With Gratitude, Healing, and Hope
Even as we sort through the implications of Election Day and begin to think about where we go from here, it is important to take a moment to celebrate your incredible work through the Our Faith Our Vote campaign. The outcomes of this election do not diminish the importance of your witness. And in fact drive home the critical space you hold. Our faith voice, of reconciliation and radical love, of true justice and the righting of our relationship with one another and creation is vital for healing.
In the midst of an unprecedented election season, during a global pandemic and a highly polarized national conversation, you found creative ways to register voters, particularly in marginalized communities, and provided them with the information needed to cast their vote safely and have their vote counted. You helped communities respond to the 2020 Census. You engaged with young advocates and connected with their incredible energy and passion. You provided forums for voters to talk about the key issues at stake in the elections, on a local, state, and national level. You fought voter suppression and provided a faithful witness at the polls.
Your work, the relationships you built, and the seeds you planted will reach far beyond this election cycle. At the same time, we acknowledge the deep pain and exhaustion that so many of us feel after fully engaging mind, body and soul in election engagement efforts we hoped would reflect a true turning toward a just world. In his book The Prophetic Imagination, theologian Walter Brueggeman points to importance of the prophets as those in society who could “name the pain rightly.” For only when pain is rightly and honestly named can it be rightly healed. We need time to grieve and lament even as we begin to imagine where we go from here.
Often on a fall day like today, one can look skyward and spot a formation of migrating geese. Their flight in a V formation is intentional; each bird, slightly in front of the other, provides wind resistance and conserves energy. The geese take turns leading the formation, then falling back when they tire, others picking up the role to sustain the collective energy of the flock. As we gather ourselves to move forward, may we learn a lesson from these geese. In our love-infused, justice-seeking community we can hold space for each other wherever we are. We may rest knowing the work of justice will carry on. And the power of this community will take us far beyond any one election cycle or political outcome.
Continued courage in the struggle for justice and peace,
The UCC Our Faith Our Vote Team
Sandy Sorensen, Katie Adams, Michael Neuroth, Madison Mayhew, and Jessica Quinn