In my parish, we have moved Announcements to just before the Processional Hymn and Dismissal, to see if the liturgy flows more smoothly (yes, it does). At the Announcement time today, my Sr. Warden did them, then asked whether there were any more. I said, “I have a request, not an announcement.” Then I told the gathered folks that as their spiritual leader, I would like to ask them to join me and pray EVERY DAY for the violence and political division in this country. I said, “I don’t care if you are Republican, Democrat or Independent. What I care about is the conflict, violence, and lack of civil discourse that has become reality in the US. We in this country are blessed. We have the freedom to express ourselves. We have the freedom to vote. But I see that our brothers and sisters of color are even more scared to go into certain public spaces. And this past week, a young Muslim man showed up at a political rally to give away coffee and doughnuts as a sign of peace. The way a so-called Christian treated him broke my heart.” I noted that we have eight months to go before the election, and that they were welcome to consider this an open-ended invitation, but that I hope they will join me in praying every day for the situation in this country. Parents are forced to turn off TVs so that their nine, ten, eleven and older year olds don’t see and hear this brutal and abusive behavior (yes, name-calling is abusive behavior) and mimic it? Really? God must weep over God’s children.