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We live in a wealthy and powerful nation. We are blessed to be able to vote to choose our leaders. That’s how we make political change in this country, we vote. We vote on positions from president to constable. We vote on propositions, on school budgets, and on bond issues. Our constitution protects our rights to speak out and protest, our rights to assemble, our rights to worship any God or no God at all. We have dozens of other rights protected in our state and Federal constitutions and I for one, never feel so much an American as when I travel outside our borders and see how other folks live. We are blessed. However, with that blessing comes responsibility.

As followers of Christ, we have a responsibility of mutual civility and solidarity. The person who voted in the opposite way from us is our neighbor. As annoying as it may be, we are each equally beloved by God. We are fellow humans sharing an existence on a small rock in space. We hunger for peace and for love, but we can’t get these by demanding that others change to adopt our beliefs. We can only be the change we wish to see in the world, and love people into a new way of life.

Whether you voted for all the winners or all the losers, you have a place at God’s table. Our church must be a place that lives out God’s welcome to all if it is to truly reflect God’s love. Through it all, we also must stand with “the least of these” in our communities. We must reassure those who are frightened and comfort those in despair. As Christians we are called to welcome the stranger and the outcast. Let us not be weary in doing good. Instead let us resolve once again to make our community a shining city on a hill, our behavior a model of love of neighbor, and our church a house of prayer for all peoples.

Arthur Fullerton is a Ruling Elder at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Albany, NY, past chair of Board of Trustees, current chair of the Budget Committee, and Vice Moderator Elect of Albany Presbytery.  He consults with nonprofits about fundraising and organizational leadership.

The purpose of the Albany Presbytery Blog is to share information, tell stories, and promote the mission and ministry of the presbytery, synod and beyond.  While the breadth of this medium is intentionally broad, it is not a platform for opinion pieces related to business coming before the presbytery unless designed as part of an initiative to provide a diversity of viewpoints at the direction of the presbytery council.   Exceptions to this policy may be brought to the presbytery officers who will determine appropriateness of submissions.

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The purpose of the Albany Presbytery Blog is to share information, tell stories, and promote the mission and ministry of the presbytery, synod and beyond. While the breadth of this medium is intentionally broad, it is not a platform for opinion pieces related to business coming before the presbytery unless designed as part of an initiative to provide a diversity of viewpoints at the direction of the presbytery. Exceptions to this policy may be brought to the presbytery officers who will determine appropriateness of submissions.