Election Week @ St. Paul’s

Worship and Formation Opportunities

Sunday, November 1st

4:00 p.m. | National Prayer Service | episcopalchurch.org/holding-hope

The Presiding Bishop’s office will partner with Washington National Cathedral to host “Holding onto Hope: A National Service of Healing and Wholeness” – Featuring PB Curry preaching, testimonies from Fr. James Martin and Valerie Kaur, prayers and music from across America. Online service to help the whole nation to share in confession, grief and hope in light of COVID, racial reckoning and historic election.

Prayer Hotline | episcopalchurch.org/holding-hope

From November 1st to 5th, the Presiding Bishop’s staff will partner with TryTank (Lorenzo Lebreja, VTS, GTS) to offer prayer to anyone who wishes. Hotline staffed by more than 200 vetted and trained clergy and leaders. Offering prayer in Spanish and English.

Election Walking Meditation | Prayer Walk

We will host a walking meditation/prayer walk on Monday, November 2nd (see below). If you cannot join us in person, you are welcome to create your own Election Prayer Walk with the following resources:

Create your own Prayer Walk
Prayer Walk Stations Liturgy
Prayer Walk @ St. Paul’s/Capital Grounds Map

Monday, November 2nd

9:30 a.m.-10:45 a.m. | Walking Meditation through Downtown Richmond

  • Led by the Rev. Gwynn Crichton
  • Meet to begin the walk in the Memorial Garden at St. Paul’s

12:00 p.m. | Noonday Prayer in the Memorial Garden | Open with physically distant seating.
RSVP here.

6:00 p.m. | Evening Prayer | Service will be streamed on Facebook Live

Tuesday, November 3rd: Election Day

9:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. | The church and garden will be open for physically distant opportunities to pray; We will have candle lighting in the church and prayer resources available during this time.

12:00 p.m. | Noonday Prayer in the Memorial Garden | Open with physically distant seating.
RSVP here.

6:00 p.m. | Evening Prayer |Service will be streamed on Facebook Live

Pray throughout Election DayClick Here to Sign-Up to Pray

We invite you to sign up for a 15-minute time to pray throughout Election Day from 8:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m. This is an opportunity for you to sign up to pray from wherever you are for a 15-minute period of time. We have resources listed below that you can use to guide this time of reflection. There are many methods of prayer, which include but are not limited to walking, meditating, reading, singing, and dancing. Please let Keli Shipley Cooper know if you have any questions.

Election Season Resources | Prayer | Scripture

A Season of Prayer: For an Election | October 27th- November 4th

Vote Faithfully: Election Engagement Toolkit from the Episcopal Church

Prayers for the Election from the Episcopal Church | episcopalchurch.org/prayers-elections

Collect for Social Justice (BCP pg. 823)
Grant, O God, that your holy and life-giving Spirit may so move every human heart [and especially the hearts of the people of this land], that barriers which divide us may crumble, suspicions disappear, and hatreds cease; that our divisions being healed, we may live in justice and peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Collect for an Election (BCP pg. 822)
Almighty God, to whom we must account for all our powers and privileges: Guide the people of the United States (or of this community) in the election of officials and representatives; that, by faithful administration and wise laws, the rights of all may be protected and our nation be enabled to fulfill your purposes; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Collect for the Nation (BCP pg. 207)
Lord God Almighty, who has made all the peoples of the earth for your glory, to serve you in freedom and in peace: Give to the people of our country a zeal for justice and the strength of forbearance, that we may use our liberty in accordance with your gracious will; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Collect For our Country (BCP pg. 820)
Almighty God, who hast given us this good land for our heritage: We humbly beseech thee that we may always prove ourselves a people mindful of thy favor and glad to do thy will. Bless our land with honorable industry, sound learning, and pure manners. Save us from violence, discord, and confusion; from pride and arrogance, and from every evil way. Defend our liberties, and fashion into one united people the multitudes brought hither out of many kindreds and tongues. Endue with the spirit of wisdom those to whom in thy Name we entrust the authority of government, that there may be justice and peace at home, and that, through obedience to thy law, we may show forth thy praise among the nations of the earth. In the time of prosperity, fill our hearts with thankfulness, and in the day of trouble, suffer not our trust in thee to fail; all which we ask through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

