Recently we held an after church discussion here on Faith and Politics. The intent was to give us all a chance to voice our concerns about how and when and by what means we are called to bear witness and respond to political issues. It was a lively discussion, and included the guidelines for churches supplied by the UCC. What became immediately apparent was great interest and concern about the outcome of the upcoming presidential election, and the divisive nature of the campaign rhetoric.
Understanding our legal limitations not to promote a specific candidate, there was great interest in getting out the vote. Two steps were identified – getting a banner out on the road to encourage people to vote, and inviting the League of Women Voters to host a community forum to discuss the ballot initiatives.
Faith took immediate action! Banners were proposed, we took a vote (a vote on a banner about voting!)and a new banner is due to go up soon. And yes, the League of Women Voters will be here on Oct. 11 for a community forum – please invite your friends and neighbors!!
In the week following, we had another discussion on what it means to declare ourselves a “progressive” church. Another lively discussion, with wide-ranging views. All this in the effort to represent ourselves clearly in all the ways we promote LCC, in website, print media and other materials. Again, congregational engagement at it’s best – seeking common ground amid diversity.
And now I’m excited and enthused to share with you the news that there’s a new movement begun,” We Stand With Love”. Launched Sept. 15 by a partnership of faith-based and progressive organizations, including the Center for Progressive Renewal, the We Stand With Love campaign invites Americans to “come together to say NO to the hate rhetoric that threatens to divide us and YES to more just and generous ways of living with and loving one another, especially when we disagree.”
I am so grateful to have these resources to draw on in the days and weeks ahead, to stand with others in solidarity to counter the fear and divisive rhetoric, and to resolve to instead give voice to messages of love in keeping with the gospel mandate to love our neighbor as ourselves. I am proud to be part of this community, that seeks in all ways to stand with love.
May love be made manifest in our choices.
Yours in faith and love,
From Ladera Life – October 2016