It would be a gross distortion to say that Barack Obama's historic election is simply a partisan affair. Far from it, this election is probably the single most significant historical event in our lifetime. While today will forever be remebered because we have elected the first black president of the United States, it is a far greater event which we may not fully appreciate in our lifetime. In no small measure, Obama's improbable election is symbolic of the ideals on which this nation was founded.
Being in the United Church of Christ, we have a unique view of this election. Once "one of our own," Obama pragmatically decided to leave his church (and ultimately our denomination) before his campaign could be undermined by his minister and the media. In our celebration of Obama's victory, we must also acknowledge ~and learn from~ the loss of one of our most significant members. Most of us will never have to face the scrutiny of a national election, but many of us struggle to maintain our own identity with the United Church of Christ when our leaders marginalize our own members and those of other faiths.
The hope that fueled the enthusiasm of Obama's campaign is not all that different from the hope that we should identify in our faith and in our denomination. Although our country is mired in global and financial turmoil, we have turned a significant corner. As a denomination, we too must find a way to turn that corner.