayer stay put, but agrees they should include all faiths.
"I believe that prayer before our meeting is vital. I believe that it's something that is entrenched in our history. Since 1789, we've had members of Congress that have begun their meetings with prayer. If it's good enough for the United States Congress, surely it's good enough for the Knox County Commission," Hammond said.
The work session also dealt with the issue of teacher surveys.
Several commissioners said teachers do not have a proper way to communicate their concerns to the school board.
They want an anonymous survey to find out what issues teachers have in the classroom.
"The reason that there's apprehension about this survey, and let's just put it on the table, is that teachers are not happy. They don't like this evaluation system, they don't like the things that are going on... let's don't be afraid of what our employees are going to tell us," said Hammond.
But some say it could be stepping on the school board's toes.
"We are trying to find out what teachers think and the school board is thinking we're trying to take over their job. Really what we need to say is that we're trying to help them get teacher opinions," said Commissioner Dave Wright.
No action was taken on either issue.
The commission is expected to vote at their meeting next Monday.