Prayers and an anti-poverty messages were delivered to the provincial government by members of various faith groups in the Confederation Building cafeteria Tuesday morning.
Premier Tom Marshall was at the prayer breakfast, and told a story about something that happened 10 years ago, just after he was sworn in to cabinet for the first time and how he bumped into a United Church minister he knew.
“I’m a minister too now,” Marshall said.
Without missing a beat, the clergyman responded, “Yes, he said, but I got my calling from God. You only got yours from Danny Williams. He just thinks he’s God.”
It was a lighthearted, friendly affair for the most part Tuesday morning, but Rev. David Burrows, who heads up the Religious Social Action Coalition, said the government should aim to make sure that everyone can earn a living wage and government decisions should be looked at through a “fairness prism.”
“We believe that poverty is a failure of community, and such extreme poverty in our province and country is likewise an extreme failure,” Burrows said.
“Every kind of decision that government makes, I believe, should reflect how is this going to affect the wealthiest in the society? How is this going to affect those who are left behind by the society?”
Speaking more seriously, Marshall said that in his time as premier, he’s tried to make that fairness principle a central part of government. He said it’s about justice.
“Justice not so much in the legal sense, but justice in making sure that all citizens have an opportunity to share in the prosperity that we’re fortunate to have,” Marshall said.
At the breakfast, members of the Christian, Jewish, Muslim and Hindu sects offered prayers for the politicians of all three political parties.