Dear Friends:

On Sunday May 5th , I preached a sermon on how we get through the next six months of this political campaign cycle with faith, hope and love, intact. We are a divided people, even here at church and we need some strategies of navigating these uncivil waters. We need to reach across the aisle, we need listening ears and hearts, we need God’s help.

Here you can read a shortened version of said sermon. My prayer is that together we can share even more strategies and care with each other over the course of these months. I encourage you to read the whole scripture passage which I read from the Message Version by Peterson, Matthew 5:38-48. I call your special attention to verse 43, Jesus admonishes us to “love your enemies.”

Here are the six strategies I offered:


What you hear, what you read, what you see, is it true?  Is it just?  Is it wise?  If you don’t know, look it up.  There are many fact-finding sites and apps and agencies.  Seach it out.  I John 4 we read these words, “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world.  By this you know the Spirit of God;  every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God.  And from I Thessalonians 5:21, “But test everything; hold fast to what is good.”  And 2 Timothy 1:7, “For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.”  

Lastly, ask the question, whom does this harm? 


Rev. Ken Williams, in his blog, Monkish Morning offered the story of sitting with his doctor reviewing his blood workAt the end of the conversation, she encouraged, “Diet and exercise.”  He went on to suggest that we need a diet from the news.  We need to exercise caution and balance and moderation.  If it’s making you angry, turn it offIf it is causing anxiety and worry, turn it offTurn down the talk, turn up the listening. 


Pray about it, pray about it, pray about all of itPray for the people, pray for the congregation of this church, pray about our communities, pray about the particulars, pray for individuals, pray for yourselves that you will stay rooted in faith, hope and loveIn I Thessalonians 5:16-18 we read, “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”  Pray the serenity prayer, pray the Lord’s prayer, pray your own prayerPray! 


Be on the lookout for beauty and joyPay attentionSarah Bessey had a blog article this week about taking her children on nature walks during the pandemic and really paying attention to particular things, the plant, the bug, the treesWe need to pay attention to God’s world and give thanksPhilippians 4:8-18 “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”  Morgan Harper Nichols, in her book All Along You were Blooming, Thoughts for Boundless Living, offers this idea, “Choosing to have joy is not naively thinking everything will be easyIt is courageously believing that there is still hope even when things get hard.” 

On the other side of this very idea, review the particulars of what is being said and valued and purported to be trueLook at it closelyLook at the candidates’ aspirations closely. Go back to number one, test itIs it trueIs it justIs it loving? 


We are all invited to the table of Jesus to remember him wellThe invitation goes forth from Christ himselfIt has nothing to do with political affiliations, races or socioeconomics, or gender identificationWe are invited to the table to claim and remember Jesus who creates of us one family, one people, unified in the Spirit of God, and God’s love. 


Ask for help and for support if you need itHere, with each otherI will be asking  you for help and ideas on how to stay in faith with hope offering love. You can ask me and each otherThis will be hardBut we can do it togetherNo one can read your mind, so if you need help or if you need some support, please  askTell someone. 

May God who loves us and calls us to serve this world in love, keep us in faith, supported by hope and faithful in love.


Pastor Joanne


We recommend you listen to this SERMON in its entirety.