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'Our faith, our vote, our voice' all matter, church leaders say in pastoral letter

'Our faith, our vote, our voice' all matter, church leaders say in pastoral letter

'Our faith, our vote, our voice' all matter, church leaders say in pastoral letter

PR Newswire

CLEVELAND, Feb. 29, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- In a political environment marked by what they call "divisive, mean-spirited rhetoric," the national officers of the United Church of Christ are urging church members to use their vote as their voice in the 2020 elections. In this pastoral letter, the denomination's executives encourage involvement in voter registration, issue-education and voter mobilization. They have asked congregations to distribute this letter as Super Tuesday approaches.

The 2020 election cycle is stirring strong interest and concern across the United States and around the world. In these difficult and challenging times, this is not surprising. There is much at stake as we head to the voting booth this November.

Divisive, mean-spirited rhetoric dominates the airwaves and the public dialogue. Thoughtful, respectful, constructive exchange across differences on the key issues of the day is becoming more difficult to achieve. This is precisely why our voice and efforts as people of faith are needed. We can play a unique role in this election cycle by encouraging respectful, informed dialogue that builds community and a hope-filled vision of the future that includes all people.

In these tumultuous times, it can be tempting to withdraw and disengage from what feels like a polarizing, divisive process. We can lose heart and hope. Yet, grounded in our faith, we can renew our vision and take up the hard work of restoring community and lifting up a vision of the common good.

For people of faith, the public arena we know as "politics" represents much more than the partisanship we see on the news. It is a means by which we live out the commandment to love our neighbor as ourselves. Scripture reminds us over and over that building right relationships in human community and with God's creation is an act inseparable from our relationship with God. Therefore, it is important for faith communities to engage in nonpartisan voter education and empowerment programs that help us reflect on our collective life and work to uplift the common good through the political process.

We can be inspired by the words of Doris Haddock, "Granny D," a grandmother from Arizona who in her 90s walked across the country to be a voice for restoring the integrity of our electoral process: "If we allow the greedy and inhuman elements to steal away from us our self-government because we didn't have the energy or courage to fight for it and to use it as a tool for love and wisdom, how shall we answer to that?"

Our vote? Yes, it matters. Voting is one way to give voice to the change we want to see in the world, a world that cries out for healing.

The UCC Our Faith, Our Vote campaign provides information and ideas to assist individuals and congregations in developing nonpartisan and meaningful ways to engage the political and electoral process. The Our Faith, Our Vote resources can empower UCC members to engage in voter registration, issue education and voter mobilization. We must equip ourselves and our communities to make informed, thoughtful decisions about who will lead us into the future. The Our Faith, Our Vote campaign is one way to do just that, and we hope you will join this effort in 2020.

Faithfully yours,
The National Officers of the United Church of Christ
The Rev. John C. Dorhauer, General Minister and President
The Rev. Traci Blackmon, Associate General Minister, Justice and Local Church Ministries
The Rev. Karen Georgia Thompson, Associate General Minister, Wider Church Ministries

Connie Larkman

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SOURCE United Church of Christ

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