Election message: Northern Indiana Bishop Doug Sparks

Posted Nov 9, 2016

[Episcopal Diocese of Northern Indiana]

Dear Sisters and Brothers,

“Is not this the fast that I choose:  to loose the bonds of injustice, to undo the thongs of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke? Is it not to share your bread with the hungry, and bring the homeless poor into your house; when you see the naked, to cover them, and not to hide yourself from your own kin? Then your light shall break forth like the dawn, and your healing shall spring up quickly; your vindicator shall go before you, the glory of the Lord shall be your rearguard. Your ancient ruins shall be rebuilt; you shall raise up the foundations of many generations; you shall be called the repairer of the breach, the restorer of streets to live in.” Isaiah 58:6-8, 12 (NRSV)

Grace and peace be with you in Jesus, the Risen Christ!

Today, I had the privilege of gathering with hundreds of others at FASHIONING OUR LIVES, an annual event of St. Margaret’s House, a Day Center for Women in its 26th year, whose mission statement is Creating Community, Changing Lives.  We listened to the stories of four women whose lives have been transformed by the relationships they have formed at St. Margaret’s House, not in an instant but for some over a decade or more.  These sacred stories were a reminder to me of the work that lies ahead of us on the day after Election Day!

In the Joint Statement written by the Episcopal and Lutheran Bishops of Indiana, we wrote,

“Will you strive for justice and peace among all people, and respect the dignity of every human being? This challenging question is at the heart of what it means to live as citizens of this nation!”

There are citizens who awoke rejoicing today and there are citizens who awoke deeply saddened today.  Yet we remain citizens of the United States of America, one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice assured for all.  As engaged citizens, let us demonstrate our commitment to striving for justice and peace and to respecting the dignity of every being by our behavior, in our conversations and through our actions.

This striving remains our noble work on the day after Election Day and into the future. I ask you to pray for all who have been elected in our townships, cities, state and nation.

As the Episcopal Branch of the Jesus Movement in Northern Indiana, we remain committed to the Five Marks of Mission…tell, teach, tend, transform, treasure…to the work of evangelism; racial reconciliation and justice; and environmental stewardship. Let us commit ourselves to being “Repairers of the breach and Restorers of Livable Streets!”

Every blessing,