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What’s Next?

Roskam (1)Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,

After a divisive  and somewhat bitter campaign season, this week’s election has engendered strong emotion on every side. The following are some thoughts I would like to share with you as we all move into the future, still divided politically perhaps, but nevertheless united in Christ.

Immediately after Donald Trump was elected President of the United States, protests began, with the theme “Not my president.”

We are a country that allows for free speech and I hope we will keep it that way.  And while I fully support the protesters freedom in expressing their point of view, I respectfully beg to differ. Donald Trump is our president. That’s the way democracy works. We live with the consequences of majority rule, even if we hate the outcome. We can’t squeeze our eyes shut and pretend it didn’t happen.

But we can ask, “What’s next?” “How do we bring our values to bear on current events in meaningful and effective ways?” Those are questions for all of us, no matter for whom we voted.

As Christians and Episcopalians, here are some things we might want to keep in mind.

  1. For all our flaws — and they are many — we are a church particularly suited to this age — inclusive, thoughtful, tolerant and compassionate. We are not a sound bite church. We allow for complexity, conversation, and for speaking truth to power. We can lead the way. 
  2. Our liturgies transcend ordinary time and space, refreshing us with word and sacrament, reminding us that what we see on earth is not all that is. We are in this for the long haul.
  3.  In fellowship with all Christians we bear witness that ultimately God reigns, despite the messes humanity has made throughout history. God’s kingdom does come, albeit not without sacrifice, both Christ’s and our own. 
  4. We follow Jesus who commanded his disciples, “love one another as I have loved you.” In our best moments we are reminded that it is better to be loving than right.

Whoever you voted for, know you are God’s beloved.