A time and a means for prayerful thought as Election Day approaches

electionsNovember’s elections take place in a little more than a month (Tuesday, Nov. 8). That offers an opportunity to learn about resources available to all voters.

We aren’t about to steer you to vote for or against any candidate; that’s up for you to decide. However, it’s critical all Episcopalians understand the importance of voting their conscience after a careful examination of candidates and issues.

The Rev. Scott Gunn, Executive Director of Forward Movement, notes that despite the unsure feelings associated with election time, there is one thing all Christians can do.

“We can pray. We can pray for wisdom, for grace, for patience, for courage, for hope,” he said. “We can and must pray for those with whom we disagree. Whatever else we do, we must pray.”

Forward Movement is calling Episcopalians and all others to participate in A Season of Prayer: For an Election. The 30-day season of prayer continues through the day after the election. Each day includes a suggested intention and a collect. Prayers from The Book of Common Prayer are used. The site also offers weekly bulletin inserts and a list of prayers. Congregations and individuals are encouraged to be involved.

One local congregation involved in a unique, first-time event is St. Andrew’s, Ann Arbor. From 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. Nov. 7-8, the church will hold an Election Eve Prayer Vigil on the night before and morning of the election, seeking peace in our nation, sound judgement as we choose our leaders and wisdom and foresight for those who serve.

The Rev. Alan Gibson

The Rev. Alan Gibson, rector of St. Andrew’s, explained the thinking behind creating the prayer vigil.

“I do believe that prayer, intentionally and honestly offered, can have a profound effect and even change the heart of the one who prays,” he said. “Regardless of where you fall along the political divide in this nation, the one thing that every American could use is a change of heart, to see our neighbors truly as neighbors, and that those we disagree with are just as much a child of God as we are.”

The church will remain open through the night with hourly offerings for community prayer as well as silent reflection. Join for an hour, or stay the night. For further information and a full schedule, contact the church at (734) 663-0518, or standrewsaa.org.