The day after the election, scores of church members and people from the community gathered to pray, to weep, to sing, and to find strength in the Holy and in each other.
The vigil had been planned long before the presidential election; but the service we hosted on November 9 was far different from what we expected. Most of the 80 or so people who came were in shock, angry, and sad. Some were in tears.
So we followed some ancient spiritual traditions. We lamented, sharing our feelings of anguish and anger with one another and with God, and literally shouting them out. We confessed, naming the times and ways we had not listened to those who are different from us. We received forgiveness. We prayed–for ourselves, all marginalized peoples, the Earth, peoples of the world, and the president-elect. We sang.
We recommitted ourselves to loving and standing with all people, particularly those feeling threatened by the stated positions of the incoming administration. LGBTQI friends: We still love you, and we will always stand by you and fight for you. Muslims, women, African-Americans, immigrants, refugees: We are committed to standing with you and having your back. And Trump voters: We remain committed to equality, and to resisting all forms of oppression and injustice. But we want to understand your experience. We want to cry together and dream together. There is no time to waste. Let’s begin now.
Through tears, we sang “This Land Is Your Land.” At the end of the service we lit candles, shouted out new feelings and intentions, and sang, “This Little Light of Mine.” And we went out into the night giving thanks for the Spirit and the gifts of community and solidarity.