Political campaigns are turning up the heat and frequency of their messages as the November elections approach. In many TV spots, a background announcer gives all the half-truth reasons why we should not vote for a particular candidate. Then the candidate appears and says nothing about his or her positions.

Members of Congress, too, seems to be stalemated, not listening to each other, blaming one another with little progress being made on the important issues before us as a country. Governments seem to be divided or paralyzed about what to do, as we continue living in an economic crisis. This divisive attitude seems to be contributing to the negative environment across the country, which paralyzes us as a people.

The polarization of our culture and the world seems to immobilize society. Walls are built to separate. Fear and anger holds us, as so-called news commentators stoke the worst in society through hot rhetoric based on assumptions and half-truths. Fear and anger are highly contagious and lucrative to those who peddle it. Where is truth?

As a community of faith, we need to examine what holds us together – not what rips us apart. As Christians, we struggle to be a recognizable part of society. We have become a counter-culture, no longer mainstream in an increasingly secular world.

Who are we?

Lest we forget in an age of narcissism and pleasure, we are the followers of Jesus Christ empowered by God’s spirit to make disciples of our Lord for the transformation of the world.

In the name of Jesus Christ, we heal the sick, build homes for those who can’t afford to build a home, muck out flooded houses, offer food to those who have none, open hearts, open minds and open doors to the lost and most vulnerable just as He did. We bring blessing and hope.

We cannot forget whose we are in this present age least we suffer ruin or do not live to our God-given potential.

Who are we?

We are compassion and hope, rich with a wealth that cannot depreciate. We are the bearers of good news of eternal life to an age more interested in instant gratification.

In this issue of Together are stories of hope, of people who have reached out to touch the lives of others – others whom they do not know. Others, who are asked to walk in the ways of a meaningful life centered in Christ.

Read their stories; listen to their words; use their service as an example. Let society turn up the political rhetoric as we unite despite our differences and listen to the still, small voice of God.

Daniel R. Gangler