Prayer still has a place in Port Stephens Council chambers

Port Stephens CouncilFIRST it was Jesus Christ in the firing line at the Port Stephens Council, now the entire ritual of prayer is going to the vote.
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The council was due to decide on Tuesday whether the prayer and traditional welcome, read at the start of every meeting, still had a place at council.

The current council prayer states, “we ask Almighty God to give us wisdom and courage so we can serve our community, and uphold justice and equality in Port Stephens, in Jesus’ name. Amen”.

This is followed by the traditional welcome, “[today], we are meeting on Worimi Country, we acknowledge the past, we are working towards a better tomorrow”.

Last year questions were raised about the inclusion of a Jesus Christ reference in the prayer, with council staff recommending the name be removed.

But in October councillors voted to keep Jesus in the prayer.

Now councillors must decide if the prayer and the welcome are relevant to the modern council meeting at all.

Staff are recommending a continuation of this traditional introduction, but Cr Steve Tucker is not so sure.

“We are trying to promote multiculturalism and tolerance,” he said.

“Religion in politics is okay but not when you are choosing one specific religion.”

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.