Choose Wisely.

176

On November 6, 2012, Election Day,
we will exercise our right to choose.

Some of us will choose to vote for Barack Obama.
Some of us will choose to vote for Mitt Romney.
Some of us will choose to vote for another candidate.
Some of us will choose not to vote.

During the day of November 6, 2012, we will make different choices for different reasons, hoping for different results.

But that evening while our nation turns its attention to the outcome of the presidential election, let’s again choose differently. But this time, let’s do it together.

Let’s meet at the same table,
with the same host,
to remember the same things.

We’ll remember that real power in this world — the power to save, to transform, to change — ultimately rests not in political parties or presidents or protests but in the life, the death, and the resurrection of Jesus.

We’ll remember that, through the Holy Spirit, this power dwells within otherwise ordinary people who as one body continue the mission of Jesus: preaching good news to the poor, freeing the captives, giving sight to the blind, releasing the oppressed, and proclaiming the year of the Lord’s favor (Luke 4:16-21).

We’ll remember that freedom — true freedom — is given by God and is indeed not free. It comes with a cost and it looks like a cross.

We’ll remember our sin and our need to repent.

We’ll remember that the only Christian nation in this world is the Church, a holy nation that crosses all human-made boundaries and borders.

We’ll remember that our passions are best placed within the passion of Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God (Hebrews 12:2).

We’ll remember that we do not conform to the patterns of this world, but we are transformed by the renewing of our minds (Romans 12:2).

We’ll remember that God’s strength is made perfect in weakness.

And we’ll re-member the body of Christ as the body of Christ, confessing the ways in which partisan politics has separated us from one another and from God.

On Tuesday evening, November 6,
make a choice to remember.
Let’s meet at the Lord’s Table.
Let’s remember together.

Please join us for communion on Tuesday, November 6, 2012.

___________________________

One of the goals of the Election Day Communion Campaign is to build unity in Christ in the midst of theological, political, and denominational differences. Please let us know if your congregation or group (e.g., small group, ministerial association) intends to participate.

Grace and peace,
Mark Schloneger (Pastor, N. Goshen Mennonite Church; Goshen, IN)
Kevin Gasser (Pastor, Staunton Mennonite Church; Staunton, VA)
Ben Irwin (Creator, The Story; lay Episcopalian; Grand Rapids, MI)

176 thoughts on “Choose Wisely.

  1. Warren Hicks says:

    St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Worcester, MA (921 Pleasant St.) will participate also. Eucharist with prayer and healing at 7 pm.

  2. Upland Brethren in Christ Church will participate – 6:30 p.m. on Nov. 6. Thanks for encouraging churches to do this!

  3. Rosalie A Black says:

    Will encourage our ministers and congregation, Church of the Brethren in McPherson, KS. to participate by holding a communion service on 11/6 at our church. Our table is an open table to all who profess Christ and love and serve their neighbor.

  4. Fred Miller says:

    Cumberland Valley Brethren in Christ Church in Dillsburg, PA, is leading the local ministerium to sponsor a 20 minute worship service that night around Jesus’ Table.

  5. Although I applaud the intent of this website and initiative, I worry that it serves to cover up badly needed discussions about what values we see in Jesus, his example, and his spirit. How do we apply those to today? What are issues that Christians may support but in so doing actually go against Jesus’ spirit? What are the *practical* implications of all the “We’ll remember…” statements?

    • Phil Gardner says:

      Ethan:

      It would seem that the “practical” implications of the “We’ll remember” statements are for you and for all who would (or would not) participate to exegete. Have those “badly needed discussions.” Identify the things Christians support that more than likely grieve the heart of Jesus. Go at it with your siblings in Christ! Then, follow the Spirit to the Lord’s Table. And, just maybe that’s the whole point of this effort…to discover, even in our disagreements, our oneness in Christ Jesus.

  6. Dennis Kuhns, Pastor says:

    Lynside Mennonite will join with Waynesboro Mennonite and Springdale Mennonite to choose to remember who is the King of Kings.

