More from Jeff Shields:
Today's lively City Council meeting - see previous blog post - was preceded by a most curious invocation.
It was delivered by Terrence D. Griffith, pastor of the First African Baptist Churt and chair of the PAC run by the Black Clergy of Philadelphia. Griffith, who was among those raising questions in a story today about the internal workings of the Nutter administration, was the special guest of Councilman Bill Green. Here's what he said:
"God of our weary years, God of our silent tears, thou who has brought us thus far on our way, we have lost our way and we need your guidance. We have fallen and we just can't seem to get up. Please lift us. We are hemmed in on every side and there seems to be no way out. We need your direction.
"I believe You guide and govern everything with order and love, therefore, I pray that you look upon our City Council and fill them with the spirit of Your wisdom. May they always act in accordance with Your will and give them the fortitude to make decisions for the well-being of every citizen of Philadelphia. Give them the courage to stand up for the right in the face of opposition. Give them the boldness to be unflinching in the presence of hostility. Give them the daring to fight for causes others deem unwinnable, the audacity to stand alone when friends and colleagues desert them and the nerve to make right political, social and economic decisions for our city.
May they not be motivated by their own concerns, but by Your hand and the needs of those they represent. And then God, reward their faithfulness and their service - open for them doors that no man can shut, make their enemies their footstool, may their days be long on earth and their retirement in heavenly mansions, when the words 'well done' would be music to their ears and golden crown their reward. And what I have failed to ask for them, grant it according to your riches in Glory. In the name of Jesus, I pray. Amen."
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