Civic Sermons: Ideas for a Different Civic Culture by Gerald Britt – Thoughts on Engagement

It takes two different tasks to get good work done.

#1 — You have to do the actual work. – Planning and execution, both done well, both always tweaked and improved. This is always ongoing, and always essential.

#2 – But, you also have to constantly think about the work you are getting done. Are we doing the right work? Is this what we should be spending our time on? What threats are we missing; what breakthroughs have we not embraced? Thinking about our work is just as important as doing our work.

But, doing our work is so time consuming, so all-consuming, that we fall behind in the thinking department far too often.

Civic SermonsI thought of this as I read the book Civic Sermons: Ideas for a Different Civic Culture by Gerald Britt. Rev. Britt is the designated “thinker” for CitySquare. That’s not his title, but it is a major part of his role. His title is: “Vice-President of External Affairs.” It’s kind of his job to think about the collaborations and relationships they need to build with the people all around them. He works on public policy issues; he’s written op-ed pieces in the Dallas Morning News.

He thinks a lot.

And his book is a thoughtful book. One that will make you think.

It is a collection of sermons and essays. I’m a big fan of both – sermons, and essays. They make you say important things in just a few pages. And he does that throughout this book.

Consider how he ends Fighting Poverty Then and Today: The Values of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. After a well-written historical summary with current-day implications, here’s his last paragraph:

Martin Luther King deserves every monument we erect. But we only deserve to erect those monuments if we are continuing his work.

I could quote thought after thought from his book. Like this thought for this coming election season:

But in a democracy we are never promised charismatic candidates or a flawless process. So we can ill afford to sit out any election waiting for either.


I will present my synopsis of this book at this Thursday’s CitySquare’s Urban Engagement Book Club, (April 16,) after which Rev. Britt

Gerald Britt
Gerald Britt

himself will lead us in a discussion. I invite you to come join us. We meet at noon, at CitySquare’s Opportunity Center, right near downtown Dallas.

But, more importantly, buy this book. (Click here to order from Amazon). It is a perfect “read-in-short-bursts” book. It will help you think a little better about the challenges facing our society; our city. Gerald Britt has spent a lifetime thinking about, and working toward, social justice. Reading his book might help you think about issues of social justice, and, then, maybe tackle some of the needed work yourself. And I think that could be a good thing…

Click on the image below for all the details.  And, click here to register for the April 16 event.

Click on image for full view
Click on image for full view





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