  7. Trinity Baptist Church, Conyers, Georgia, will be on board and host this event at 7:30 PM! http://www.trinityconyers.org

  8. Grace UMC in Jackson,TN will be hosting a service at 6:30pm.

  9. Sarah says:

    Election Day Communion, November 6, 7:00pm, St. John Chrysostom, Golden
    It is a given that we will not all vote the same way, and this election has been difficult and divisive for some. As Christians, we know that real power – to save and to transform – ultimately rests not in politicians or presidents, but is given by God. Before any outcomes, we will gather at the Lord’s Table as the body of Christ, for prayer and healing. All are welcome and invited. St. John Chrysostom Episcopal Church. 13151 W. 28th Avenue at Alkire. http://www.stjohngolden.org

    As reported to the Diocesan Office in Colorado for our weekly announcements publication.

  10. keith says:

    LifePath Church, a Brethren in Christ church plant in Northern Delaware, will be participating as well, with a simple 6:30pm gathering.

  11. Conrad Damian says:

    Broadway Christian Parish United Methodist Church in South Bend, Indiana will have communion at 6:30 election day. We are inviting our UMC cluster churches and neighboring churches to join with us.

  12. Chris says:

    North Middletown Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) will be participating with a service on Monday night, November 5 (we have several church members who volunteer as poll workers who are unavailable to gather the night of the 6th). We will also have our chapel open to individual prayer and communion (using a printed guide) on Election Day during our regular office hours.

  13. Scott (aka Table97) says:

    First United Methodist Church, Princeton, WV will be participating. Our service will begin at 7:45 pm! Thanks for a great idea.

  14. Ruben Chupp says:

    I forwarded the initial email regarding Election Night Communion to the Nappanee Ministerial Association. Not long after, I received a phone call from the pastor of the local Brethren in Christ Church. North Main Street Mennonite will be conducting a joint service with BIC. In addition, I am appreciative of Mark Schloneger’s piece in the recent Mennonite: “The bread and cup are God’s antidotes to ballot box idolatry . . . The Lord’s supper calls us back to the table inscribed with memory.” (Well written, Mark). The bread and cup as metaphoric allegiance, indeed.

    A terrific idea inspired by God, I think.

  15. Jennifer Brownell says:

    Hillsdale Community Church UCC in Portland Oregon will participate. Prayer service with communion at 4:30. Thanks for the great inspiration.

  16. We will be participating in Bowdoinham, Maine at Second Baptist Church.

  17. Rev. Michelle E. Armster says:

    Blossom Hill Mennonite Church, Community Mennonite Church of Lancaster and Akron Mennonite Church coming together to provide a communion service on November 6 at 7 pm

  18. Ron Johns Jr says:

    Our youth minister share this with me. We wiuld like to receive any additional information you offer.

    • mark_s says:

      Hi. We are working on some worship resources and ideas and will be sure to send them to you when we’re finished putting them together! You can also check our Facebook page for articles that have been posted there. Thanks!

  19. First Presbyterian Church in Fort Thomas, KY, just south of Cincinnati will be part of this event. Worship at 7 pm.

  20. Saint Matthias’ Episcopal Church in East Aurora, NY will hold an Election Night Communion service at 7 o’clock. All are welcome! http://www.stmatthiasea.org

  21. Rev. Celeste Lasich says:

    Christ United Presbyterian Church 400 W Lyon Marshall MN will be hosting a service of Unity and Reconciliation Nov 6 , 8:00 pm to 8:30 pm. How do we best include Christians who in good faith cannot participate in open table communion? Anyone else dealing with how to make it possible for this important service of remembering who and whose we are be as inclusive as possible?

  22. Brenda Martin Hurst says:

    Frazer Mennonite Church, in Frazer, PA, will join this effort by focusing our worship service on Sunday, Nov. 11 on our unity in Jesus Christ. A celebration of communion will be a central part of that service.

  23. Cara Stultz Costello says:

    I’d like to use a communion liturgy that is made specific to the election season – certainly including all of the “essential parts.” Does anyone know of such a liturgy?

