Yesterday at 3:30 pm Gavin, Grayson, Karlene and Evan Snyder came to our church to light our altar candles and to ring our church bell, inviting each of us, all of us, to remember those who have lost their lives to COVID-19. Even as our nation took a moment to pause and remember, lament together, so did our congregation. I've put together a very brief video inviting you into that space of communal remembering and lament, and you can watch it HERE.
Today, our nation marks the inauguration of our 46th president. This last election cycle reminded us that the United States is, right now, a place of multiple realities and deep divisions. These realities and divisions may be based on political affiliation, race, class, ethnicity, gender or sexual orientation among other things. In our own congregation, we hold different political views and voted for different presidential candidates. And yet I hope we can come together in prayer for our country, our fellow citizens and our new leaders. I know that I prayed for President Trump these last four years-- that he would have guidance, wisdom and compassion in his role as Commander in Chief, and I will hold these same prayers for our new President Joe Biden.
So, on this Inauguration Day, I invite you to join me in holding our nation in prayer. We pray that we may have the courage to remember and to truly see and acknowledge our history. We pray that through our remembering, we may open windows and doors for healing. We pray that we may lament together, especially the losses of the last year as a pandemic has raged around us, as we have witnessed racial injustice and violence, as we have lived through environmental disasters, and as our lives have been so disrupted due to pandemic closures, job losses and isolation. And we pray that a spirit of truth, hope, neighborly love, and justice will take hold of each of us, our nation and our leaders.
I look forward to being with you all on Sunday when we will celebrate our outgoing, continuing and incoming leaders and as we commission them for service in the coming year. We will hear the story of the reticent prophet Jonah. And we will, as always, hold space for worship, for bringing our whole selves, for praising God and for cultivating together God's beloved community.
With love and gratitude,