This Is What Democracy Looks Like

As one of the nastiest presidential campaigns in history roars to a close, here’s a scene from tonight’s Anti-Defamation League event in Fairfield:

Jim Marpe, Keith Stein and Mary Ellen Marpe.

Jim Marpe, Keith Stein and Mary Ellen Marpe.

Sure, it seems like a regular grip-and-grin photo (the kind I avoid on “06880.”)

But look closely. Keith Stein (center) and his wife Brett Aronow were honored for their community contributions. Among his many volunteer activities: chair of Westport’s Democratic Town Committee.

On hand to help celebrate was Republican First Selectman Jim Marpe and his wife Mary Ellen.

In Westport, Democrats and Republicans work together. They’ve got their differences, and they campaign hard to win. But our town functions nicely, because men and women of both parties respect each other. They collaborate. They govern.

I have no idea what Tuesday will bring.

Or Wednesday.

But whatever happens, you and I might heed the offer from Saugatuck Congregational Church:


It’s open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday, for anyone wishing to pray.

You can pray for your candidate. Pray for your country. Pray for your sanity.

All Republicans and Democrats are welcome.

14 responses to “This Is What Democracy Looks Like

  1. Keep Calm and? (fill in the blank)

  2. Amen to that

  3. Beth Orlan Berkowitz

    Non partisan prayers and non-denominational prayer gathering! Wish the rest of the world would take a lesson in civility and less hatred so we can move forward as a sane humanity!

  4. “grip – and – grin”. Or perhaps it can also be “grit & grin” (as in the people in these sorts of photographs grinding their collective teeth).

    To digress a bit but re. the above sign put up by Saugatuck Congregational: I’m trying to work out if the United Church of Christ (UCC — formerly ‘congregational’) has a sense of humour w/ this sign — or if they are really serious. (Or both). My guess is the latter.

    I wonder if this sign came down from their headquarters in Ohio — or is it a local action only? Curiously I NOW know they are headquartered in Ohio. This has only transpired because I rang them there last month after local pastors told me not to set foot in their church(es) BECAUSE & ONLY because I am Syrian Orthodox… hahaha… true story.

    Puzzling as THAT is since Issa/Jesus was/is — as the incarnation of a man — Syrian. I will be sure to honour that request! Apparently involving myself in local volunteer efforts at neighbourhood churches as an Xtian are off limits to me since there is not one Orthodox Church in town & my Church is in another town. Even MORE curiously the same churches have assisted in resettling Syrian refugees here. There is a LOT more to say about this — I am not going to say it here.

  5. Bobbie Herman

    It’s too bad the rest of the country can’t cooperate this way. Especially Congress. No, make that the rest of the world!

  6. Charles Taylor

    So proud to have lived my formative teen and college years in Westport

  7. I think we all need some extra prayer this election season!

  8. Wonderful post-Dan. So great to highlight our active citizens and a church that is welcoming to all – Thanks for posting. Let’s hope we can all come together tomorrow – either in prayer and/or as a community.

    • “welcoming to all”?

      • All churches welcome all.

        • @ Nancy Hunter

          WOW – read my post please: I wanted to do volunteer work only etc. LOCAL protestant UCC churches as my Syrian Orthodox Church is not near me to get to all the time AND WAS TOLD NOT TO COME TO THEIR CHURCH SINCE I AM SYRIAN ORTHODOX. What about racism do you not understand? There are zero Orthodox churches round the corner from me — hence shunned by churches in my town & neighbourhood. Hence only involved w/ my Church during masses etc. because VERY FAR. DONE HERE. I have had ENOUGH.

          • Really? So sorry, Zoe. I misunderstood your question.
            Anyway, weren’t we at Staples at the same time? You would have been a sophomore when I was a senior?