The Bishops of the Diocese of North Carolina Offer a Message and Prayer for Post-Election Days
Those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength,they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint. Isaiah 40:31
When we spoke to you prior to Election Day, we did so understanding that our call to participate in the mission of God would remain regardless of the outcome of the election. Then, we were waiting to learn the outcome. Now, we wait to see how our nation will navigate the transition to new leadership. What remains unchanged is the long, demanding and sacred calling to address the wounds of a nation still struggling under the weight of systemic injustice and a global pandemic. What remains is the work God has given us to do – near and far - to build a more beloved community where all God’s children prosper to their fullest potential.
Regardless of one’s feelings about the outcome of the election, we are aware that a state of anxiety still exists, though for varying reasons. We understand anxiety can be a natural part of waiting and anticipation, but it is a part we must confront with our deepest conviction that God continues to lead us through these times.
We still await the next steps in the states’ certification of election results, the formal transition of government and the formalities of the Electoral College. We extend our prayers to the president-elect, Joe Biden and his running mate and vice president-elect, Kamala Harris. We see no compelling evidence to question or doubt their fair election.
We extend our earnest prayers for President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence as they navigate the steps necessary and expected to respect the integrity of our electoral process and the security of our country.
We continue to be firmly committed to both the principles of our democracy and to our living faith in Christ and beloved community. We are confident that the will of the people has been accurately and authentically served in this election. It is our deepest conviction that the arc of the moral universe bends toward justice and, in this moment, we must affirm and hold fast to that vision.
How fitting that the season of Advent approaches. It is not a season for passive, anxious waiting. Instead, Advent is anticipation soaked in hope. Advent is believing that Christ will come again and that God will reign victorious. Advent is both Now and Yet to Be, where we practice the virtues of the kingdom of heaven in this earthly life.
And so, even as we pray and prepare, we shall not pause in our ongoing work for justice and compassion. As Advent also anticipates Christmas, we will not forget that children are still being born into a displaced, disadvantaged and endangered family. We call upon the households of the Diocese of North Carolina to participate in One Thousand Days of Love as one way we can care for the most vulnerable members of the human family. We will continue to feed the hungry, welcome the stranger, advocate for those who are imprisoned and care for creation and oppose all forms of systemic oppression.
As your bishops, we also encourage you to join us in prayer for all in positions of power to use their experience and gifts for the good of all as we continue to care for our fragile democracy.
We pray for the sick and dying, especially those ill with COVID-19, and for those who care for them and all who grieve. We pray for the jobless and those struggling with economic despair. We pray for all of our marginalized siblings who continue to suffer disproportionately from the twin pandemics of the novel coronavirus and racism.
We pray for all our neighbors in North Carolina affected by yesterday's torrential rains and flooding. We especially grieve for the loss of life. We pray, too, for our neighbors in Central America who are suffering as a result of Hurricane Eta.
Finally, we also ask your prayers of thanksgiving, that even in the midst of these troubling times, the grace, peace and love of our Lord Jesus Christ still surrounds, supports and transforms us all the day long.
Yours in love of Christ,
The Rt. Rev. Sam Rodman
Bishop, Diocese of North Carolina
The Rt. Rev. Anne Hodges-Copple
Bishop Suffragan, Diocese of North Carolina