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This Week at St Mary’s

Love, Pray, and Vote

Hannah Rednall writes:

I have never been a believer that you should not discuss politics or religion in social company. We should be educated to be able to debate and discuss respectfully. Positive change cannot be achieved without the sensible exchange of views and an exploration of every side of the coin. 

I recently had the pleasure of attending a service at Shirley Methodist Church in Solihull, a place I happily refer to as ‘my home church’. However, that particular service was arguably my minister (Rev Caz Hague)’s most impactful. During the service, I read 1 Samuel 8:4-20, 11:14-15 and the sermon had a rather unconventional theme to it. Caz’s sermon was a mixture of politics and religion, and it was a brilliant one.

She rightly outlined the difficulties our particular constituency are facing – it must be said that we are all feeling the enormous challenges of this election. Yet, it was her discussion of The Joint Public Issues Team (a partnership of three denominations, including the Methodist Church) which gave me much to think about. This election, they are encouraging everyone to ‘Love, Pray, and Vote’. 

This election is quite possibly the most important in recent years. We live in a polarized world and a society where discussions very quickly turn to arguments. The Joint Public Issues Team hope our political discussions will be characterised by listening, kindness and truthfulness. I could not agree more. I urge everyone to engage in respectful and thought provoking conversations. I encourage you to remember that your vote may be your own, but it will impact millions. I encourage you to pray for the issues which play on your mind the most and for an outcome which will end divisions and assist everyone.

I encourage you to Love, Pray, and Vote.

Gracious God, as we approach this election period, we acknowledge the importance of discerning Your will amidst the noise and confusion of political discourse. In the midst ofpolitical debates and competing ideologies, grant us the gift of humility. Help us to listen with open hearts and minds to those whose opinions differ from our own. Grant us childlike curiosity to see beyond our own perspectives and to seek the common good above our individual interests. Help us discern the values that honour Your kingdom and guide us in making decisions that reflect Your justice and compassion. Amen. 

(Prayer taken from the Join Public Issues Team’s General Election Prayer Guide 2024, available at https://jpit.uk/elections)

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