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. HMC Pastor says:

    Please count Houston Mennonite Church, sister churches and fellow friends as being all in for this! Thank you.

    • mark_s says:

      Great! We’ll add Houston Mennonite to the list! Let us know the other congregations who will participate with you, and we’ll add them, too.

  2. nafzigpa says:

    What a Great idea. Millersburg Mennonite Church is in!

  3. dunnmichael says:

    I think this is great! I will approach my congregation, First Christian Church (Disciples) in Houston Texas about participating! Thanks for sharing this.

  4. drewpop says:

    Yes, I LOVE this idea. Shared it with some of the pastoral leadership here in Lafayette, Indiana and we are planning to host Communion, including a prayer for WHOMEVER gets elected (ala 1 Timothy 2:1-2)

  5. John Morgans says:

    Please add the United Methodist Church of Enfield, Enfield, CT.

  6. John Donaghy says:

    You might want to look at using the Catholic lectionary readings for that day: Philippians 2: 5-11; Psalm 22; Luke 14: 15-24. They offer an interesting commentary on politics.

  7. Willard Swartley says:

    This is a great idea. I hope our congregation can do it.
    Thank you.

  8. Brian LePort says:

    This is a great idea.

    • Kevin Gasser says:

      Brian, Do you think Grace Bible Church might be interested in participating? It would be great to have some people out west to break bread with on the 6th of November.

  9. Park View Mennonite Church (Harrisonburg, VA) plans to participate.

  10. jakegoertz21 says:

    I am planning on leading a seminary wide participation at Palmer Seminary in Philadelphia, PA including Evangelicals for Social Action.

  11. Ken Sinclair says:

    I`m in! Blessings- Ken

  12. Sara Wenger Shenk, president says:

    A winning idea for sure. I commended it to our Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary faculty. We hope to host an evening communion service (in our chapel) for the AMBS learning community and invite the broader public (made even more poignant because we’ve provided space in one of our buildings for a polling station that day).

    • Kevin Gasser says:

      Sara, I am excited to hear that AMBS is able to participate. And you are correct, I think the fact that you have a polling station on campus does make it all the more poignant!

      Blessings,
      Kevin

  13. Beverly says:

    Our interim minister posted this on his FB wall, I am hoping it will be passed on to our deacons and leadership team. (Raleigh, NC)

  14. Chris says:

    I love the idea, and my congregation Spring Mount Mennonite Church (PA) will be participating.

  15. Dennie Jantzi says:

    We will pass the word to White Stone Mennonite in Hesston, KS

  16. Peg Williams says:

    Great idea.

  17. Peg Williams says:

    Love it.

  18. This is great! Thanks for organizing…you can count on YWAM Kona, HI & The University of the Nations as in!

  19. This is great! You can count on YWAM Kona, HI and The University of the Nations as in!

    • mark_s says:

      Thanks for letting us know. If you do this in the evening, you can be sure that you’ll “anchor” us by being the final ones to celebrate communion on Election Day!

  20. Fred Cason says:

    Please send any additional information you may have.

  21. Steve Slagel says:

    As political polarity tears at the fiber of the church we must affirm our hope in the kingdom of God. Election Day Communion is a fantastic concept!

  22. Dell Smith says:

    First United Methodist Church, Lewisville, TX will be participating and hopefully inviting/including other churches and denominations.

  23. Stan Voth says:

    Just by mentioning the two candidates names you are mingling church and state. Above all this approach implies that this election has to do with the Christianity. I would promote joining together with other faith communities and worship for unity.

    • Carmen Jackson says:

      I think the implication of this movement is not that the election has to do with Christianity, but that Christians who participate are joining in spirit to pray for our county’s leadership regardless of who is elected. Being a Christian does not exclude politics, or any other aspect of responsible involvement, from our lives. Faith, Christian or any other, involves the whole person and all aspects of life, whether or not we realize it.

  24. Ervin Stutzman says:

    I think this is a great idea. I’m going to promote it across Mennonite Church USA.

  25. shel boese says:

    Add Mercy Church, Sioux Falls, SD to the list!

    • mark_s says:

      Thanks for letting us know, Shel. It would be great if we could get participants from all 50 states. We’ll add Mercy Church and South Dakota to the list!

  26. Ben Thomas says:

    Add Nehemiah Project Church in Avon/West Indy, Indiana to this list. We join with you!

