Post-election Pastoral Letter

November 9, 2016

Dearest dear ones,

Last night was a hard night.  Today is a confusing day.  The rhetoric in this election became so very intense that for many of us, the election felt like a referendum on basic human rights.  People of color, LGBTQ folks, differently abled folks, non-Christians and economically disadvantaged individuals are literally afraid for their lives.  I’m hearing that some people feel as traumatized as they did post 9/11.

First of all, take a deep breath.  Our nation does not belong to one person.  Our community is strong and resilient.  Love will bat last, to paraphrase Annie Lamott.  Your neighbors are still your neighbors.  Regardless of who they voted for, if you get sick, they will bring you soup.  That’s who we are.

The temptation to catastrophize is strong.  However, we don’t know for sure what happens next.  What we do know is that we will have work to do, regardless.  Let’s not waste precious energy worrying about things that are still uncertain.  Let’s marshal our spirits and fortify our hearts, so that when we ARE called into action to defend our values, we have the resources to do so with grace and generosity.

It has helped me to remember that the vast majority of people who voted for Donald Trump did so IN SPITE of the things that terrify me about his candidacy, not BECAUSE of them.  We must try not to demonize, blame, shame or further divide our country.

Perhaps not today, but eventually, we will need to acknowledge the pain and fear behind the pro-isolationist, anti-establishment votes.  We will need to listen, and let go of whatever arrogant assumptions we might hold.  Trump voters are not universally stupid, uneducated, bigoted, or unkind.  I have to believe that most of them are fundamentally good people with different perspectives and priorities than I have.  They have a variety of reasons for voting the way they did, and if we can’t hear those reasons, then our country won’t be able to heal.

Today, though, if you need to grieve, grieve.  If you need to process, I am here.  The Sanctuary will be open all afternoon, with prayer flags to decorate, candles to write, and someone to talk to. Reach out, and keep reaching out, especially to people who you know are feeling more vulnerable because of their identities.  Ask for what you need.  Go for walks.  Drink in the beauty of this beautiful place we call home.  Read things that are uplifting.  Sing.  Cook.  Eat.  Love, and love some more.

There will be a vigil at the church this evening at 5:30 pm.  Come be together; bring your friends, even the ones who aren’t ‘churchy.’  We need to be together right now…need to see how much love there is surrounding us.  Love trumps hate…even today…and ever more.

Yours in faith,




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