    • mark_s says:

      Hi Cara. We’re working on some worship resources that we’ll post and send by email soon. If you have some resources that you (or anyone) have written or can point us to via links, please let us know! Mark

  24. Christine Longhurst says:

    What a wonderful idea! If it’s helpful, I’ve been collecting “national” prayers on my re:worship blog for a while. Perhaps a few of them may be useful to you as you collect resources. You could check out:

    Prayer of Intercession (from World in Prayer, Lodi, California)
    http://re-worship.blogspot.ca/2012/10/prayer-of-intercession-election.html

    Prayer of Confession: Renew this nation (from the Idlewild Presbyterian Church, Memphis, Tennessee) http://re-worship.blogspot.ca/2012/06/prayer-of-confession-renew-this-nation.html

    Call to Worship, Prayer: Bless the Nation (from the Cahill United Methodist Church, Alvarado, Texas.) http://re-worship.blogspot.ca/2012/06/call-to-worship-prayer-bless-nation.html

    A complete index of National Prayers is at http://re-worship.blogspot.ca/2012/06/national-prayers-index.html

    All the best in your plans. We’re with you in spirit here in Canada.

  25. The Rev. Lisa Green says:

    First Congregational Church of Sutton, Massachusetts (307 Boston Road) will hold a service at 7 p.m., cosponsored with Saint John’s Episcopal Church. Thanks for this great idea!

  26. Community Christian Church of Jefferson City will participate here. We have a voting precinct that meets on election day, so we will offer communion on the day before, to prepare people for the decisions they must make.

  27. Englewood United Methodist Church in Rocky Mount, North Carolina will offer a service on Nov. 6th at 6:30 p.m. We will share in a brief time of worship including a celebration of the Lord’s Supper. The chuch is located at 300 South Circle Drive in Rocky Mount.

  28. Kris says:

    Herndon UMC will gladly join the 500+ (yeah!) churches around the nation in a Communion and prayer service (7pm)…. and we will have the service outdoors!

  29. We will be participating in Holy Communion on election day.

    The Lord be with you…

  30. Carrboro UMC in Carrboro NC will join others in hosting Election Day Communion (7:30pm).

  31. Scott Carmer says:

    First United Methodist Church in Warsaw, Indiana will be hosting election day communion at 7 PM at our downtown campus.

  32. Tucker First United Methodist Church in Tucker, GA (just outside of Atlanta will be participating. 7 pm service in the Sanctuary.

  33. Christine Edwards says:

    Immanuel United Church of Christ, Ellinwood, KS will be hosting a service with the community invited.

  34. Phil Boyd says:

    Hunt City Congregational Christian Church, Hunt City, IL, will participate too.

  35. Rev. Mindi says:

    Burien Community Church in Burien, WA will participate!

  36. Troy Jackson says:

    Thanks for this great effort. I pray many take advantage. As you prepare for the election, I am part of an effort to get folks to fast from media on Friday, November 2nd so we can better listen to God and one another. The effort is called Turn Down the Noise: fast.pray.vote. Info can be found at http://www.facebook.com/FastPrayVote?ref=stream. I am going to post a link to this great effort on our facebook page as well.

    • Kevin Gasser says:

      Thanks, Troy! Blessings to you and this ministry.

    • I’ve actually been a sort of ‘Media Fast’ since returning from Ireland and sabbatical this summer. I found tremendous freedom in not hearing much about our electoral process while I was away. It cannot be avoided entirely, but I didn’t watch the debates and just leave the room or tune out when the commercials come on the TV. Watching our television on DVR and Netflix is a big help here.

      God bless us, every one (with nods to Dickens and Tiny Tim)

  37. Tom Compton says:

    Liberty UMC in White Plains (Greene County) Geogia is participating and already signed-up. Since we are rural, and a polling station, our Election Day Communion Service will be at Noon! Our service will be about 15 minutes.

  38. Goodyear Heights Presbyterian Church in Akron, Ohio will be doing an election eve communion at 6, 7, and 8 pm at 1430 Goodyear Blvd. We will be open for prayer in between the services.

