Your Royal Highness, Lord Tonypandy, Dear Friends:
On behalf of the Trustees of the Templeton Prize, I welcome you to share with us the awarding of the 14th Annual Prize for Progress in Religion to Dr. James Iley McCord, Chancellor of The Centre for Theological Inquiry at Princeton.
The Templeton Prize, awarded annually, was conceived, initiated and now continues to promote one significant purpose. That purpose is to recognize and reward the individual, who in the opinion of the esteemed panel of judges, has most significantly contributed to increasing our awareness and appreciation of God, our Creator, and His Love for us.
Today is the culmination of the dedication and work of many persons whose foresight, planning and programming has made this event today possible. We appreciate so much their gifts of time and talents.
We should also be remiss if we didn’t salute the distinguished panel of judges whose knowledge and wisdom is so fundamental and most essential to the selection of the recipient each year.
God is so evident in the diversity of our universe. Yet, only man has been allowed to experience personally, through his senses and mobility, the magnificent handiwork of God expressed in our world and cosmos. Man alone has the ability to travel and stand in awe of God’s Creation. From the magnificent Rocky Mountains of the western United States, my home, to the lush tropical islands of the world, and, yes, even to the ice covered polar regions, one cannot escape the omnipotence of our Creator.
The Psalmist, in Psalm 139: 7–10, expressed this thought so aplty when he wrote, ‘Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence? If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: If I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there. If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me.’ (K.J.V.)
The recipient this year joins the other distinguished recipients in adding yet another significant contribution to our knowledge and appreciation of God. Through his efforts, and the efforts of his eminent colleagues, man’s appreciation of God and His universe will extend to new, exciting, and heretofore unknown frontiers.
It is with great pleasure and humility we invite you to participate in this tribute to Dr. James McCord. Today we share in the reward achieved through sacrifice and commitment to God’s direction in his life and work. Our understanding of God, His Will and Purpose, has been enhanced by Dr. McCord’s love and dedication to God — the God of the Universe whose only request is that we Love, Honour and Praise Him.