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A Pastoral Note for Election Week

Friends in Christ,

On the eve of a national election in our country, I am keenly aware, as are many of you, that emotions are running high. Some of you, including myself, have already voted early or by mail. Others of you will vote in-person at the polls tomorrow. In a video released a few weeks ago, Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton reminds us, “Voting is our right and our duty.” Participating in a free and fair election process is one of the cornerstones of our democracy, and our faith calls us to active civic engagement - voting for our values and electing leaders who will carry out their values in pursuit of our baptismal calling “to strive for justice and peace in all the earth” (ELW Affirmation of Baptism, p. 236). I also want to acknowledge that we enter into this election week with many mixed emotions - anxiety, hope, fear, expectation. The gift of belonging to a community of faith is that we can hold all of those emotions together, supporting one another, and caring for ourselves. At St. Philip, we have a few opportunities coming up to join in prayer, community, and solidarity, and to practice self-care, in the midst and the wake of our national election:

  1. Election Day Midday Prayer - Tuesday, November 3, 12:00pm - A short liturgy of prayer, scripture, reflection, and song, on your lunch break or on your way to or from the polls, as a way to pause and catch our breath. Join us on Zoom or on the St. Philip Facebook page. The liturgy will be available for on-demand viewing on Facebook once the stream has ended. Join on Zoom: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82080935603?pwd=NjRPNFNzbXkwQVphNFRNdDZlcVpJUT09 Or dial in: +1 312 626 6799 Meeting ID: 820 8093 5603 Passcode: 547004

  2. Vote Then Sing - Tuesday, November 3, 12:00pm-12:00am - A continuous livestream on YouTube, sponsored the Center for Congregational Song, “to help us pray together, sing together, and be a non-anxious presence on election day.” More info here.

  3. Morning Prayer - Wednesday, November 4, 8:30am - A short, spoken liturgy of prayer, scripture, and reflection for the morning after the election. Join us on Zoom or on the St. Philip Facebook page. The liturgy will be available for on-demand viewing on Facebook once the stream has ended. Join on Zoom: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84593907981?pwd=OGdySFcrVnRFbzM3QTJSWkhwYmVnZz09 Or dial in: +1 312 626 6799 Meeting ID: 845 9390 7981 Passcode: 690198

  4. Midweek Evening Prayer - Wednesday, November 4, 7:00pm - This week begins our November midweek evening prayer series. More info here (including Zoom info). This liturgy will be on Zoom only and not streamed to Facebook, as it is designed primarily to be listened to, enabling those without computer or internet access to worship by phone without a visual component.

As always, please do not hesitate to reach out to me directly if you’d like to schedule time to talk - whether by phone, on Zoom, or at church. May God’s peace be with you, Pr. Josh + Lord God, you call your people to honor those in authority. Help us elect trustworthy leaders, participate in wise decisions for our common life, and serve our neighbors in local communities. Bless the leaders of our land, that we may be at peace among ourselves and a blessing to other nations of the earth; through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen. (ELW Prayer for Responsible Citizenship, p. 77)