November 29, 2016
Greetings Colleagues and Friends, What shall we do post-election?
It has taken a while to write this letter because we wanted our correspondence with you to be one firmly grounded in all that makes us the United Church of Christ, and not a knee-jerk reactionary statement to election results that took us all by surprise. Our personal feelings about the results are undoubtedly as varied as our congregations, but no matter one’s political persuasion, this election cycle and the hateful persecutory rhetoric that remains in its wake should trouble the spirit of all of us who are committed to justice for all.
This political season, fueled by media’s choice to promote sensationalism over substance, exposed the worst of our nation’s divides and our skillful abilities to dehumanize one another. These are not new revelations. Neither is our response.
Your national church will continue to confront the evils of oppression and marginalization, wherever they are found. We will continue to fight against racism, sexism, heterosexism, ableism, classism, xenophobia, and religious intolerance wherever it is found. We will continue to challenge assaults on marriage equality, LGBTQ rights, environmental justice, economic justice, immigration, and healthcare coverage for all. We will continue to challenge laws, and political appointments, and to boycott and divest resources from businesses and regions where cries for justice go unheard, always holding space at the table for hearts and minds to change. We will continue to stand against hate.
We will listen well.
We will speak clearly.
We will not be separated from Love.
We will remain issue focused and not personality driven.
In two weeks your national staff along with Conference representation will gather for a day-long strategy session to begin to formulate a coordinated response for the holy work that lies ahead. To be clear, this meeting would have happened regardless of who won the general election because no matter our political leadership, our mission remains the same:
United in Spirit and inspired by God’s grace, we welcome all, love all, and seek justice for all.
This will be the first of many such meetings as we remain committed to being a leading prophetic voice in the public square. We are committed to supporting the important work of our churches and conferences, and to amplifying our understanding of what it means to be the church on national and international platforms. Ironically, we make this commitment anew as we enter the season of Advent fairly early this year, yet none too soon.
Many of our churches are now displaying Advent wreaths in the sanctuary. The light of the Advent candle is a faithful reminder of our ultimate response to injustice, in all its forms. To be a light, always, that shines in the darkness. To never lose our Hope, or our Peace, or our Joy, or our Love, recognizing that no matter how frightening this moment may seem, you are not alone and Love will win. Please feel free to share with us and call on us, always, as we move forward together.
In Light and Love,
The United Church of Christ National Officers:
The Rev. John C. Dorhauer
General Minister and President
The Rev. Traci D. Blackmon
Executive Minister, Justice and Witness Ministries
The Rev. James A. Moos
Executive Minister, Wider Church Ministries