This has been a tumultuous year in so many ways. The global pandemic, economic turmoil, racial and social injustice, and the effects of climate change with increasingly devastating fires and hurricanes have left many of us emotionally wrought. And now that the contentious national elections have come to an end and Joe Biden declared to be the President-elect, some are very pleased with the result and some are very distressed. Emotions are high, and there is the potential for more unrest, polarization and violence.

We pray that this period of transition will be peaceful and respect the dignity of every human being. As Christians, we are called to be witnesses of civil discourse by our own words and actions. There should be no place in our civil society for violence against others, either in speech or in violent behaviors.

Nonviolent protest has a long and valued place in our nation and in our Christian ethics. If you feel called to protest in some way, we support your doing so peacefully and with dignity. This election season was marked by heightened fear, anger, mistrust and division. This kind of divisiveness in our society is not erased simply because the election is over. We, however, are called to protest as followers of Jesus, characterized by the “fruit of the Spirit” in St. Paul’s Letter to the Galatians: “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.”(5:22-23)

Let us model for the world how a community of diverse viewpoints can also be a community of love. Let’s be known as those “blessed peacemakers, who shall be called the children of God.”

Remember our three “stay-cees” during a time of distress:

Stay calm. Stay connected. Stay church.

A Prayer for the President of the United States and all in Civil Authority

O Lord our Governor, whose glory is in all the world: We commend this nation to your merciful care, that, being guided by your Providence, we may dwell secure in your peace. Grant to the President of the United States, the Governor of this State, and to all in authority, wisdom and strength to know and to do your will. Fill them with the love of truth and righteousness, and make them ever mindful of their calling to serve this people in your fear; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, world without end. Amen. (Book of Common Prayer, p. 820)