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Helping congregations and individuals get through election season

Resources are designed for both personal reflection and communal worship as Presbyterians head to the polls or send in their ballots

by Paul Seebeck | Presbyterian News Service

Unseen histories via Unsplash

LOUISVILLE — Around the time of national elections, the Rev. Dr. David Gambrell gets requests for resources of prayer and services of reconciliation.  And Gambrell,  the associate for Worship in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)’s Office of Theology & Worship, said it’s especially true this year during a presidential election as divisive as any in recent memory.

“People are hurting, angry and afraid,” he said.  “Families, churches and communities are fractured along ideological lines.”

In an already bitterly divided nation, Gambrell believes the stress and isolation of COVID-19 only makes matters worse.  Regardless of one’s political affiliation or the outcome of this election, Gambrell said there will be difficult work to do, “working for justice, healing, building trust, learning to listen to one another, and collaborating for the common good.”

Tiffany Tertipes via Unsplash

“For Christians, this work has to be centered and sustained by prayer,” he said.

On  the Christian and Citizen/Election Day website you will find:

  • A newly updated pamphlet, “Seeking to be Faithful Together: Guidelines for Presbyterians in Times of Disagreement.”
  • Resources on voting education, voter rights and voter suppression.
  • Biblical and sacramental themes that emphasize unity, reconciliation, citizenship and the oneness we have with Christ and each other.
  • Prayers from the PC(USA)’s 2018 Book of Common Worship — and a Eucharistic prayer for Election Day.
  • Excerpts from the Confession of Belhar, which emphasize unity, justice and reconciliation in church and society.
  • Services for Justice and Peace and for Reconciliation from the BCW.
  • Hymn suggestions including “In Times of Great Decision,” written by the Rev. Carolyn Winfrey Gillette.
  • A Theological Conversation on “Covenant Living in a Contractual World.”

Gambrell said he hopes these resources will useful for Presbyterians for personal reflection and communal worship as they prepare to vote through Election Day — and in the work ahead.


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