Voting as Spiritual Practice
By Pastor Kate Reuer Welton
At LCM, we talk a lot about baptism and especially lift up the promises that our parents and Godparents make to us, or that we make for ourselves, as a part of that binding ritual. Here are the words we say, publicly, over and over again:
As you bring your children to receive the gift of baptism, you are entrusted with responsibilities:
to live with them among God’s faithful people,
bring them to the word of God and the holy supper,
teach them the Lord’s Prayer, the Creed, and the Ten Commandments,
place in their hands the holy scriptures,
and nurture them in faith and prayer,
so that your children may learn to trust God,
proclaim Christ through word and deed,
care for others and the world God made,
and work for justice and peace.
Did you notice that “so that” in there? Our spiritual practices and formation are all pointing towards a trust in God, and action that springs from the love we know in Christ. In this country, voting is one of the ways we have to “care for others and the world God made, and work for justice and peace.” It is a clear expression of our vocation as citizens, and a significant way we can love our neighbors. Voting is a spiritual practice.
If this were ordinary times, we would be celebrating this Election Day as a milestone for many of you – the first time you get to vote in a presidential election. We’d also be having a conversation/workshop about “Voting and Values,” which is designed to help you link up your values with the candidates you’ll be choosing to represent those values. We’d be encouraging your participation in Get Out the Vote campaigns, and maybe even handing out coffee to voters at Grace (which is a polling place in ordinary times).
Alas. This is not ordinary times. But voting is SO important this year (and every year IMHO).
It’s also a little more confusing than usual this year. So we want to make it easy for you. There are some links below that clarify your options for voting.
If you are confused about the idea of voting as a spiritual practice, I am happy to share the workshop I lead every election year. Just shoot me an email. And, so you’re warned, if we have your number, LCM staff will be getting ahold of you to see if you have a voting plan, if you have any questions, and if you’d like to have a conversation about voting as a spiritual practice.
This country needs you, and it needs your vote. This is not the time to be overwhelmed by the options, or to let lethargy take over. I also understand how much that is happening right now, and so we’re making ourselves available to walk alongside you. You are not alone in this. We are not alone in this. Thanks be to God.