Today is an anxious day, a difficult day, perhaps for all of us. Please know that I am available for conversation, prayer or simply to listen -- wherever you are in relationship to this election. I am here as your pastor to simply be present and to walk with you.
We knew, going into this election, that we would probably not have answers this morning. We knew that we were not in control of how the election would go or what its outcome would be. What we did not know was just how clearly split our nation would be. Deeply held beliefs on both sides of the political aisle moved us to turn out in record numbers to have our voices heard. And as the tallies come in, we learn that we are indeed a nation divided. Split in two. Along ideological lines. Along lines of value. In many ways, those divisions represent different understandings of what is real and true and good. And so we feel uncertain, afraid, deeply saddened.
As humans and as a nation, we have faced divisions before, and we will face them again. However this election shakes out, this is not an ending but simply the next chapter. As people of faith and as followers of Jesus we are always called to be present in love. We are always called to practice hope and humility, connection and vulnerability. We are always called to speak and act with honesty, courage and compassion.
I don't know exactly what it looks like to heal such deep political divides, but I do know that, for us as Christians, we are ALL called to God's table of love and grace and forgiveness. And part of healing is simply showing up. It is bringing our whole selves to the table. It is being willing to listen to one another, especially to hear and hold each other's grief and fear, especially if it is not our own. Especially when we struggle to understand it. It is being willing to walk together when it would be easier to go separate ways. It is opening our ears and hearts and hands to those most marginalized in our community: those who are hurting and in need.
I am SO grateful for a community of faith in this time. I know that we hold different political views, and I am grateful for a place where we still choose to come together. Where we brave the hard conversations. Where we seek to understand and love one another better.
AND this Sunday, we are invited to bring our commitments to support the existence, the ministry, the gifts, the graces of this community, First Congregational Church of Loveland. You are invited to make a pledge to financially support our church in 2021 so that we can keep being a community where people who sometimes disagree still come together to be who we are: God's beloved children co-creating God's beloved community for ALL people. I hope you'll join me in making these promises -- they are signs of our hope and our faith in God's abiding love and in this community to continue to bear witness to that love in our world.