On Tuesday morning in Seminole County, Florida, Dr. Brenda Frei delivered a secular invocation during a Commission meeting.
Good morning. It’s nice to meet all of you and thank you for having me.
When our family moved to Seminole County a little more than four years ago, our attachment and affection for this area grew quickly. We stood in awe in front of the breathtaking tree, The Senator, and then only a few weeks later, we grieved — along with you — when hearing about the tragic loss. We appreciated our recent visit to the welcoming Seminole County Historical Museum to marvel at the beautiful memorial art pieces.
Since living in Seminole County, we have seen in our backyard: deer, raccoons, armadillos, and turtles, numerous gorgeous birds. We have seen a bear run by and a bald eagle soar overhead. Wow!
What a special place that we can call home.
From a multitude of different plants and animals to a multitude of different people — with diverse backgrounds, goals, beliefs, constructs, views of reality, and motivations — all make Seminole County unique. Yet, despite any differences, I would hope that concern for humanity and our environment is in each one of us here.
For example — From my husband’s work helping to improve the lives of people with epilepsy to our youngest son, a student at Hagerty High School, volunteering for an Alzheimer’s care facility in Casselberry or playing piano for the Sanford Welcome Center, everyone can play an important role. We thank you for your role and service, for your pledge and commitment, to care about each of us.
Like many others, we were drawn to Seminole County for its pride and excellence in education, where skilled teachers require that students have factual support for their assignments and assertions. Perhaps, above all, is the importance of students learning to create a community of cooperation and inclusiveness, with no bullying, name-calling, prejudice, and unfair negative stereotyping. May we as adults also choose to practice these values and principles. May we lead our young people by positive example and may we also learn from our children as well. Today, and going forward, we ask that you use evidence-based knowledge, as well as compassion, inclusiveness, and kindness in guiding your civil discussion and decision-making over issues that affect us all.
Thank you very much.
The best part of the day? Dr. Frei got to park in the space normally reserved for clergy:
If Dr. Frei looks familiar at all, it may be because she appeared on Morgan Spurlock‘s old reality show 30 Days and spent a month living with a Christian family.
The Central Florida Freethought Community is organizing several more of these invocations all over the state. You can see their running list — along with a compilation of transcripts of secular invocations around the country — right here.
(Thanks to CFFC’s David Williamson for the video and transcript)