In Our Hearts and Minds

Dean Phelps, Transitional Regional Minister

Dean Phelps, Transitional Regional Minister, shares thoughts on faith and Election Day

As I write this on Election Day, polling activity continues toward the closing of polls this evening. By the time you read this, however, the polls may have been closed for many hours. Some results may yet remain unknown, and that may continue for several days. I can’t, from my current perspective, predict that, just like I cannot predict the outcomes.

Over my adult life, I’ve heard words like “hard-fought,” “contentious,” and “bitter” used to describe national elections. The word that seems most appropriate to me for this year, though, is “anxious.”

Having campaigns conducted beneath the shadow of the COVID-19 pandemic has dialed up the anxiety for many folks. Seeing a stark difference in choices for leading the nation contributes to the anxiety. Knowing we face many possibilities for how the election plays out contributes more uncertainty. Still, though, we participate in the process. We do our part because at a very fundamental level, we trust.

We anticipate change. We know that changes in leadership bring other changes, but that can be fleeting. True and lasting change does not result from obtaining power. True and lasting change does not emerge from a person or an outcome.

No, true and lasting change transpires in the hearts and minds of people. It is the same in the nation as it is in the church. Change centered on the pastor or other leaders does not last, but true change, the revitalization and renewal of the church, happens in the hearts and minds of its people. True change, lasting change, derives from the Holy Spirit moving in, through, and among the people of God.

And that gives us hope in the midst of anxiety. We do not ground our hope in a person or an outcome, but we have hope because we trust that the Spirit of God is still at work in our lives, our churches, and our world.

On Christ, the solid rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand.
All other ground is sinking sand.

For All the Saints

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