FFRF Member Robert Ridgard gave the following secular invocation.
"I was inspired — and nudged — by David Williamson of Central Florida Freethought Community to do a secular invocations when I was in Florida, where I gave secular invocations at the Lady Lake Town Council meetings as part of their rotating list of speakers."
Thank you mayor, council members, staff and community members for the opportunity to offer opening words for this meeting.
I ask you not to bow your heads, but to look about at the members of our community gathered here. Notice that they are all, in some way, different than you. Perhaps not just in physical appearance or dress, but maybe even in what they perceive as being best.
We may live here, or work here, dine here, play here, or do any kind of business here.
Yet we are all here tonight to seek the common good of this city of Hilliard community, knowing that it is essential that we work together for the benefit and enjoyment of all of us.
That common good we seek is the reason why it is so important that we be individually willing to occasionally yield a point we may favor for the sake of what is commonly held to be in the best interest of our common community.
It is in the work you do and in these gatherings that we engage the values developed by organized and civilized society and enshrined in our Constitution. It is here that citizens have the opportunity to speak directly to you about issues that affect their lives. And it is here that you, as representatives of the government, have the honor and responsibility to listen and decide.
The original motto of the United States of America was one of inclusion, "E Pluribus Unum," which translates to "from many, one." It doesn't seek to exclude or extol any citizen for any reason.
You will consider many issues during this meeting. The public trust requires that every issue be considered on its own merit, be analyzed thoroughly, and decided through rational problem-solving, guided by ethics and integrity.