Daily Grat: The Chance to Cast My Vote

Today is election day. If you have yet to vote here in Texas, I certainly hope you will. Yes, it’s “just” a primary election. But *all* elections are important. And the reality of primaries are that, with turnout *far* less than in general elections, your own influence is arguably far greater.

I wrote this a few years back about elections. It’s worth considering again today.

We’ve gotten far more involved in politics than I ever imagined we’d be, during these past few years. I’ve met many many candidates and/or public officials in Dallas County and beyond. It takes a lot of energy, emotion, and will to put yourself out there and run for *any* public office…I mean *any.*

It is challenging to your family life. There are hours and hours of work, going to meetings that don’t seem to matter sometimes.

But it is our process. And, as Churchill said, it’s still better than all the alternatives.

For a nation of laws…for the ability to cast my vote…I am thankful.

(During this year, my goal is to find something new to be thankful for every single day, and to add that thanksgiving as a blog entry, under the title “My Daily Gratitude.” I started this kick back around Thanksgiving, and it’s already resulted in a favorite new song of mine. The goal of this ongoing spiritual exercise is to see if doing such a thing might inspire even more gratitude within me, and to foster general awareness of life on a deeper level.)

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Eric Folkerth is a minister, musician, author and blogger. He has been Senior Pastor of Northaven United Methodist Church in Dallas, Texas since 2001. During his tenure, church membership has grown almost 30 percent, and a completely new church facility (sanctuary and education building) has been constructed. Northaven is a leading progressive Christian congregation in the Southwest. Northaven is an eclectic collection of gay and straight families, artists, musicians, theater folks, academic theologians, lawyers and judges (go figure), socially conscious community activists, people who don't "check their brain at the door," and a wide array of others who either see it as their "last chance" inside the "institutional church," or their first trip back in decades. Eric is an avid blogger and published author.  Eric is also an award-winning singer-songwriter, who performs throughout Texas and the Southwest. He's an engaging live performer whose first CD was released in 2000. His songs have won honorable mention in both the Billboard and Great American song contests; and he's been a finalist in the 5th Street Festival and South Florida Folk Festival songwriter competitions. Eric is also a leader of Connections, a unique band comprised of United Methodist clergy and layfolk from throughout North Texas. Connections performs "cover shows" of artists like Dan Fogelberg, Chicago, Eagles, Doobie Brothers, Billy Joel, Stevie Wonder, James Taylor and others. Their shows draw crowds of between 300 and 1,000 fans, and they have raised more than $240,000 dollars for worthy charities. Eric has led or co-led hundreds of persons on mission trips around the globe, to places such as Mexico, Haiti, Russia, and Nepal. He has worked with lay persons to build ten homes, and one Community Center, in partnership with Habitat for Humanity of Dallas. He's a popular preacher, and often tackles challenging issues of social justice in his writings and sermons. His wife, Judge Dennise Garcia, is a State District Judge for Dallas, County. As judge of the 303rd Family District Court, she consistently gets high ratings from area lawyers, and was named "best judge" by The Dallas Observer. First elected in 2004, she was the first Latina ever elected to a county-wide bench in Dallas County. She was re-elected for a third term in 2010. They have the world's best daughter, Maria, and an incredible dog, Daisy. (As always, if you like this post, then "like" this on Facebook by clicking the box below, so others can see too...)

One thought on “Daily Grat: The Chance to Cast My Vote

  1. I agree with all the things you say — to a point. And there was a time when I voted regularly.I told people it was their duty to vote, and I really believed that. When I was teaching, I even excused people from class so they could vote — even when I knew that they would vote differently than I did.Maybe, when he was alive, Churchill was right. But I can't help believing now that, if our system is better than the others, we're screwed. Because today it's all about name calling and finger pointing and giving lip service to important issues only when the politicians need our votes.Instead of proposing solutions to problems, politicians prefer to assign blame for problems. I guess that's easier than doing the hard work they were elected to do.

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