Dear Faith Des Peres Family,

Like many of you, I stayed up very late Tuesday night watching the election results come in, and it won’t come as a surprise to many of you that I was disappointed. I’m still processing what happened, and I expect we will all be processing it for some time. Today, though, as I sit down to work on this Sunday’s sermon, I am reminded of what I said last month during the Faith and Politics series: “Before we are Democrats or Republicans, Independents or Libertarians, we’re Christians.” And:  “For those of us who call ourselves Christians, we are saying that for us, we are committed to the ways of Jesus, which means we will work for peace and justice, we will care for the poor and vulnerable, we will work to care for God’s creation, and we will see the image of God in everyone we meet.” The last one can be especially difficult after a long and rancorous election, but we were never promised our calling be easy.

As I listened to CNN late Tuesday night/early Wednesday morning, I reached for the book on my bedside table, knowing that I was preaching on grace and gratitude the next two weeks, to see what wisdom can be gleaned from our scriptures. As I read, I was reminded that saying "I'm grateful" can be counter-cultural because it pushes back the tide of resentment and complaint. In our blame and shame and complain culture, gratitude can be a very powerful response to all of the voices that shout at us.

Whether you are a member of Faith Des Peres or not, or even think of yourself as Christian or not, I want to invite you personally to join us November 13 and 20 at 10:30am for a sermon series on Grace and Gratitude. Even if gratitude is difficult for you to feel right now, that's OK. It will come and God understands. In the meantime, others will do it for you, because this is what a caring Christian community does.

I hope to see you Sunday for worship, for healing, for strength, and for hope.