In the weeks remaining before the election, there are things you can still do in your church and community to encourage informed civic participation. Here are 10 suggestions to get started.
1. Think and pray. Christian values inform our political decisions, and so deciding how to vote is never easy. Educate yourself about positions candidates have taken, and think and pray about whom you entrust with the responsibility to lead your community, state, and nation.
2. Register to vote. One out of four people of voting age weren’t registered to vote in 2000. For information on how to register, visit a public library or contact the Federal Election Commission (www. fec.gov). If you are already registered, get five other people to register.
3. Inform yourself on the issues. Study information from your denomination and organizations such as Sojourners, Call to Renewal, and Bread for the World. Discern your views on issues of poverty and economic justice, national security, health care, education, and the environment. Watch the presidential debates with others from your church and community and host a dialogue afterward.
4. Write letters to candidates. Let them know that as a Christian you care deeply about issues such as a more peaceful world, economic and social justice, and protecting God’s creation.
5. Write a letter to the editor or call talk radio shows. Effective letters are short (250 words), to the point, civil, well-reasoned, and—most important—from the heart. Thousands of people listen to local talk radio. Calling in provides an opportunity to discuss the Christian values that should inform public policies.