One week from today is election day. There is no such thing as an inconsequential election, but with a rising pandemic, an economy in shambles, and issues of racial equality at the forefront, this election seems particularly important.
In my sermon Sunday (attached) I said voting is a civic duty, but it is also a Christian responsibility. Voting is an exercise of our faith. No candidate is perfect, but which one’s policies and actions bring us closer to the kind of nation God would have us be, a place where the poor have enough, immigrants are treated with respect, and no one is marginalized because of their skin color, sexual orientation, gender, or faith? Those are the questions we should be asking as we cast our vote.
Important events in the life of the nation are always concerns of the church. You may have noticed that the prayers of the people on Sunday, and the prayers during Compline this week are prayers for the nation during the election. Next week our online worship (8 p.m.) will be special Eucharists offered as prayers for the country.
In addition, on Sunday at 4 p.m., Presiding Bishop Michael Curry will preside at a live-streamed prayer service from the Cathedral in Washington DC. In the midst of a pandemic, racial reckoning, and an historic election. Holding on to Hope: A National Service for Healing and Wholeness, will gather people from across the country for prayer, song, lament, hope, and a call to love God and neighbor. Here is the link to the service: https://episcopalchurch.org/holding-hope
One final pre-election liturgical resource comes from Forward Movement, the organization that publishes the Day by Day pamphlet. Beginning today and continuing through the day after the election, they will offer a prayer from the Book of Common Prayer for Episcopalians to pray together. The period of prayer for nine days is called a novena, an ancient tradition of devotional prayers, often with a specific intention. I will email you the prayer each day. Here is the one for today, a prayer for the nation, from page 258 in the BCP:
Lord God Almighty, you have made all the peoples of the earth for your glory to serve you in freedom and peace: Give to the people of our country a zeal for justice and the strength of forbearance, that we may use our liberty in accordance with your gracious will; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God for ever and ever. Amen.
This Sunday is also All Saints’ Sunday, the day we remember those we love who have joined the heavenly great cloud of witnesses. Please email me the names of anyone you would like to have remembered at the altar. Those is our memorial garden are already included.
You may sign up to attend the service in person in the Beech Grove at the link below. And remember, it is also the day we leave Daylight Savings Time, so turn your clock back an hour before you go to bed Saturday night.