Loving God, creator of this world who is the source of our wisdom and understanding, watch over this nation during this time of election. Help us to see how our faith informs our principles and actions.
We give thanks for the right to vote. Help us to hold this privilege and responsibility with the care and awareness it merits, realizing that our vote matters and that it is an act of faith.
Guide us through this election as a nation, state, and community as we vote for people to do work on our behalf and on the behalf of our communities. Help us to vote for people and ballot initiatives that will better our community and our world so it may reflect the values Christ taught us.
Help us create communities that will build your kingdom here on earth — communities that will protect the poor, stand up for the vulnerable, advocate for those who are not seen and heard, and listen to everyone’s voice.
We pray for this nation that is deeply divided. May we come together for the common good and do as you have called us to do — to act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with you through creation. Help us act out of love, mercy and justice rather than out of arrogance or fear.
Loving God, continue to guide us as we work for the welfare of this world. We pray for places that are torn by violence, that they may know peace.
We pray for communities who are struggling with inequality, unrest, and fear. May we all work toward reconciliation with one another and with you.
Help us to listen in love, work together in peace, and collaborate with one another as we seek the betterment of our community and world.
Amen.–The Rev. Shannon Kelly, Director of Faith Formation and Officer for Young Adult and Campus Ministries
A Note from Our Rector
“What does voting have to do with the Gospel? What does voting have to do with being a Christian? An election for public office is not a popularity contest between two or more people. It’s a contest of ideas about how to shape the future of a community, nation and maybe even a world. It’s a contest, a debate, a discernment of moral values and their relationship to public policy. Voting is an act of moral agency. It is an act of moral discernment and decision. It is how a community or a nation decides how the moral values that it holds and shares shape public policy and the lives of people. The children of God. It is salutary to remember that partisan neutrality does not mean moral neutrality.”
–Presiding Bishop Michael Curry
Today’s Presidential Election, and the many other races including Senate races in other states, Gubernatorial races, representatives to both state and federal congress, even our County Commissioners contest, is perhaps one of, if not the single most partisan and heated election in modern times. The results that come in today, tomorrow, and into the week, and into the month before final results are certified, will place a heavy strain on our country regardless of how they play out.
Because of the stark partisanship that currently exists, the results of these various elections will cause anger, pain, and frustration for one “side”, and jubilation for the other. We must sit with this reality and know that even as we celebrate when our “side” wins, it is not enough to celebrate and ignore the “other,” rather we must extend empathy and love to our neighbor whose “side” has not won, even, perhaps especially, when we feel that “the other side” would not offer the same.
As Christians, we have a moral responsibility to vote in the elections of our local, state, and federal government, because we must take an equal responsibility in the direction of our society. We must push back and take action, whether it be rally or protest, when the direction of our society strays too far away from the Gospel message of love that we are called to share, equally, with justice and dignity, for ALL of God’s creation. And, we must exercise our right to vote as citizens in this collective community, in order to express our moral agency that points our society toward the full picture of the kingdom of heaven.
So, as Christians, we go out today and exercise that right to vote (well, hopefully you’ve already cast your ballot, but if not, today is THE DAY) as a means of expressing our moral agency for the lives that we live and the society that we shape through our sharing of the Good News of Christ’s love for us all.
And, in that spirit, you are invited to join me today, November 3, 2020 at Noon for a special offering of Noonday Prayer focused on offering prayers for an election day. It will be streaming live on our facebook page (facebook.com/SSLVwa/live) or on our website (sslv.org/live)
This offering of prayer is open to all who seek God’s sense of calm amidst the storm of this season.
In offering our prayers to God, we invite God to be with us, to fill us with strength and comfort, righteousness and peace. To seek the call of God in a time such as this, to know how to help move our local community, our state, and our country forward into an unknown future.
I will not predict who will win the various races today (even though electoral prognostication is a passion of mine!) but I can offer you this: in coming together in God’s call to love, we can change our world. But, we can only do this as one, together, under God, where all people are welcomed in with love and grace and peace. When we put barriers up to accessing that love, not only are we not living into our faith as Christians, but we are actively destroying the gift of creation that is all around us. This is the call of God that we hear in this election: regardless of the results, we must begin to remove the barriers that other and oppress our neighbor, so that all may equally and equitably experience justice and be respected with the dignity that is inherently within them as a part of God’s creation.
In God’s Peace & Love,