Dear Friends,

It is quite a time for our nation indeed.  Following Tuesday’s election, there is both exultant celebration and deep grief. May we be respectful and gentle with one another as we express whichever is true for us. I encourage you to gather, pray and engage in civil discourse. We must find our common ground as a nation and move forward. We must do so even as we grieve or celebrate. We must remember that things are dying in our nation. What they are and whether it is a good and right death are debatable points. No matter; since the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ is our central truth in which we trust. If something is dying, then, something is rising. The Kingdom of God is coming. That is the process of life and this is what we serve. May we do so prayerfully and as conscious of all our brothers and sisters on this planet as we are able.

I encourage you to be bold and host a Living Room Conversation. The questions were included in my article to you last week, located here. I had the pleasure of leading one at York School last week, focused on our post-election life. The scene was 230 or so students and faculty, crammed into the York chapel, engaged in small group sharing of their personal responses to their set of LRC questions.

At the end of the process, one ninth grade student gently shared: “I think we are better friends now because of this time. See…my friend, whom I did not know so well before now, has laid his head on my knee…” Now, there was probably some typical ninth grade napping happening as we gathered our conversation back into the larger group; yet friendship was clearer, deeper and more tender as personal perspectives were shared.

Jesus words, “I call you friends…” (John 15:15) was not a call to agree, it was a call to be in community as equals in knowing the truth of Jesus and a shared commitment to the way of Jesus.  In this they would lean on one another and trust one another amidst diversity. In this, they would be a witness to power of God in the world.

And now in these times of great change, may we witness to the graceful way of Jesus, and to the power of our reality as Christian community.