Dear Northwest Family,
“We are Disciples of Christ, a movement for wholeness in a fragmented world.” These words from our denominational mission statement keep running through my mind today, in these days following an incredibly divisive Presidential election. The fragmentation in our country is undeniable. It was clearly present before the election, during the campaign, and remains after the votes are counted. As I look at the map of our region and see the counties painted red or blue, it confirms what I already knew. We are a diverse people. Within our congregations are Trump supporters and Hillary supporters and “none of the above” supporters. Some rejoice at the results of the election while others grieve. I have long known that we have differences of opinion, philosophy and theology. My own family is divided and I confess I wonder what Thanksgiving will be like this year.
To those who are grieving, I encourage you to find space to do so.
To those who rejoice, I encourage you to do so with sensitivity and grace, recognizing that when one part of the Body hurts, we all hurt.
Before I claimed a political party affiliation, God claimed me. Before we were Republicans or Democrats, we were and are beloved children of God; more specifically we are followers of Christ. As such, we are called to be Christ’s witness in the world, Christ’s hands and hearts and voice. That has not changed. We are called to “preach good news to the poor,” (Luke 4) and to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, and care for the least of these. (Matthew 25). We are called to be a people of welcome and grace for all of God’s children regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, age, ability or politics. We are called to stand with those who are afraid and uncertain about what the future may hold and stand against language and actions that injure and divide. We are called to love one another as Christ has loved us. As the story of the Good Samaritan reminds us, we are called to be the neighbors who cross the road to bind up the wounds of the outsider, to protect the injured, and to walk alongside the dispossessed. (Luke 10)
Before we knew the outcome of the election I posted a prayer on my Facebook page, and I continue to pray that prayer today: For wisdom, humility, compassion and vision for our next President, for a spirit of collaboration and a commitment to work together for the common good for our elected officials, and for healing and hope for our nation. May we as people of faith be God’s instruments of that healing and that hope.
Your sister in Christ,
Sandy Messick, Regional Minister
The Northwest Regional Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)