LOUISA COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — The current presidential election season is very polarizing and putting a great deal of stress on people, according to Gum Spring United Methodist Church Minister Lauren Lobenhofer. That’s why the pastor’s congregation is taking part in Election Day Communion.
“I think anytime you watch the news you see why it’s needed,” Reverend Lobenhofer said. “We’ve got a really divisive political climate, we have vitriolic comments coming from all sides of the political spectrum. We need something to draw us together to remind us we’re one nation, one church.”
It’s a spiritual movement that Lobenhofer believes started during the 2012 presidential race by Mennonite ministers in the northeast. Hundreds of churches across the country are taking part in the national communion movement. Lobenhofer’s church will serve communion at 7 p.m.,
“So after the polls close, but before we start getting the results really is about the time most we most need prayer,” Lobenhofer said. “We’re living in anxious space.”
Another minister in Henrico County will not only hold a communion service at noon, but the River Road United Methodist Church will also be open for people who want to come in to pray on Election Day.
“The message is, if we claim to be people of faith, we have to love God and it has to be lived out in real time and how we treat our neighbor, in particularly, with those with whom we disagree and perhaps vehemently disagree,” said Reverend Darcey Johnson, pastor at River Road UMC.
Reverend Johnson said to disagree with one another is not anything new.”
“Even in the New Testament there were divisions and Paul wrote to say there is one faith, there is one body, there is one Lord. So they were dealing with divisions back then, within our own biblical text,” said Johnson.
The minister said people must remember Who is in charge of all things, and to love one another, even people we disagree with, “We can’t forget our call is to love and worship God, it goes hand in hand with loving neighbor,” stated Johnson.
Click here to learn more about Election Day Communion.