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Meditation Oct. 25 - Sanctity of Worship

“Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in the one body. And be thankful.” Colossians 3:14

This meditation comes in response to the political flyers which were placed on cars during morning worship on Sunday. Someone chose to violate the sanctity of a worshiping congregation for their own political harassment needs. We all have information on upcoming elections readily available to us. We did not need them forced upon us at our House of Worship.

I want you to know the actions were not endorsed by myself or Church Council. At our October Council meeting we had a conversation about the church’s role in political elections. Following our discussion, we affirmed our congregation’s practice of not supporting or endorsing ballot issues, even as we legally could. We are here to practice our faith, worship God and grow in discipleship. Regardless of a person’s political leaning our intent is to live the Gospel message of love and unity found in Christ.

I brought up the topic to Church Council as I’ve noticed a shift in the past five years of people soliciting me as a Pastor to endorse and encourage church members to vote for particular candidates and issues. Earlier this month I had a phone call from Erie County Right To Life asking if they could meet with me to tell me how to share information on the upcoming ballot issue from the pulpit and to pass out information on the seats of pews to congregants. I politely declined stating such was not our policy and they readily accepted my answer. The phone call was a good reminder to have a conversation with our Church Council to reaffirm our practice.

Someone chose to take advantage of our worshiping community. The action was not done in love but was a violation of our peaceable worship. This is what I’m having the most difficult time accepting. At best it is in poor taste and at worst it is criminal trespassing. We do not know who is responsible. We do not want to know. We DO want to affirm this was not the action of church leadership. Many of you were as upset as I was over situation. I have spoken to many pastors this week and discovered ours was the only congregation who had this experience. Which leads me to feel that we were targeted for some reason. Regardless, such behavior is not welcome as it causes division in the Body of Christ and is disturbing and unhelpful for our spiritual health.

Jesus came up against adversity with his loving Gospel message. We will continue to seek to live out his message of love and acceptance, even as we may not always agree on social and political issues. Christ is our common ground. In Jesus and through Jesus we will do our best to live together in Christian community.

Our nation is deeply divided. The actions someone chose to take on Sunday are ones to further divide the Body of Christ and the nation. They were not done in love but in arrogance and self-righteousness. We recognize how unhelpful they are even as we forgive those who did them. I am thankful for the presence of many as we’ve wrestled with this disturbing occurrence. We will go forth in the love of Christ.

Faithfully Yours,

Rev. Wendy

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