Ballot box, reconsidered: Lone Oak United Methodist Church in Paducah to offer Election Day Communion
Lone Oak United Methodist Church (UMC) in Paducah, Kentucky, plans to bring unity to politics with Election Day Communion.
“The ballot booth is important,” says the church’s Facebook event page, “(but) the Lord's Table is more important. At the ballot booth we divide; at the Lord's Table we unite. When we leave the polls, we'll leave our differences behind and remember what connects us. All are welcome.”
Communion will be offered from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov, 8, at the church, located at 3835 Old U.S. Highway 45 S.
Explaining his church’s decision to offer Election Day Communion, Rev. Jason W. Jones, wrote in an email, “Election years, especially those for the presidency, typically produce contentiousness. This season, though, has seemed particularly venomous.
“While a certain amount of mudslinging always happens, it's as if the present cycle--fueled by hyperbole, falsehoods, scandal and pettiness--has dragged much of our society into the middle of the sludge for a close-up of the carnage as it unfolds.
“And unprecedented rifts have formed: between friends, among family members, even within political parties themselves.”
Jones believes the “Table of our Lord” shows a better way.
He explained that Election Day Communion is “actually a movement conceived by a Mennonite pastor who was distraught by the divisiveness of political rhetoric."
Jones continued, "Desiring to foster unity, (the Mennonite pastor) crafted an invitation to the Lord's Supper that acknowledges Christ's centrality to our lives--and our allegiance to him as superseding any other affiliations we might have.”
The service at Lone Oak UMC on Nov. 8 “will emphasize the eucharistic celebration as a primary means by which we're connected with God and one another--helping us to focus on our sameness, a commonality fostered by grace," wrote Jones.
“So that, when we leave the polls on Nov. 8 -- irrespective of which candidate we've selected -- we might demonstrate that the vote we cast is finally one for love.”
~ Compiled by Lane Gardner Camp, Director of Communications, Memphis Conference