Post-election thoughts from your Pastor

God’s grace and peace be with you all.

I am writing to you in light of last night’s election and the results. I will tell you that I feel a little like I have been punched in the gut this morning. I am saddened and dismayed because the words I heard from the campaign sounded so angry and fearful and exclusive. I have heard this echoed in the reactions that I have been hearing around the church today and that I heard from Monroe Middle School this morning. Some congregation members were stunned and a little scared. Children and teachers at the school were in tears and were afraid of what could happen to them or their friends. I could say plenty more about this, but I am more concerned about how many of you are doing as you process. This letter comes to you in my care for you and our country and our church as we move forward. Here are a couple things to ponder.

First, however you received the results I encourage you to think of those around you. If you are celebrating, celebrate well and respectfully. I am aware that a large majority that voted for Mr. Trump were voting because they were hurting, have been hurting, and wanted a change from what has been. If you are hurting from either these past years or from the results of the election I encourage you to honor that grief and give yourself time to heal. You don’t have to rush. Notice what specifically that grief and hurt is about, and find ways to take care of yourself. Also allow community to hold you as you heal. Second, I am very clear that many of the words used about women, minorities, handicapped, and immigrant people are frightening to me and many. Please don’t think that is the voice of Christianity. A large part of our calling as Christians is to care for the “other”, and that is more important now than ever. I will be doing my best to watch for opportunities to speak for and care for those who may find themselves in difficult situations. I will pray for and act for justice, and I hope many will join me in this. Third, I encourage us all to keep our eyes and hearts and minds firmly focused on God as our Source and our Strength and our Inspiration. God is all inclusive. God is all loving. God is who, at our core, gives us vision and courage for each day and helps us to see the world for what it truly is. Our discernment then is to decipher what is of the world and what is of God’s reign and work to bring the Reign of God to bear in each moment of our lives- sometimes over and against the rule of this world. Stay connected to our Source in prayer, meditation, service, community, and love.

Finally, I am hopeful that this Presidency will be different from the campaign. I will be praying forcefully that the rhetoric was simply to get elected and that this term will be more inclusive and just. I was impressed by the grace with which both Mr. Trump and Secretary Clinton addressed the nation last night and today, and we can, hopefully, all learn from that grace. As we move into this next Presidency may we know the God whose love holds us all (and I do mean ALL) and may we find ways to bind the wounds of this divisive campaign. Know that you and President-Elect Trump will be in my prayers. God bless us all. I remain
In communion,
Erik