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Wednesday, November 05, 2008

The Pastoral Cost of Nonpartisanship

At confirmation class last night, the students were wired. They wanted to talk about the election (still going on) and peppered me with questions about who I voted for. I told them I would not tell them who I voted for, but that I did vote. They asked why. I told them that as a pastor I was obligated to care for all the people and speak about that which I am called and trained to speak, and be silent about topics outside my calling. I told them that I knew and loved really good people who supported Obama and supported McCain. My job is to preach, pray and preach to both/all parties. They did not like the answer, but understood.
So now, in the quiet of the post-election morning, I'm wondering about my many friends whose candidate(s) won and whose candidate(s) lost. I wonder about the breakfast conversations my very conservative friends are having this morning.
While President-elect Obama delivered a stirring acceptance speech, I thought Senator McCain's speech was an eloquent picture of the heart of citizenship and reconciliation. Over the years in the church, when I have "won" battles over various initiatives and issues I was not always the most gracious with those with whom I disagreed. In fact, I think I learned more about leadership when I "lost" than when I won. I became more self-reflective and self-aware. Now as pastor in this time, I'm ready to listen deeply to with those whose candidate(s) won and even more to those whose candidate(s) lost.

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