Kayla Ursin holds Jerry Ursin IV as they leave the voting booth during Election Day at St. Dominic's School in New Orleans, Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018.

A key tenant of the Christian faith is the believer’s steadfast understanding of God’s unique position of power. We sing, preach, and pray about God’s all-surpassing power. In fact, there are many of us whose own lives seem to confirm what we’ve read in Scripture — God holds all power in God’s hand. What is often overlooked, however, is the fact that we, too, have power. We are God’s hands and feet here on earth.

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During the height of the Civil Rights era, Dr. Martin Luther King led a march from Selma, Alabama, to Montgomery, Alabama. One of the people who participated in that march was Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel. When Rabbi Heschel returned from Selma, he was asked by someone, "Did you find much time to pray when you were in Selma?" Rabbi Heschel responded, "I prayed with my feet." Heschel’s sentiment rings especially true today. This election season, we can best demonstrate our power, not from the four walls of our various congregations, but by using our hands, feet, mouths, cars, vans, and pulpits to ensure all people of faith are fully engaged and prepared to vote.

Here’s the truth — we simply cannot afford to stay home, because not voting threatens the economic and spiritual vitality of our communities. Voting, at its core, is an expression of self-determination, self-help, and self-reliance. We must not waste this opportunity to give voice to our needs and concerns. We believe that our democracy is strongest when everyone has the opportunity to participate. When we vote and get those close to us to vote, we can impact outcomes and change the debate on issues we deeply care about.

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Congregations across the state have embraced the designation of Power Church. This means that faith leaders and houses of faith have committed to voter education and mobilization in support of this year’s elections. Between now and Election Day you can expect to hear sermon illustrations on the importance of exercising this sacred expression of voting. I encourage all people of faith to join the movement as we do our part to “Let justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never-failing stream.”

Rev. Ritney A Castine

pastor, Trinity A.M.E. Church