Sharon Watkins: Beyond Division

These days immediately following the 2012 general election, some of us are cheering and some are weeping. I've done both, following various elections. Whatever we may think about the results of the election, it is clearer than ever that the United States is a country of great diversity. With the voting over, we now turn our attention to fulfilling our common vision of many people, one nation. The challenge is to ensure that the blessing of diversity does not remain a quagmire of division.

It's not our challenge alone. Within hours of the final tallies I received three e-mail messages from Disciples in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. These Congolese brothers - leaders in the church there - had, like so many Americans, stayed up all night watching the outcome of our vote. One said, "Your elections affect our lives, too." Nothing is purely local anymore. We are part of a global community.

Which leads me to prayer. I feel blessed to be part of this nation. So while I am concerned about our ability to come together, I give thanks for our messy democratic process. I also feel blessed to be part of a community of faith that can be helpful at this very moment of coming together. We are a movement - not sitting still in any one time or place, but moving forward on a journey toward God's vision of wholeness and shalom for all God's creation. We are a global community of faith that understands itself to be one Body, many members, diverse but not divided, united by the love of God and committed to sharing that love with neighbors near and far. I pray that we Disciples of Christ, with our vision of one large table open to all, will be part of the national and global conversation that seeks common ground for the common good, bringing God's children closer to God's vision of wholeness beyond poverty, beyond racism, beyond division and toward a time of liberty and justice for all.

Taken with permission from Sharon's blog at