Message from Bishop Wallace-Padgett: Presidential Election

11/16/2016

Dear Friends,

Like the rest of the country, North Alabama United Methodists are responding in a variety of ways to the outcome of last week’s presidential election. Some are dismayed . . . others are pleased . . . still others have mixed feelings. The contentious campaign leading to last week’s election accentuated the deep divide existing in our country.

The campaign is over. The next President of the United States has been elected. What now? My answer to this question would have been the same regardless of the outcome of last Tuesday’s election.
 

  1. Thank God that the U.S. process allows for a peaceful transfer of power when new public officials are elected.  Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s and President Barack Obama’s gracious phone calls of congratulations to President-Elect Trump model one of the unique strengths of our political process – an orderly passing of the baton of leadership.
 
  1. Pray daily for the U.S. President and other political leaders. The author of I Timothy reminds us to pray for those in high positions (I Timothy 2:2).  I am committed to pray regularly for God to work through our political leaders for the good of our nation and world.
 
  1. Keep focused on the ultimate leader of Christ-followers – the Triune God. The God who created us, the Son who redeems us and the Holy Spirit who is with us 24/7 is the Leader of leaders (and so much more)!  Human leaders come and go. But the constant for Christians is the One to whom we continually look for leadership. Christ-followers look to God for guidance, wisdom, truth, grace and everything else that we need in life.
 
  1. Stand alongside those who are under-resourced, discriminated against and forgotten in society – as John Wesley did in his day. Exodus 2:23 - 3:12 is one of many reminders in Scripture of God’s hearing, knowing, seeing and acting on behalf of the hurting. As followers of Jesus Christ we are called to do the same.
 
  1. Unify in the midst of division. The church has an opportunity to be an instrument of healing in the midst our polarized culture. Indeed church is one of the few places in society where people with sometimes vastly different political views come together regularly around a common cause and purpose. As our words and actions reflect Jesus, we will promote the healing of our country’s deep wounds and divisions.
     

The divisive election season is behind us. What now? Thank God . . . Pray daily . . . Stay focused . . . Stand alongside . . . Unify.

As always it is a privilege to serve as your bishop.

Blessings,
Debra Wallace-Padgett
Resident Bishop
North Alabama Conference


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