Once again we are grieving lives lost senselessly to gun violence. The lives lost just this week to hate crimes and racially motivated violence perpetrated with a gun is heart wrenching and tragic. Our faithful response to these events is to come together – support our community and one another. All across the countries vigils were held in honor and memory of the lives lost.
But the vigil is just the beginning of action. While we mourn, we must also take action, and that means showing up and voting. If you went to a vigil this weekend, show up at the polls. If you plan on marching to change the injustices of the world, show up at the polls. Make sure that the people we elect will take bold and dramatic action to end gun violence - and vote to keep those who have done nothing accountable.
In these challenging times, some may turn away from the polling booth out of cynicism, disappointment and resignation. Whenever I hear such sentiment, I always remember my many and varied encounters with people around the world who remind me of the power and responsibility that I have as an eligible voter in the United States, a power and responsibility that reaches from my local school district to the lives of children halfway around the world. A power and responsibility that came at great cost to those before me. For many of us casting a ballot is the direct result of people who put their lives on the line to get us the vote.
Casting your vote is a nonviolent, constructive way to engage in the national conversation. It is the way you can share your voice and hear the voices of your neighbors. It is a way to faithfully live into our call to love our neighbors and to love God.
For information on your rights as a voter and what you need to know before heading to the polls, visit https://www.vote411.org.
For ways to help get out the vote in your congregation and community go to http://www.ucc.org/ourfaithourvote_get-out-the-vote.