Election Day Vigil

a worship as you go service

november, 2020

Chicago Hit By The Bomb


Whoever you are and wherever you are from, welcome to this Election Day Vigil of Shalom Community Church for Tuesday, November 3rd, 2020 at 8 p.m. or whenever you've found the time to hold this holy moment.

This collection of art, music and readings is meant to occupy some space attentive to the feelings of an election day but also apart from its anxieties and announcements.

Most of the artwork in this vigil is by Chicago Artist Roger Brown, who was active at the end of the last century. His work includes much social commentary on politics, religion and art. He was a part of the Chicago Imagists.

Whatever time you get for this vigil–if it's interrupted, or if you only get through the first, or last two parts–let this be a moment of giving yourself permission to be in this moment, amidst the clamoring world around you.


Candle Lighting

If you have a candle, light it now. Let this light mark your entrance into sacred space, and the love that holds you in this time.


From a Distance


A Prayer for Love and Persistence 

-Hillary Watson

God, we linger for a moment before your mystery, craving your comfort,
on this day that has become a national holiday for our anxiousness
and for everything we cannot control in our country.

God, we lament that these elections, these political systems, this country
is birthed from colonization and our lives are shaped by a colonial legacy.
God, we lament the ways that our lives, from birth, rely on systems that harm and dehumanize our neighbors.
We lament sexism, racism, homophobia.
We lament exploitation, commodification, xenophobia.
Please pray silently or aloud for those who are struggling because of this country’s policies.

Revisionist History
The Triumph of Punchinello

God, forgive us the times we saw injustice and stayed silent.
Forgive us the times we saw injustice and were too tired.
Forgive us the times we believed we had to save the world.
Forgive us the times we refused to let others help us save the world.
Forgive us the times, in righteous anger, we hated our neighbors.
Forgive us the times we raged so much we lost sight of goodness.

Please pray silently or aloud for the burdens you’ve carried the last four years.

God, bless the ones who make us laugh.
Bless the ones who bring us beauty in broken moments.
Bless us when we step outside our comfort zone.
Bless us when we bring our misery to company.
Bless the company who keeps us sane and kind in trying times.
Bless us for the journey ahead and the people we hope to become.

Please pray silently or aloud for what you most need in this moment.

Chicago Taking a Beating
Jesus Entering the Temples of Art (And he overturned the tables of the moneychangers and the seats of those who sold pigeons and he said, "my house is a house of meditation but you make it a den of revelers.")

God, we are anxious for solutions.
We are anxious for news of fixes and success.
Yet our faith does not depend on solutions.
Love is present when solutions are not.
Love persists when answers are absent.
Love will stick around for the long haul,
the good fight, the difficult work of justice.
And we come to life when we dwell with love.
So tonight we choose to stand here with you
and with all the holy goodness in this universe,
to sing with wild and unstoppable love.



There is a Balm in Gilead

A virtual journey

Christ's Entry into ...

This virtual journey examines the same scene–Christ’s entry into Jerusalem–through five different times in history. The first two images, from Pietro Lorenzetti c. 1320 and William Blake in 1800 already reimagine Christ in the painter’s context and are charged with their artistic and spiritual imagination. The third, from James Ensor in 1888 locates Christ in Brussels and has a very differently interested crowd. (more here) The fourth from Roger Brown locates Christ in Chicago in a deliberate reworking of Ensor’s painting.  The fifth by Kara Walker in 2017 refers to these previous works in title but shift the context to the whole of African American history. The video by Roxane Gay reflects on this. 


Psalm 146

-Hillary Watson

1 alleluia! Praise YHWH, my soul!
2 I will praise you all my life; i will sing praise to my God while I live!
3 Do not trust in rulers, in mortals in whom there is no salvation.
4 when their spirits depart, they return to the earth, and on that day their plans perish.
5 Happy are those whose help is the God of Israel, whose hope is in YHWH, their God,
6 who made heaven and earth, the sea and all that is in it! YHWH, you keep faith forever:
7 you secure justice for the oppressed; you give food to the hungry; you set captives free;
8 you give sight to the blind; you raise up those who were bowed down; you love those who do justice;
9 you protect strangers; you sustain orphans and the bereaved— but you thwart the way of the corrupt.
10 YHWH will reign forever—your God, Zion!— through all generations.


American Sycamore

Closing hymn

The Peace of the Earth Be with You