On Monday in Orlando, Florida, Jocelyn Williamson delivered a secular invocation during a Council meeting.
Thank you Mr. Mayor, council members, and citizens.
Let us take this moment, before we begin, to pause and reflect on why we have come together.
Sometimes it seems we are inundated with bad news on a daily basis with tragedies around the globe. Our news feeds can feel as if they are filled with sadness. And life can seem too busy as we hustle to barely keep up with it all.
Let us remember that these events are truly only a small fragment of what is happening in our world. Just consider that which you will contemplate today — where we see an outpouring of love for our community — The Pride Parade, the mile walk for a cure for Down Syndrome and the art exhibition for breast cancer. And the proclamation to recognize that Native Plants are an important part of providing a better environment, not just for our native animals, but for us as well.
So let your hearts be filled with hope as we plan for a brighter future.
Life’s fulfillment emerges from individual participation in the service of humane ideals. That is what brings us here today.
We are working together to the benefit of the society — which we want to see for ourselves and our children.
Today — we leave our busy schedules outside for just a little while. During this meeting, let us remember to be concerned for the well-being of all among us, to use reason to guide our debate, to be committed to the diversity with which we thrive, and to respect all those of differing views. For without disagreement, we may not learn from one another.
The City Beautiful presents many challenges to its leaders, but none which are too great for us to meet together. Everyone brings unique abilities with them to help solve the problems at hand. And all the knowledge we need is right here, in this room.
No matter what work lies ahead, let’s remember the words of the great Arnold Palmer. He was our King even before Orlando had a castle. He said: “The most rewarding things you can do in life are often the ones that look like they cannot be done.”
This was the third secular invocation in Orlando. And it went off without a hitch! No protests or anything.
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.