Pillars of Civil Society
“Religion and morality are the essential pillars of civil society.”
— George Washington
General of the Revolutionary Army; President of the Constitutional Convention; first President of the United States of America
During this year that marks the 50th anniversary of our Foundation, everyone has been excited to revel in its history of accomplishments and vision for the future, especially during our Celebration events on Foundation Sunday and at the dinner on September 30. As we prepared for those events, we had asked a number of our elected officials to consider contributing a letter, remarks, proclamations or other formal tributes to our organization. Somewhat to our surprise and certainly to our great delight, various political dignitaries generously shared their good wishes with us.
United States Congresswoman Kay Granger not only spoke during the two services on Foundation Sunday, but she took the stage at our dinner on September 30, as well, sharing significant moments in her life as a church member and a touching memory about our First Street Mission. Her Congressional colleague Congressman Marc Veasey sent a letter of congratulations to us that we enlarged and posted during the Board reception between Foundation Sunday services and at the Convention Center, as well. Thank you, Congresswoman Granger and Congressman Veasey!
Also, with the help of Mr. Veasey, the Foundation received a letter (pictured here) from the President of the United States. (The lovely blind embossed letterhead did not reproduce well, unfortunately, but the message is there!)
Back home in Texas, State Representative Charlie Geren not only submitted a State of Texas Citation about Foundation accomplishments and the 50th milestone, but his office event sent to us a Texas flag that had flown over the capitol in Austin! We are so grateful.
Locally, the City of Fort Worth declared September 30 First Methodist Church of Fort Worth Foundation Day, thanks to the efforts of Mayor Betsy Price’s office. Thank you, Mayor Price.
Though we all know of and respect the separation of church and state in the United States of America, as George Washington said, religion is a pillar of civil society. And, President John Adams said in a speech to the military in 1798, “We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion…Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”
This week, as we go to the polls and vote on November 4, I hope my fellow members of First United Methodist Church will have special appreciation for our elected officials who not only govern on our behalf but also take the time to send special notes to or share their personal perspectives with their constituents. Our blessings abound; we appreciate being the recipient of such remarkable honors by these illustrious leaders!
We want to stop and say “thank you” to them for being in the arena, for their willingness to run for election and to be the leaders who, with vision, dedication and commitment, guide our government and set examples of selfless service for us all. It is because of them that “…government maintains the social order so that the Gospel may go forth.” (1 Timothy 2:1-4)
— Sid Johnston, Executive Director of FMC Foundation