Weekly thoughts from the Rector of Palmer Memorial Episcopal Church in Houston, Texas, where these words remind us that Jesus’ peace goes with us into the world.
Two days from today there will be elections to public offices from President of the United States to the mayors of local communities large and small throughout the nation. Here in Houston many of us have already cast our ballots during the period for early voting. There has been a record turnout of voters in Texas, with no sign that the surge will stop. People are making choices. But there are other choices too.
Palmer Memorial Episcopal Church will open the doors of St. Bede’s Chapel on that Tuesday, November 8, for prayer and reflection, beginning with Morning Prayer at 7:30 a.m. There will also be a simple service of Holy Eucharist at 8:00 a.m. and also at 12:00 noon. St. Bede’s will remain open, with prayers for the nation available to use, until 5:00 p.m. This is part of a movement called Election Day Communion.
You can read more about Election Day Communion, including some theological food for thought, on the official website of this movement. Four years ago, Michael King, Dean of Eastern Mennonite Seminary, wrote these now-even-more-relevant words:
When we differ over today’s hot issues we seem ever more inclined not to treat persons who hold different views as fellow pilgrims seeking, with us, to hear God’s voice amid our common finitudes and frailties. We seem ever less inclined to trust that God could be threaded through any view other than our own. Rather, we seem ever more ready to believe that if you hold a view other than mine you are my enemy. . . . But even if we accept such a troubling conclusion, to [act as followers of Jesus] may then be to ask what it means to love the . . . opponents we have made our enemies.
So consider making a final choice on Election Day — a choice to remember that the most important things are found not at the ballot box but here at the Lord’s Table.
— The Rev. Neil Alan Willard, Rector