A word to my congregation on the election

I shared a note about the election in my weekly email to our congregation. A few people have encouraged me to share it publicly. This is only a brief word. I think there’s much more that can and should be said pastorally and theologically.1 But it’s the start I offer.

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Hi friends,

I know from conversations with several of you already that some of you are excited or relieved because of the results on Tuesday––and for sincere reasons, ones that we as a Christian community can affirm. I know that others of you are hurt, angry or scared because of the results––and for sincere reasons, ones that we as a Christian community can affirm.

As for us, we will continue to be a church that seeks to love God and our neighbor (taken in the broadest sense––to include especially our “enemy,” as Chuck Gutenson highlighted for us last week), a church that surrounds each other with love and forgiveness and continues to learn from each other in our differences, and a church that then acts in our world accordingly.

We will be a church that submits to our governing authorities whenever we can and a church that resists governing authorities if submission would require sin, injustice or blasphemy.

We will be slow to cry “sin,” “injustice,” or “blasphemy” until we have listened and learned carefully, especially from those who disagree with us. We will be fast to understand and defend the cause of anyone hurt by public policies, actions or statements.

We will pray for our leaders.

And of course, we will fall short of all this. Still this is my hope and prayer for us as the Church, whose head and leader is always Christ. Barack Obama is our president now, Donald Trump will be our president soon, but Christ is our King now and forever.

I hope this is at least a mutually-agreeable starting point for all of us in our political conversations. Because of the divisiveness present throughout this political season, I know many of you are hurting, regardless of preferred candidate, and some of you have had relationships strained. I’d be happy to talk and pray with you more, if it could be helpful.

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  1. These two terms are redundant. Or at least should be. But we often attempt to separate them, as if a pastoral word could be anything less than theological, and vice versa…

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