Election statement: Long Island Bishop Lawrence C. Provenzano

Posted Nov 9, 2016

[Diocese of Long Island] It is the day after Election Day and Donald Trump has won election as the 45thPresident of the United States.

About half the country is celebrating that election and the hoped-for change that it may bring. Another half of our country is in despair.

A member of my staff this morning called and asked how she was going to tell her 3-year-old that the bully had won.

This election season has been filled with negative ads, innuendo, nasty rhetoric, finger-pointing, and name calling that has degraded God’s People.

But now it’s past Election Day and as members of the Church, it becomes incumbent upon us to call Gods’ People together for prayer and support of one another. Some as they celebrate the election of the 45th President and some as they deal with their despair and their fear and their anger and their apprehension about what will happen in the days, and weeks, and months, and years to come.

Women in our community, members of immigrant families, the LGBT community, just to mention a few, are now living with the uncertainty of what happens next.

I would like to encourage the people of our diocese to gather in prayer. I would like to encourage the Church to be the Church of Jesus Christ in the midst of God’s People. Here in this diocese, there are 54,000 Episcopalians that serve over 12 million people.

The People of God need us to be the Church. They need us to gather in prayer, they need us to help answer that question. If the three-year-old is wondering ‘how the bully won’, maybe the answer to that question is that, in fact, rhetoric and language can sometimes be transformed. That in fact we are all made in the image and likeness of God, and we need to find a way forward. That in fact we can support and encourage one another in our fears and in our hopes.

I would like to encourage the members of my diocese to engage the Gospel again. To encourage us to live a Gospel life in the midst of God’s People where love and charity, compassion and understanding, and selflessness are all the hallmarks of our serving the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

We’re in for some uncertain days and we need to encourage and support one another. We need to find a way to move beyond Election Day and the rhetoric to lives lived in the light of the Gospel.

We need to be able to hold hands—not just in some superficial expression of unity or reconciliation, but more importantly to encourage and support one another.

We need to find those who are the most vulnerable amongst us and really care for them.

And I pledge to you, the members of this diocese, that our resources and our energies will be focused in that way. We will spend our time, and our money and our expertise. We will spend the resources of this diocese to support and encourage ministry for and with those at-risk communities, those people most vulnerable in our midst.

But most importantly we will create safe places where people from all walks of life, whether they’re celebrating today or they’re in despair on this day, know that the Church will be a home for them. That in our spaces, amongst our communities, there is safe place for all of God’s people.

I encourage you to pray for our nation, to pray for our President-Elect and for those who will surround him and advise him. I ask you to pray for each other, to love one another, as Christ has loved us.