Sr. Anneliese Sinnott, OP (Dominican Sister of Adrian, MI), Retired Professor of Systematic Theology, Ecumenical Theological Seminary, Detroit, MI, and Member of Gamaliel affiliate MOSES
As a country we have experienced many internal struggles. We have disagreed with one another on religion, wealth, land, taxes, and certainly on issues involving human rights. From the earliest days of conflicts over wealth and land, those who had little, seldom made it into the “winners”–often those not counted among the “white” in our land. Although “race” is an arbitrary category only conceived of a few centuries ago, it has become the dominant divider in our land since our country’s founding. This struggle over who are “in” and who are “out” has come to a peak in recent years, and especially in this 2020 year. Our task as voters is to do our “homework.” If we intend to be a country of inclusion, we must do all that we can to be sure that our elected officials are those who include all in the work to make our country one of freedom and inclusion.
Questions for Reflection
Do you (the reader) find yourself among the “in” or the “out”?
How does this affect your life?
What is my “plan” for doing the work of “inclusion” before I vote?
“Act justly, love tenderly, walk humbly with your God.” Micah 6:8
The Common Prayer on Our Journey
Source of all being, Sacred mystery, you are the wellspring of justice. Weaver of the warp and weft of history, weave our lives into the fabric of your will. Guide us towards the Beloved Community. Forgive us when we have failed to give shape to the Beloved Community in our communities and in our lives.
All around us the ugly onslaughts of white nationalism, hate crimes, and systemic racism devastate your people, divide us, and threaten our democracy. All around us the wicked strut, and in high places are those who encourage the basest of attitudes and actions. Grant us wisdom and courage to confront these evils with the power of love and truth. Free us from timidity and equivocation. Help us to be bold in thought and action. May our lives and our faith communities model the change we hope to see in the world.
As we approach the November elections, keep us mindful that the right to vote is a sacred trust won by beatings, by imprisonments, by blood, by the relentless struggles of many who came before us. Help us to honor that legacy. May we vote our conscience and encourage others to do the same.
Heal our nation. Heal our hearts. Heal our nation. Amen.
Gamaliel National Religious Leaders’ Caucus invites you to 40 Days of Reflection on Our Journey to the Polls
Few national elections have had similar consequences as the November Election in 2020. Our nation stands in crisis and at a significant crossroad. The Gamaliel Network, an interfaith coalition of persons of faith who stand and act together for justice and equality, pledges to undergird the 40 days leading up to the election with prayer and reflection.
We urge you to use the Common Prayer below every day. On each day, we have asked a faith leader, from different traditions, to offer a reflection on the Common Prayer at this Moment of American Crossroads. We urge you to begin this prayer preparation with a day of fasting on Sept. 24,(or a similar expression of spiritual preparation), and then to engage in prayer at a time of your choosing each day, to prepare yourself, your friends and neighbors, and our nation, for this election.
The Gamaliel Religious Leaders Table has written a “Theological Statement on Hate Crimes and White Nationalism.” a faith statement on “White Nationalism.” The link to this statement is: https://gamaliel.org/our-work/religious-leaders-caucus/gnrlc-a-faithful-response-to-hate-crimes-and-white-nationalism/
Each reflection will include the leader’s personal reflection, questions for contemplation, and a suggested scriptural text from their tradition.
The Gamaliel National Religious Leaders’ Steering Committee