Now what?

8

November 8, 2012 by Ben Irwin

When we started Election Day Communion three months ago, we had no idea what it would grow into. We never dreamed so many of you would join us and spread the word like you did.

Now, election day is behind us. The campaign ads and robocalls are done. (You have our permission to break out in song/dance/tears of joy, especially those of you in Ohio.)

Now, the country is wondering what the next few years will bring. So are we, for that matter.

Many of you have been asking what comes next. Was this a one-time deal? Or should
Election Day Communion become a recurring event? Shall we do this again in four years? In two?

Should it become less of an “American” thing and more of a “global church” thing? Should we offer Election Day Communion to churches in other countries during their election cycles?

On Tuesday, nearly 900 churches (that we know of) from dozens of denominations made a powerful statement together. We reaffirmed our commitment to Christ and each other. We chose unity over polarization. Now, what can we do to live out this choice between this week’s election and the next one? And what, if any, role does Election Day Communion have to play in that?

These are the questions we’re asking ourselves. We don’t pretend to be smart enough to have all the answers. (Also, I think we’d really like a nap right about now.)

So we’d like to hear from you. We’re asking for your help to discern the way forward, if there is one for Election Day Communion.

After all, we’re just three guys. And frankly, Election Day Communion doesn’t belong to us anyway. It belongs to you. You made it what it is today.

So where do you want it to go from here? You can get the ball rolling by leaving a comment below, posting to our Facebook page, or emailing any longer thoughts to electiondaycommunion@comcast.net.

When you do get in touch, be sure to let us know if you’re willing to be part of whatever the future holds for Election Day Communion.

Finally… whether or not this was a one-time deal, we can’t let this renewed spirit of commitment fade. We can’t go back to the status quo of polarization. We can’t return to our political idols. The bread and wine of communion have so much more to offer.

Our prayer is that we’ll always remember we are knit together in Christ, and no division can sever that bond.

May the peace of God be with you in the days ahead.

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8 thoughts on “Now what?

  1. I would suggest one thing. Continue the ecumenical unification of the church. I’m not suggesting dissolving denominations… but we need to get away from our own polarization.

    What we did in Election Day Communion is a beacon of hope. The Christian church, fractured as it is in the USA, CAN work together. We DO recognize our unity. We are most CERTAINLY one body with many different parts. The same principles that we put forward concerning earthly politics and voting and such we need to make sure we keep moving forward and wrestling with what that means when it comes to figuring out things like ecclesiastical authority, atonement theories, eschatological narratives, and Trinitarian views (is “filoque” REALLY that important?).

    And as we explore our unification in the light of political polarization, we can also look at exploring our unificaiton in other things. I’ve heard the excuse that the world’s problems (poverty, hunger, bigotry, racism, etc) are too big for the church to handle. Perhaps that is the case so long as the church remains fractured as we are… but if we truly believe we are “One body, one spirit, under one God”, I believe we are bigger than we think we are and can move in amazing ways in these other areas of God’s Kingdom work. If almost 900 churches manage to get together for one evening to celebrate unity over elections… what if that same 900 churches manage to get together and work in our own ways to meet the needs of our communities? And I’m not talking about a megalithic organization… but simply a movement where churches are working in their own local communities, networking with each other across political, denominational, racial, and economic divisions, to meet these needs. This can be HUGE.

    I know… I’m a “big picture” visionary and I have been accused of being unrealistic. “It will never work. The church is too broken.” Well… y’all just proved that wrong. The church is NEVER too broken for God to be able to fix it. I think it can be done… and I’m on board… just point me in the right direction.

  2. Laurie Clark says:

    I just felt the Election Day Communion was from the Holy Spirit b/c to have 900 churches across the country and denominations was so truly awesome that it has to be of the Holy SPirit. So I am praying what does God want us to do, next Election day? I don’t know the answer. But I’m pretty sure I will keep having election night evening prayer and communion.

  3. Laurie Clark says:

    And thank you so very much for doing this. You all are such a gift.

  4. Our church will be offering Election Day Communion for every election cycle, be it local or national. It will be a constant message of Hope, Promise, and Grace in a time of stress and worry.

  5. I think we all demonstrated our love for the Lord our God as we read in Matthew 22:37 with election day communion. Now we can head into verse 39 and love our neighbor as ourselves. Maybe some type of nationally driven, locally carried out day of service in communities all across the globe. One people serving our neighbor on one special day in however that fleshes out community by community.
    I know we all do great Kingdom work already throughout the year, however we could set aside one day to work on one or a few local projects as the people of God, joining hands with all denominations.
    Maybe “Service in the Spring” on Memorial Day.

    Thank you for your beautiful work.

  6. […] Ben Irwin does ask, rightly so, this same question. Now what? If we truly believe that earthly politics is of minor consequence in the grand scheme of things, […]

  7. […] Election Day Communion movement, though predominantly Protestant, has reminded us of this.  Ben Irwin recently wrote, “We can’t go back to the status quo of polarization. We can’t return to […]

  8. Beatrice Conner says:

    I am a lay person in our church. Our Pastor lead us to participate in Election Day communion. God’s presence was clearly evident in our time of worship and communion. I heard a number of very positive comments about the evening. This has been a very encouraging & uplifting experience. To be able to participate with multiple denominations united under Christ Jesus’ Lordship is FANTASTIC!! The body coming together to worship across our nation.

    In response to Robert Martin above: “what if that same 900 churches manage to get together and work in our own ways to meet the needs of our communities?” Your vision is not TOO big. Matter of fact it is already happening.

    Our community has just become a part of such a network. It is called Love INC (Love in The Name of Christ). It is made up of Christian churches from across the USA with many denominations who work together to meet the needs of their local communities in the name of Christ. http://www.loveinc.org Becoming a part of this network requires different Christian denominations (I think 7) coming together to form a local Chapter. You may go to this webiste to find out more.

    Thank you all for bringing the body of Christ together. It was a glorious event!

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Ephesians 4:2-6

Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.

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