Voters cast their ballots at downtown Denver's Bannock Street polling location on Election Day, Nov. 5, 2019. (Jesse Paul, The Colorado Sun)

Colorado was the scenic backdrop for Katharine Lee Bates’ “O Beautiful for Spacious Skies.”  Its amber waves of grain and purple mountain majesties call to mind the many blessings of our state and our nation, while succeeding verses both express gratitude for those who sacrifice for the common good and point out that there is always room for society’s refinement, mending and self-control in our pursuit of liberty and justice for all.

In this election season and in its wake, the Colorado Council of Churches joins her in asking God to shed grace on us and crown all that is good with a right relationship and peace “from sea to shining sea.”

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As we head to the polls or drop-off boxes that have served the state of Colorado so well for years, and as we await the results of this, our civic duty, we offer an additional verse to Bates’ anthem lifting up all those who seek or hold public office and our evaluations of them.

O beautiful for justice-sake we lift up those who’d lead,

And pray that they, our welfare take, and help the least succeed.

America! America! Raise up the very best

Whose works fulfill God’s holy will; their service be your test.

(Verse by Father Michael J. Nicosia ©2010)

Every individual is a stakeholder in this communal enterprise and, having inherent dignity and worth, is deserving of access to our political process.

It appears attempts have been made to disenfranchise some segments of our citizenry. Condemning voter intimidation and suppression, we call for fair and equitable elections.

We ask for patience as this process unfolds and each ballot is counted, and we call for peaceful and orderly transitions of power after the results are in. We acknowledge that each side will grieve some of the outcomes, but we cannot express more strongly that any displeasure must be expressed non-violently. 

May any challenges be fair and untainted by partisan machinations that only serve to increase the divisions among us.

Beyond this election cycle, as our nation moves forward, we call for a return to collaborations across partisan divides in service of the common good… “till all success be nobleness, and every gain divine.”


Rev. Sue Artt, Conference Minister, Rocky Mountain Conference, United Church of Christ

Rev. Joan Bell-Haynes, Executive Regional Minister, Central Rocky Mountain Region, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)

The Rev. Jim Gonia, Bishop, Rocky Mountain Synod, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

Rev. Anthony C. Hill, Presiding Elder, Christian Methodist Episcopal Church, Kansas District

Rev. Olivia Hudson Smith, Stated Clerk, The Presbytery of Denver

The Right Reverend Kym Lucas, Bishop, Episcopal Diocese of Colorado

Father Michael J. Nicosia, Vicar to the Rocky Mountain Region of the Ecumenical Catholic Communion

Bishop Karen Oliveto, The Mountain Sky Conference of The United Methodist Church

Rev. Denise D. Pass, Executive Presbyter, Presbytery of Plains and Peaks, PC(USA)

Rev. Vickie Samland, Western Plains District Representative, Church of the Brethren

Rev. Dr. Steve Van Ostran, Executive Minister, American Baptist Churches of the Rocky Mountains

Adrian Miller, Executive Director, Colorado Council of Churches

Row 1, from left: Rev. Sue Artt, Rev. Joan Bell-Haynes, Bishop Jim Gonia, Presiding Elder Anthony Hill. Row 2, from left: Rev. Olivia Hudson Smith, Right Rev. Kym Lucas, Rev. Vickie Samland, Rev. Steve Van Ostran. Row 3, from left: Rev. Michael Nicosia, Bishop Karen Oliveto, Adrian Miller, Rev. Denise Pass.

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Faith Leaders, Colorado Council of Churches

Twitter: @CoCncilChurches