As people of faith, we are called to love our neighbors as ourselves (Mark 12:31). As members of a state, it is clear that our politics affects these neighbors whom Christ calls us to love.
Today however, the word “politics” has become a dirty and unsafe word. When we say the word “political,” what we actually mean to say is “partisan,” “divisive,” or strategies with ulterior motives. In reality, politics are nothing more than the means by which we organize our common life together, allocate our common resources, and work to find solutions to our common problems. Kaitlyn Scheiss writes in her book, the Liturgy of Politics, “The line between our political beliefs, moral beliefs, and our theological beliefs is blurry if not completely invented. None of our beliefs in these categories are content to stay in the boxes we’ve prescribed them.” Our theology, therefore, has political implications, and our politics has theological implications.
How do we form this body of political, moral, and theological belief? Most of us would like to think these beliefs come from our own sound logic, or from our “correct” reading of scripture. In reality, however, they are formed by our loves and loyalties - those things we have developed an affection for through our ritual practices and repeated devotion both in the sanctuary and in the world.
In our sermon series The Liturgy of Politics beginning this Sunday, we will look at faith and politics not in the usual way -- by picking hot-button issues and then searching for scripture passages to support our existing beliefs. Instead, we will come at it from the other direction; we will ask of ourselves, what are our loves and loyalties? What rituals and liturgies are forming us for public life? How is God calling us to love our neighbor in our political lives?
At the same time, we will begin our Holy Conversation on History this Sunday during our coffee hour breakout rooms. You will also have an opportunity to make your voice heard Tuesday (10/13, 10/27) and Wednesday (10/21) evenings at 7PM, or by finding a conversation partner and going to www.uccaustin.org/holyconversations. You will find all the information you need about Holy Conversations by following that link. Just like using your voice to vote in the upcoming election will guide the future of our nation, participating in Holy Conversation will guide the future of our congregation.
We also have a “Trek or Treat” in the works, we’re collecting for Bethany Food Pantry, and it’s our last official week of our fall pledge drive! Even though our building is quiet, the Church is abuzz with life!
Rev. Anna Kreisle Humble
Co-Bridge Pastor for Music and Worship