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First Things, November 2016

November 2, 2016
I use this column to lift up the most important work at the church each month. The title is, “First Things” because it’s about First Church. And the title should also make you think of the phrase, “First things, first.” Sometimes our most important work is practical, or spiritual. This month, our most important work is political: the election on November 8.

Elections are faith work for Unitarian Universalists. Democracy is our fifth principle. And elections allow us to influence public policy in line with our religious values.

Most of our attention this year is on the Presidential campaign. But the ballot propositions also concern several extremely important issues. On this ballot we have the opportunity to end the death penalty in California. In LA City we have the chance to make a large impact on reducing homelessness. In LA County we can move forward with ambitious plans for public transportation. We can protect the environment by affirming a plastic bag ban. And we can make much needed reforms to our justice system by requiring hearings before juveniles are tried as adults.

Last week our church held a forum to talk through the ballot propositions together. It was a perfect example of everything churches do best. We had fellowship and fun. We taught and learned. We spoke from our hearts and our faith. And we made commitments to take action in the world in support of our values.

As you vote on November 8, say a prayer, not only that your candidate will win, but also that our values of love, peace, and justice, become ever more manifest in the world we share.

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