When Accompaniment Becomes a Calling
This year’s mild fall weather has been a great asset for the annual ritual of leaf raking. Like many of you, I have been out in my yard for hours each weekend. Raking, bagging, loading the car, and then waiting in line at the county compost site has given me time to reflect on our vocation as Christians in a world of intense political rhetoric, global transitions and issues that divide many into one camp or another.
Tuesday, November 8th is Election Day in this country. I hope you will vote. We are called to do so as citizens. I hope that across the synod, someone will vote for each and every candidate in a local, state or national race. If you thought I was saying that I hope someone votes this way and someone else votes another way, you heard me correctly. We are a healthier church body if we see different possibilities for the leaders who will represent our communities.
The same holds for other divisive issues today – how best to reduce gun violence, to address educational disparities, to encourage the engagement between communities and law enforcement agencies, and to protect the environment. There is usually more than one way to resolve differences, build a common future and move forward together.
What I hope we won’t do as people of faith is vilify those with whom we disagree. During this election cycle, it’s become clear that there is a great divide in how people understand their place in the American experience. As people of faith, we are called to work toward an understanding of those gaps. I commit to working on that myself and invite you to do the same.
Come Wednesday morning, people on all sides of political contests will be more than winners and losers. They will be neighbors. Our neighbors.
Bishop Patricia Lull