The prayer used by Emmanuel, Alexandria, courtesy of the Rev. Joani Peacock:
God, source of all wisdom, we seek your guidance. Regardless of how the coming election turns out, help us to not hold hate, disdain, or ridicule for those who voted differently than ourselves. Whether we are pleased or upset about the outcome, we will seek to understand the concerns and aspirations of those who voted differently and will look for opportunities to work with people with whom we disagree. We pray through your Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. (From Emmanuel, Russell Road, Alexandria, Based on the Braver Angels’ “With Malice Toward None” pledge.)

Prayers of the People

By Rev. Shannon Kelly, Director Department of Faith Formation, The Episcopal Church

Loving God, creator of this world who is the source of our wisdom and understanding, watch over this nation during this time of the election. Help us to see how our faith informs our principles and actions.
Intercessor: God, our creator,
People: Guide us in truth and love.

We give thanks for the right to vote. Help us to hold this privilege and responsibility with the care and awareness it merits, realizing that our vote matters and that it is an act of faith.
Intercessor: God, our creator,
People: Guide us in truth and love.

Guide us through this election as a nation, state, and community as we vote for people to do work on our behalf and on the behalf of our communities. Help us to vote for people and ballot initiatives that will better our community and our world so it may reflect the values Christ taught us.
Intercessor: God, our creator,
People: Guide us in truth and love.

Help us create communities that will build your kingdom here on earth – communities that will protect the poor, stand up for the vulnerable, advocate for those who are not seen and heard, and listen to everyone’s voice.
Intercessor: God, our creator,
People: Guide us in truth and love.

We pray for this nation that is deeply divided. May we come together for the common good and do as you have called us to do – to act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with you through creation.
Intercessor: God, our creator,
People: Guide us in truth and love.

Help us act out of love, mercy and justice rather than out of arrogance or fear.
Intercessor: God, our creator,
People: Guide us in truth and love.

Lord, continue to guide us as we work for the welfare of this world. We pray for places that are torn by violence, that they may know peace.
Intercessor: God, our creator,
People: Guide us in truth and love.

We pray for communities who are struggling with inequality, unrest, and fear. May we all work toward reconciliation with one another and with God.
Intercessor: God, our creator,
People: Guide us in truth and love.

Help us to listen in love, work together in peace, and collaborate with one another as we seek the betterment of our community and world.
Intercessor: God, our creator,
People: Guide us in truth and love.

Quotes for thought and communal reflection

By Minister Jason Carson Wilson, M. Div., Justice and Peace Policy Fellow, United Church of Christ

  • Ephesians 4:31-32: Put away from you all bitterness and wrath and anger and wrangling and slander, together with all malice, and be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ has forgiven you.
  • John Quincy Adams, 6th President of the United States of America: “Always vote for principle, though you may vote alone, and you may cherish the sweetest reflection that your vote is never lost.”
  • Bayard Rustin: “If we desire a society of peace, then we cannot achieve such a society through violence. If we desire a society without discrimination, then we must not discriminate against anyone in the process of building this society. If we desire a society that is democratic, then democracy must become a means as well as an end.”
  • Audre Lorde, Our Dead Behind Us: Poems: “It is not our differences that divide us. It is our inability to recognize, accept, and celebrate those differences.”
  • Isaiah 58:6-10:
    Is this not the fast which I choose,
    To loosen the bonds of wickedness,
    To undo the bands of the yoke,
    And to let the oppressed go free
    And break every yoke?
    Is it not to divide your bread with the hungry And bring the homeless poor into the house; When you see the naked, to cover him;
    And not to hide yourself from your own flesh?