    • mark_s says:

      Thanks, Ben. I know about the Nehemiah Project from where I lived in Virginia. We’re glad that you and your congregation will be participating. Blessings as you worship today. Mark

  27. Greg Boyd says:

    I LOVE this brilliantly subversive idea!! I plan on promoting this by every means available to me. Oh Lord,may this become a movement that displays the beauty of the kingdom over which you alone are President!

  28. Nathaniel says:

    This is a wonderful concept! I will definitely invite our congregation to participate and will extend the invite to some other churches in our community. Word of Light Fellowship, Winnemucca, NV.

  29. Les Horning says:

    Eastern Mennonite Seminary will be participating…and giving thanks for such illustrious alumni! :-)

  30. Tom Hoover, lead pastor says:

    Fusion Church in Denison, TX will be joining!

  31. An excellent idea! I plan to offer this opportunity at All Saints’ Episcopal Church in Richland, WA, and I’m passing along the information as well.

  32. Dr Tony Richie says:

    Thank you very much for letting us know about this timely spiritual act. I will offer New Harvest a chance to participate and I’m going to try to help get the word out to other Church of God congregations as well.

  33. Doylestown Mennonite Church is in!

  34. Doylestown Mennonite Church is in! This is definitely a “third way” practice. Love it.
    -KrisAnne Swartley, pastor for the missional journey at DMC, Doylestown, PA.

  35. joelmiller says:

    Looks like Cincinnati Mennonite will be hosting a service. I’m planning to get together with Episcopal, Methodist, and Vineyard minister friends to plan and invite our different communities.

  36. Todd Young says:

    This looks like a much better alternative to the right-wing propaganda I’ve been getting recently. St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Grants Pass, OR will be holding Holy Eucharist that day as well.

    I’m wondering if you have a downloadable pdf flyer (or something equivalent) of this that we can print out to post in our building, as well as e-mail out to people?

    • mark_s says:

      Thanks, Todd. I believe St. Luke’s is our first Oregon participant! We don’t have a PDF flyer yet, but that’s a great suggestion. We hope to have some more resources available as the election grows closer.

  37. Verlyn Bergen says:

    I am German, grew up Mennonite Breathern, Baptist minister for 45 years. You have expressed the best summary of the Christian response to politics I have heard or read. Thanks and God bless.

  38. We’re in.
    Wesley@CMU (The United Methodist Campus Community at Central Michigan University)

  39. tennesseepreacher1 says:

    The Fairfield Glade Community Church is a union congregation (Presbyterian Church USA and United Church of Christ). We have members representing 16 different Christian faith traditions, including Mennonite. We will DEFINITELY join you at the Lord’s Table on Nov. 6. Thank you for the inspiration!

  40. Lyle Miller says:

    Thanks for this wonderful idea. Waterford Mennonite will be participating.

    Lyle Miller
    Pastor of Family Life
    & Financial Stewardship

  41. Charles Rhines says:

    I am Jehovah’s Witness. Can I join in??

  42. Aldine Musser says:

    Stephens City Mennonite will join and host a communion gathering in our community.
    Jim and Aldine Musser

  43. Andy A-B says:

    In a time when the media tell us we are “more divided than ever” and perpetuate a narrative that makes that story seem inevitable, I think this is a needed refocus, during a day and time when most people in America will be home rooting for their side and /or lamenting their sides loss. I suspect people are less divided than the media have portrayed them to be; and that when we really sit and talk about some issues, once we get past the political ideologies, we have a lot more in common than FOX, CNN, and the like care to acknowledge. So, this could be a way of trying to highlight that peace is more basic than division and strife.

  44. We will be hosting a communion service at Irving North Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Irving, TX. What a wonderful witness this will be.

  45. Br. Joshua Allison says:

    You may count Houston Memorial United Methodist Church (Houston, Alabama) in on this. What a wonderful idea, and the perfect climax to the 40 days of prayer leading up to the election.

  46. Ron Zook says:

    New Holland Mennonite Church in New Holland, Pa. is looking forward to participating. We have arranged an inteview with our local newspaper to invite the community. Thanks for initiating this!

  47. Charles Wilson says:

    St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Delaware, Ohio is in for this. We had been thinking of holding ecumenical services Election Eve and the day after to wrap prayer around Election Day. In adding this we will have a sort of Triduum. Thanks for this!

  48. Byrl Shaver says:

    Nappanee Church of the Brethren is in! I pray all will join in on this powerful move of the spirit. THANKS!

  49. Scott says:

    Broadway Christian Church in Fort Wayne, IN is in.

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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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