As the great man's guest must produce his good stories or songs at the evening banquet, as the platform orator exhibits his telling facts at mid-day, so the journalist lies under the stern obligation of extemporizing his lucid views, leading ideas, and nutshell truths for the breakfast table.
Cardinal J. H. Newman, Preface to The Idea of a University, 1852

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Civic Service

I don't always feel 100% behind the Church I attend, the Church of Christ the Cornerstone. But then there are times I think they've got it right.

Today the 'Civic Service' was held there. This is the annual service - sometimes held at the Cornerstone, sometimes elsewhere - when all the dignitaries of the Milton Keynes Council turn up.  I don't know the ins and outs of this, why there's an 'official' Church Service for the Council at all, and I expect there are many that wouldn't approve.  But given that there is and did happen, I thought it was OK.

For one thing there was contributions from several different communities. (Muslim, Jewish, Buddhist, Hindu and Greek Orthodox - there should have been someone from the Sikh community too, but they weren't there. I don't know why.)

Also, though, among the prayers were these words:
Praise God, whose will is justice and love,
who marks out no-one for privilege
and whose favour cannot be bought. 
Praise God, who redresses the balance
in favour of the defenceless and the poor,
and calls us to do the same. 
Praise God, who loves the foreigner
and finds a home for the stranger
and reminds us that we have all been outsiders.
Those seem to be the right sentiments for a Church to express before the great and the good of Milton Keynes.