Christian Life in the Election Season
“I want to have a conversation about the upcoming election.”
That’s what I told the vestry at our September meeting about a week and a half ago. As soon as I said those words the anxiety level went up – theirs and mine. Some said we shouldn’t do that, couldn’t do that. Others were just quiet. A few thought we needed to have the conversation. I thought we could have the conversation but wasn’t at all sure about where the conversation would go or how it would end.
We had the conversation and it was one of the best conversations the vestry has had in a long time. What made our conversation so meaningful is that it was less about the content of the conversation, and more about our way of being toward one another as we had the conversation. You can read more about it in Barbara Edward’s article in this e-news.
As a result of that conversation the vestry is implementing a couple of practices that focus on our way of being toward one another.
- We will pray “A Liturgy for the 2020 Presidential Election” on Facebook Live each Wednesday at 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. (CST) beginning October 7. Please join us in this prayer and invite your friends and family.
- The vestry has approved “A Pledge to the 2020 Presidential Electorate” that names how we want to be toward each other. You are invited to join the vestry and clergy of St. Philip’s and take the pledge.
As we move forward in this election season I would like us to carry a few questions – not so much to be answered but to be followed:
- What does it mean to be a Christian during this time? What are the values, qualities, and characteristics we see in Jesus’ life that are most needed at this time, and how will we embody those?
- What is being called for or asked of us as individuals and as a parish?
- How do we best support and care for ourselves and one another?
God’s peace be with you,
A Liturgy for the 2020 Presidential Election
Jesus said, “Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:34-35)
This liturgy will be prayed together on Facebook Live on Wednesdays at 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. CST.
How did this pledge originate?
The Vestry of St. Philip’s Episcopal Church recently had a conversation about the upcoming presidential election. We discussed how we wanted to be toward one another regardless of our individual political beliefs, whether we are in agreement or disagreement, and regardless of who wins the election. The idea of taking a pledge came from that conversation.
This pledge is not necessarily a goal to be accomplished, but a way of being toward one another – a practice to be lived day to day.
A Pledge to the 2020 Presidential Electorate
As a person of faith committed to the life and teachings of Jesus, I make this pledge to all people regardless of their political beliefs, whether we are in agreement or disagreement, and regardless of who wins the election.
With respect to my words and actions, whether in person or through social media, I pledge and commit myself, both before and after the election –
– To love others as Jesus has loved me (John 13:34);
– To treat others as I would want them to treat me (Luke 6:31);
– To love my enemies, do good to those who hate me, bless those who curse me, and pray for those who abuse me (Luke 6:27-28);
– To “proclaim by word and example the Good News of God in Christ” (Book of Common Prayer, 305); and
– To “strive for justice and peace among all people, and to respect the dignity of every human being” (Book of Common Prayer, 305).
This I pledge in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Presiding Bishop Curry’s Word to the Church: What did Jesus Do?
The following is a Word to the Church from Presiding Bishop Michael Curry, and is also the text of his sermon at The Episcopal Church House of Bishops, which met virtually September 16, 2020.