Tonight, we celebrate investments made, we honor those who have taken risks and led with foresight. Thank you for these we honor this evening; those who have committed to Eastman and Dodge County, bringing not only jobs and commerce, but bringing the hope that such growth inspires. They give us reason to have faith that our best days are yet to come.
For we in this room believe in our community. Like the merchant in the parable you told your disciples, who sold everything he owned to buy the finest of pearls, we are ready to make the big investment, take the gamble, assume the calculated risk, to gain fine pearls for Eastman and Dodge County. We acknowledge and admit this evening that discerning such action requires your wisdom, your insight, and your discernment. In such confession, we again tune our hearts to your guidance, for we stand in need of it if we are to lead our neighbors as you desire.
As we, the community of Eastman and Dodge County, continue to buck currents of decline, as we go increasingly against the grain of stagnant rural communities, grant us discernment in our investments, gambles, and risks. Teach us to know what time it is, that we may make the right investments at the right moment and take the right risks at the appointed time, contributing not only to the local economy, but to the building your kingdom by inspiring hope through investment, purpose through the creation of jobs, and provision through the services we provide.
Thank you for the opportunity you give us all to make a difference for you through leadership, business, and commerce. We pledge that in all the actions we take, in the attitudes we hold, and in the ways we lead, we will serve only you. For we are not only the sheep of your fold, we are the merchants of your economy.