  39. corydoiron says:

    I am a Canadian living in America who loves what you all are up too! (CoryDoiron.com)

  40. Kristine Bottorff says:

    In Grand Marais, Minnesota we’ll celebrate communion on Thursday, November 8th at 6:00. Our community’s annual Empty Bowls event (food shelf fundraising and hunger awareness) is also in our building that day. Thanks so much for starting the train so we could jump on!

  41. pxinick says:

    Here in UK. We will hold you all in prayer on 6th November – may God bless you and guide you.

  42. pxinick says:

    Praying in the UK for you all on the 6th…may God bless you and guide you.

    • mark_s says:

      Hey, thanks pxinick. Just so you know, you are welcome to join us in communion if you are able. We have participants from Canada and Germany. Although we’ll be gathering on Election Day in the United States, the church crosses all human-made boundaries and borders!

  43. Val Fowler says:

    First Presbyterian Church, Honeoye Falls, NY (south of Rochester) will host a simple communion service at both 7:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. on election day. A church member forwarded this link to me, and as I read it, I had two thoughts: (1) “World Communion comes to Election Day; how cool!” (2) and “Why didn’t we think of that, but thank you for doing so!” For years (given the wider culture) one of my names for the Lord’s Supper is “A table of peace in a world at war.” This invitation captures that sense perfectly . . . gives life to it. Thank you. Blessings in Christ,
    Val Fowler, Pastor, First Presbyterian Church
    stated clerk, the Presbytery of Genesee Valley

  44. John Mroz says:

    St. Christopher’s Episcopal Church, Oxford, PA 19363 will celebrate Holy Eucharist @ 7:30 p.m. and Morning Prayer @ 9:00 a.m. on November 6. Together in Christ!

  45. Andrea Zuercher says:

    Ecumenical service is happening in Lawrence, Kansas, co-hosted by Peace Mennonite Church. Here are the details: Peace Mennonite is co-hosting an Election Day Communion event on Tue., Nov. 6. The event will be held at Central United Methodist Church (1501 Massachusetts), and there are two opportunities to participate: 1) come to the church any time between 11:30 and 1:30 to receive communion; 2) join us for an ecumenical communion service at 7 p.m. Election Day Communion is an opportunity to remind ourselves that our primary allegiance is to God, not a particular nation or political party. It is a chance to live out our unity in Christ during a time of increasing national divisiveness. Please join us! Posted on behalf of PMC by Andrea Zuercher, moderator. Website: http://peacepreacher.wordpress.com/

  46. Gilbert Chesterton says:

    People who have nothing in common in their worldivew and theological paradigms, as seen in and by their voting habits, come together in communion to proclaim that even though their values, ethics, metaphysics, and epistemology are at radical variance, they still have some kind of irrational mysticall oneness as found in some kind of mythic “I am all things to all people” Jesus?

    If this is Christianity you can count me pagan.

    • Karl says:

      While I admire the sentiment expressed in the original post, Chesterton (or whatever is real name is) is right. Partaking in Christ’s body is partaking in Christ himself. And that does not mean in some “I like Jesus” way. It means participating in his body and in the full orthodox catholic Faith.

      • Ben Irwin says:

        I think the vast majority who are receiving communion tomorrow would argue their participation represents a lot more than a vague “I like Jesus” sentiment.

  47. Andrew Osborn says:

    Our small house church is participating in North Richland Hills, TX. Dinner, communion, and music, all worship!

  48. Jason Noel says:

    St John the Baptist had a service tonight where we prayed for our political leaders and the election. We will have a Liturgy tomorrow morning where communion will be shared. Peace and prayers to all.

  49. Steve Martin says:

    The sacrament IS the gospel:

    http://theoldadam.com/2012/10/22/the-sacrament-is-the-gospel/

    If the election has (or will have) you down…listen to this:

    http://theoldadam.com/2012/10/22/the-sacrament-is-the-gospel/

    Good stuff for hurting people (of either side).

  50. Michael Binger says:

    St. Mark’s UMC in Belmont, NC is participating.

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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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