I don’t love roller coasters. The anxiety that builds inside me as I wait for my turn is rarely worth the thrill of the ride. Afterwards, my neck is usually stiff from whiplash, my head is spinning, and I am ready to hit the food court to soothe my nerves with some unhealthy snacks.
Probably not surprising, but I don’t love emotional roller coasters either. Maybe it’s because I am an Enneagram 9 or it’s just my personality in general, but any kind of drama and conflict absolutely exhausts me. I am the queen of avoidance and when I am dragged into conflict it takes me days to recover. So, it may seem out of character that I absolutely love following politics. I am fascinated by the way government works, our history as a nation, and our ability as citizens to have a voice in shaping policy that helps our communities thrive. I believe that it is important, as Christians, to participate in the political process. Jeremiah 29:7 says, “But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare.” Of course political engagement isn’t the only way to seek the welfare of San Antonio. We can, and should, actively love our neighbors through volunteering and serving alongside nonprofits and on our own. However, to not utilize the structure and systems in place that have been created to benefit the city is a wasted opportunity.
As you can imagine, the continual conflict and ugliness that surrounds politics in America today is exhausting to me. The question I have recently been asking myself more and more is “How can I engage in politics without getting on the roller coaster?”.
This question has led me to search for whiplash-free ways that I can participate in politics and, consequently, I have found several helpful resources that have helped me reimagine my overall approach to politics. The best way to stay off the roller coaster is by remembering and believing that God doesn’t change based on who is in office or if my side “loses” the election. My hope is in Him, not the person that wins the election on November 3. The media and political parties know that fear sells, so in order to keep us coming back, they raise the stakes. The good news? Fear can’t win if we refuse to get on the ride.
I know this is easier said than done, so here are some general guidelines to help keep your feet planted firmly on the ground:
1. Pray for wisdom and discernment when consuming media or engaging in dialogue with others.
2. Limit time or fast completely from cable news and social media. Unfollow or mute people who post inflammatory or polarizing memes or articles, regardless if you agree with them or not.
3. When consuming political media, ask yourself these questions*:
a. Who/what is this asking me to love?
b. Who/what is this asking me to hate or fear?
c. How does this form me in ways that have consequences for how I treat my neighbor, sometimes through my political participation?
4. Be able and willing to critique your own “side” when necessary.
*Questions have been adapted from The Liturgy of Politics by Kaitlyn Scheiss.
In-Person Service Information
There is still space available for this Sunday’s in-person service at Aggie Park at 10am. If you’d like to join us in-person this Sunday, October 4th, you can register by clicking here. We have indoor and outdoor seating options available with safety protocols put in place to help keep us all safe. Please review our safety protocols prior to attending by clicking here. Doors will open at 9:40am in order to allow for enough time to usher everyone to their seats in time for the service. We will still be live-streaming our service on Sunday at 10am on Facebook, YouTube and our website. We hope you will join us in what ever way you feel most comfortable and safe.
6 Week Studies
If you’re looking to connect through a study, you can still jump in on any of the studies currently meeting over ZOOM on Monday nights. A new group was just added called Peacemakers. The Peacemakers study is a place where anyone – believer or not – can come with their questions and enjoy a conversation with likeminded people free of debate or persuasion. It’s a group founded on the beliefs that we have permission to ask questions and seek answers, that doubt doesn’t mean we are faithless, and that the tension between knowing and uncertainty is just another place where we can find truth. Participants are welcome and encouraged to come with topic suggestions or to simply come and join in on the conversation. To sign up for this study, or to view any of the other studies, you can click here.
Wednesday Night Worship & Prayer
Join us Wednesday nights at 8:30 PM on Facebook Live or YouTube Live for a time of worship and prayer. We look forward to interacting in real time as we re-center our hearts on what God is doing.
Join us every Thursday morning on Facebook Live at 10am for Church Chat. We will have some pastors from our church community gather to discuss topics and questions sent to us from you, our church family. To submit questions, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Stay in Contact
If we can pray for you, please contact your parish pastor directly or you can submit a prayer request by clicking here.
If you are experiencing any hardships during this time, we want to be there to support you. If you have questions or needs we can help with, email us at email@example.com
Covid-19 Needs and Assistance
The Park is still gathering the needs of our community. We have created a way for you to request assistance. If you have a need you can click here. If you are able to offer assistance to others you can click here.