Beloved in Christ,

Our national elections have just concluded. Now is the time for the church to be the church. Now is the time to commit ourselves without hesitation to our calling to proclaim and embody the unconditional love of God for the sake of the world.
Yesterday I wasn’t sure what this would mean. I knew it would certainly include a focus engaging in a ministry of healing and reconciliation. We are a deeply divided nation and people. Being God’s “both/and” people in an “either/or” world, lifting up what unites us rather than what divides us – this is the essence of our calling as the Body of Christ, where there is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, Democrat nor Republican. And without doubt, this remains central to our calling as disciples of Jesus Christ.
But given the results, we must now fully embrace our prophetic role as well: to speak and act on behalf of those who are most marginalized, to stand with the most vulnerable in our society. This includes those who are immigrants, refugees, as well as our neighbors with different religious perspectives. This includes people whose economic challenges leave them feeling powerless and disenfranchised. This includes all people of color or those in our LGBTQ community who already feel that they do not have a full place in our society. We dare not be silent or complacent. Jesus calls us to follow him in stepping across every boundary that would divide us from a fellow child of God. This is the very heart of the grace of God that we experience in Jesus.
Today it is also important to remember that we in the church are people of hope. Hope is ours because of a living Word of unfailing love that breaks into our lives. Hope is ours because of baptismal waters that renew us each day, drawing us from death to life. Hope is ours because of a Meal that fills us with the very life of Jesus, making us his Body for the sake of the world. Hope is ours, and in that hope we proclaim and embody God’s love for all.
Now is the time for the church to be the church. I call upon you to join me in living as Christ’s Church, Better Together.
Yours in Faith,
Bishop Jim Gonia