Tiny church in NYC awaiting Supreme Court decision

In this Dec. 1, 2011 photo, Bronx Household of Faith co-pastor Robert Hall poses for a portrait in front of P.S. 15 in the Bronx borough of New York. The congregation behind a church-state lawsuit that may become an important Supreme Court case has just 48 official members and doesn't even have office space, never mind a church building. It now holds its services in P.S. 15 and is appealing a ruling that says doing so violates the Constitution. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

December 4, 2011 1:58:58 PM PST
A tiny Bronx church is hoping the Supreme Court will overturn a ruling that says holding its Sunday service in a public school is unconstitutional.

The New York City Board of Education allows community groups, including religious ones, to use its buildings. But it excludes worship services.

A federal appeals court upheld the policy in June. The Supreme Court is considering whether to review the case and could decide that on Monday.

Robert Hall, co-pastor of the evangelical Bronx Household of Faith, says his little group never expected to get involved in a big-time court case that has now lasted 17 years.

The church's lawyer says the ruling makes an arbitrary distinction between religious expression and worship. But a civil liberties group says it preserves separation of church and state.