Months after the contentious 2016 presidential election came to a close it has been revealed that Democratic contender Hillary Clinton — a lifelong Methodist — was receiving daily devotionals from a group of female clergy who came together to try and encourage the then-candidate in her faith.
What started as a small group of clergywomen ended up expanding into a 116-person project featuring female pastors, deacons and elders under the age of 40 — individuals who came together to acknowledge Clinton and other women who “have broken both glass ceilings and stained-glass ceilings,” according to the United Methodist News Service.
The #WePrayWithHer effort, at its core, was aimed at providing Clinton with daily devotionals that could sustain her along the campaign trail. After the campaign ended on Jan. 31, some of the contributors met with Clinton at a New York City luncheon organized by the Rev. Bill Shillady, a friend of the Clinton family who also directs the United Methodist City Society.
Shillady said the devotions helped “center” Clinton, allowing “her to have a start that was based in faith each day.” Here’s more about what was inside those readings:
The devotions — edited by the team before being sent to Shillady — focused on women in the Scriptures, women like Queen Esther who stepped forward on behalf of her people after a decree was made for the Jews to be killed.
In fact, Esther 4:14 was the most popular passage used by the #weprayforher devotion writers: “For if you keep silence at such a time as this, relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another quarter, but you and your father’s family will perish. Who knows? Perhaps you have come to royal dignity for just such a time as this.”
Each writer offered their own frame of reference on that and other biblical passages … which they also shared among themselves, providing “another way to build community” among the group of young clergywomen.
The devotions reportedly didn’t stop when the election ended, with the focus later shifting to the Christmas season. Clinton told some of the contributors during the luncheon last month that their contributions truly made an impact on her.
“It was the first thing I would read in the morning,” she said. “You kept me going. You gave me a lot of strength.”
A website for the #WePrayWithHer effort noted that not everyone contributing to the devotionals needed to be a Clinton supporter, citing the former candidate’s shared Methodist faith as the central reason they were coming together to encourage her.
“We pray because we are cheering as she shatters the glass ceiling that we as young clergywomen face in our own leadership roles and because we encourage her faith which we share as United Methodists,” a description read. “Whether we vote for her or not, we recognize that she stands on the shoulders of great Methodist women like Susannah Wesley, Sojourner Truth, Anna Howard Shaw, and Leontine Kelly, and that as young clergy women we stand on hers.”
As Faithwire previously reported, faith was a point of contention during the presidential race, with most of the American public not seeing Clinton or her rival Donald Trump as being “authentically Christian.”
Just consider a Barna Group survey conducted last year around which of the candidates is the most “authentically Christian.” Only 18 percent selected Clinton and 12 percent selected Trump, while 38 percent said “neither” and an additional 26 percent said they didn’t know; both candidates had consistently said they are Christians.
(H/T: Methodist News Service)
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