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  • Brad Mathias

Politics and the Church

A message from our Bishop in a time of great political division and unrest.

Pastoral Letter to the Clergy and People of the Diocese


My Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

May Jesus Christ be our true light in this time of pandemic and national division.


For the past several weeks, I have been deeply concerned with the health and

spiritual safety of our great country. I know that many of you share my concerns and are

struggling with how best to address the spiritually challenging issues confronting us.

Within the temporal world, a world so often controlled by the “principalities and the

powers” and infected by the machinations of the devil, the word of God seems lost. And

yet, it is precisely God's word that must be heard at times such as these.


We have been fortunate that few if any of our parishioners have been infected with

Covid-19. We have taken the necessary precautions. And we have prayed. Your

dedication to the physical safety of the precious souls entrusted to your care is a moving

testament to the quality of our clergy.


Though Covid-19 may represent a considerable physical danger, there are great

spiritual dangers as well. Our country is going through a time of moral and spiritual

division. It seems at times nearly impossible to discern the truth of events as they are

presented to us by individuals and institutions. The political situation is certainly as

mean spirited and divisive as I have ever seen it.



While it is hardly necessary for me to mention that clergy should remain above

the often vicious political battles, it is well for us to remember that such conflicts are

truly fleeting. Even so, parishioners may ask their clergyman about certain candidates;

they may wonder how we are voting and express their own anger and frustration at the

political situation. Though all citizens may certainly vote their consciences and fulfill

their civic duty, our best response is this: look to the word of God and the teachings of

the church. The church is above political parties and the divisiveness that pits people

against each other. Above all, the church seeks to bring unity in Christ Jesus. And

remember: the church of God transcends all temporal authority.


Recently, I asked a very faithful and dedicated priest what he might suggest we do

during this very strange time. Without hesitation, he suggested that we recite the Litany

during worship services. We remember that the Litany is one of the most ancient

liturgical texts. It has been used during times of difficulty. I encourage you to use it now.

Though the times may be difficult, we Christians know of the great joy we share

in the presence of Jesus Christ. That should be ever foremost in our minds.


Please know of my prayers for each of you.

Your Brother in Christ,

+Brian

Pastoral Letter to DNE Clergy, 2020
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The Litany - 1928 Book of Common Prayer
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©2020 by Diocese of the Northeast, Anglican Church in America. MJM