Go Vote Tomorrow!

Please. Thanks.

You can find your polling location here, thanks to Google.

You get one of these … sort of a badge of honor (yes, it’s a low bar):

P.S. Why is it that the US is one of the few ‘advanced democracies’ that doesn’t make Election Day a national holiday?

The Line: What Matters

Last night, I was privileged to be at the premiere of The Line, a documentary film by Emmy Award-winning producer Linda Midgett and Sojourners, in partnership with World Vision, Bread for the World, Oxfam America, and the Christian Community Development Association.

The ‘line’ of the title is the poverty line, which currently stands at about $23,000 per year for a family of four; and the film delves into the stories of four people faced with poverty.

It is the poor that are mentioned throughout the Bible as of unique concern–these are the vulnerable and marginalized, these are the ones often oppressed and kept down by the systems in place, these are “the least of these.”

As Aaron said a few weeks ago at The District Church, “The test of true, biblical justice is how we treat the poor.”

Please take some time to watch the film and learn the stories and faces of just a few of the almost 50 million Americans living in poverty–they are our brothers and sisters, and we are called to be their keepers, to be their neighbors.

Don’t just be aware; do something, even something as simple as raising your voice.

You can find more info and action steps that you can take at thelinemovie.com.

Shooting, Seahawks, and Sudan

Happy New Year to you all! This year’s started pretty busy for me, but I’m gonna say at the outset that I intend to write a little more this year. (Note the use of words that set the bar incredibly low: “intend” and “a little”. ☺)

Anyway, this weekend was a very eventful one, full of emotion and occasion. On Saturday morning, there was the attempted assassination of Rep. Gabby Giffords in Tucson, AZ. On Saturday afternoon, my Seattle Seahawks (the biggest home underdogs in playoff history) defeated the defending Super Bowl champion New Orleans Saints in a shoot out. And yesterday, the country of Sudan went to vote on a supremely important and momentous referendum, one which will decide the future of the country and impact the prospects of peace in a region that has seen decades of civil war and countless lives lost.

My bundling of those three may seem a little trite, a little impolitic perhaps. But they’re the three events that highlighted my weekend and while they are from different spheres, in different places, involving different hopes and dreams and fears and emotions, they all took place in the one world we inhabit, amidst the one humanity that we are all part of, broken and redeemed, shattered and saved. And somehow, one God reigns over all.

I could write a lot on each topic. But many words have already been spoken and written, almost all more articulate and eloquent and thorough than I could produce. So instead I’ll point you to some of those better thoughts:

First, Jim Wallis writes on the shooting in Arizona:

In the midst of tragedy and violence, I believe this means every Christian must ask themselves: “How am I responsible?”

Second, this 67-yard run by Marshawn Lynch that put the game away is the greatest rumble I’ve ever seen in six years of following professional football. You can see highlights of the tremendous upset (that had me as excited as a kid in a candy shop—possibly more, actually) here.

And third, here’s a good concise summary blog from Sojourners on the elections in Sudan. Please be praying.

Update from the campaign (10/3)

From the campaign trail this week …

Canvassing:

Over the last few days, we’ve spent time canvassing around the Wheaton, Elk Grove Village, Glen Ellyn, and Lombard neighborhoods. We’ve handed out flyers, lawn signs, talked to folks, and it’s been real encouraging. We’ve gotten a great reception from people–Republicans, Democrats, independents–especially when we mention that Ben (1) isn’t taking money from PACs or special interests; and (2) is a newcomer to politics. People are looking for fresh insights, and for someone that challenges the status quo where money dictates politics rather than politicians being responsive to the people who elected them.

One afternoon, when I was canvassing with Ben, we spotted a lawn sign that was already up, and decided to pay a surprise visit. The couple, who’d moved out to Elk Grove Village from Chicago, were delighted to meet Ben, and reiterated their gratitude that he was running.

Events

Yesterday afternoon, we had a “Meet the Candidate” session at Elk Grove Village Public Library. It was a smaller crowd, but what was very encouraging was the articulation of support for Ben. “It’s good to have someone who represents your views, who stands for what you stand for,” said one lady.

People talked about their concerns: poverty, often overlooked in the suburbs of the 6th; immigration reform, including young immigrants brought to the country as children and the approximately 12 million undocumented people living in the shadows; and an energy policy that continues to devastate our environment. Here too, people were excited to have a candidate who refused to be bought by big corporations, and stood up for the people of the district.

Later in the afternoon, we headed over to a fall fair at a church in the area, browsed the stalls, chatted to vendors, ate some hot dogs, and bought a campaign pumpkin to support the Navajo Indians. Once we get it carved, we’ll get a picture up!


For more info, visit Lowe for Congress.