Note: On Feb. 23, 2015, I had the honor of delivering the invocation before the Vestavia Hills City Council. It was a new kind of writing for me, and a bit of a challenge too, as I am rather quiet about my faith. Thank you to George Pierce for inviting me to address this group.

Heavenly Father,

I thank you first and foremost for every single person gathered here in this room today.

Those here today have come because we care about the City of Vestavia Hills, because we endeavor to have our voices heard, because we believe in the transparency of our local government, and because we are committed to seeing this city remain a place we are privileged and proud to call home.

The work it takes to maintain the quality of life we enjoy here is far from glamorous. It means many hours spent above and beyond the normal call of duty. It takes early mornings and late evenings away from families. It involves decisions that can be difficult and unpopular, to say nothing of the sting of social media complaints.

Despite this, our selfless civil servants and full-time leaders continue to prove their passion for our Vestavia Hills, helping us achieve what is indeed “a life above.”

As you’ve done in meetings past, I ask you this afternoon to guide our Mayor, City Council, City Manager and all others who play an integral role in the growth trajectory of this community.

Let the discussions held and decisions made this evening be marked by respectful and courteous communication.

May our thoughts and actions be pleasing in your sight.

Amen.