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Planning your Election Day Communion service
Spreading the word
Election Day Communion is a movement from the church, for the church…which is a convoluted way of saying we need your help to spread the word.
If you’re hosting an Election Day Communion service at your church, you may want to reach out to let your local media know about it.
Below are resources and ideas you may find helpful.
Hold a joint Election Day Communion service with other congregations (including those of other denominations). What better way to celebrate our unity in Christ!
Make “campaign” signs (e.g., “Kingdom First”, “Jesus is Lord”, “Change You Can Believe In”, “Choose Wisely, Remember Rightly”) and place them in your congregation’s front yard in the weeks before the election. Include, also, an invitation to communion among the signs. (This is a great activity for youth groups.)
Make stickers for people to wear on Election Day or for distribution during the worship service (e.g. “My Vote Ends at the Table”, “A Choice to Remember”, or a relevant verse).
Plan worship services and offer communion in public places at specific times during the day. Worship services could even be planned in places convenient to polling stations. Be sure to consult and follow any relevant election laws.
During your service, point out both the similarities and differences between our “election” of Jesus as Lord and how we vote for a candidate as president (e.g., our “vote” for Christ is a public confession, not a private ritual meant to be kept confidential; we vote with our lives every day of the week, not just at specific times and places).
Catholic lectionary readings for November 6: Philippians 2:5-11; Psalm 22; Luke 14;15-25 (suggested by John Donaghy, lay missioner with the Catholic diocese of Santa Rosa de Copán, Honduras)
The Lectionary of the Episcopal Church recommends these lessons for celebrations “Of the Nation”: Isaiah 26:1-8, Psalm 47, Romans 13:1-10, and Mark 12:13-17. (Suggested by Eric Funston; Medina, OH)
The Book of Common Prayer (1979) offers this collect: “Lord God Almighty, you have made all the peoples of the earth for your glory, to serve you in freedom and in peace: Give to the people of our country a zeal for justice and the strength of forbearance, that we may use our liberty in accordance with your gracious will; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.” (Suggested by Eric Funston; Medina, OH)
“A Prayer of Protest” from Walter Bruggemann’s book Prayers for a Privileged People
“Call to Confession and Forgiveness” by Steve Godsall-Myers
Books and articles
Greg Boyd, The Myth of a Christian Nation: How the Quest for Political Power is Destroying the Church (Zondervan, 2007)
Parker Palmer, Healing the Heart of Democracy: The Courage to Create a Politics Worthy of the Human Spirit (Jossey-Bass, 2011)
Mike Slaughter & Charles E. Gutenson, Hijacked: Responding to the Partisan Church Divide (Abingdon, 2012)
Tripp York & Justin Bronson Barringer, A Faith Not Worth Fighting For: Addressing Commonly Asked Questions About Christian Non-Violence [Peaceable Kingdom Series] (Cascade, 2012) (See chapter 6.)
William Cavanaugh, “A World Without Enemies: The Eucharist and the Work of Peace.” ABC Religion & Ethics (Sept. 18, 2012)
Fr. Emmanuel Charles McCarthy, “The Nonviolent Eucharistic Jesus: A Pastoral Appoach.” (Center for Christian Nonviolence)