Today’s Word from Pastor Jim…

We get lots of phone calls in the church office, most of them involve prayer requests for family members or friends. The phone calls are screened by our capable volunteer receptionists at the front desk, and moved on to the appropriate staff member. People call when they are in need of firewood to warm their homes. That call goes to Robin. They call when they want to reserve an eternal spot in the courtyard condos called the Columbarium. That call goes to Robin.

People call the church office to reserve meeting space, that call goes to Robin. They call about Preschool, that call goes to our Director Felicia. They call about youth events or Sunday School, that call goes to Deacon Amy. People call when they need a wheelchair or a place to live, or a ride to a medical appointment, those calls go to Robin. They call to volunteer, pass that one to Lana Johnson. They call to share glowing words of appreciation for our music program, that call goes to Karl. We get lots of calls now thanking our tech staff for the creative Sunday online worship, those calls go to Laura Canby. They call needing marriage counseling; they are connected with Pastor Tom. They call with deep theological questions; Pastor Dennis and Pastor Eric are summoned.

We get lots of calls in the church office, most of them never get to my desk because I am still looking for my area of expertise. The truth is, most of the time no one really knows what I am doing and that includes me. But this week a call came into the office that no one else could answer. They wanted to know who Pastor Jim was voting for in the upcoming election.

My staff could not answer the question, and though I could have, I chose not to. I vote in every election. I believe that it is my sacred duty to vote, it goes part and parcel with the privilege of living in a democracy. However, I have never endorsed a candidate; I have never been a member of a political party, and I have no intention of changing that now. The way I look at it, God called me to love all of my neighbors, to preach good news, to marry and bury and baptize, and to make sure that mine is the church where everybody’s welcome. And the reality is, that everybody would not feel welcome if I endorsed political parties or candidates. A cop out? No, I am simply not smart enough to tell you how to vote, and God did not call me to offer political commentary.

So, you will not know how I vote, and though I would encourage you to vote, I could care less how you vote. My love for you is not dependent upon your voting preferences any more than it is dependent upon your driving record. Good, smart, Christian people sit on both sides of the aisle. Unfortunately, good, smart, Christian people are also quick to judge those who look, worship, or vote differently than they do. Let’s not make that our story.

We get lots of phone calls in the church office. I remind the caller that we are One Day Closer!

Pastor Jim