BANGOR, Maine — Abundant Life Church is one of more than 700 houses of worship across the nation that will host an Election Day communion service and ask worshippers to reaffirm their united and shared commitment to Christ.
Russell Hewett, senior pastor of the church on outer Broadway, said Wednesday that the service would begin at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 6, and last 30-45 minutes. It will include prayers, Scripture readings and communion.
“All Christians are invited to participate,” he said. “It seems like a good way to re-center ourselves and focus on what’s really important.”
The event started four years ago with a service at one church at North Goshen Mennonite Church in Goshen, Ind., according to information on electiondaycommunion.org.
“Election Day Communion is an opportunity for Christians from all political backgrounds to reaffirm their first allegiance to Christ,” the Rev. Mark Schloneger, the pastor who held the original service, said in a press release announcing this year’s event. “During the day on Nov. 6, we’ll make different choices for different reasons. But that night, thousands of us will make the same choice together. We’ll gather as one body to remember that our chief passion belongs not to any party or candidate but to God.”
The program is a grassroots, multidenominational campaign that invited churches to express their unity in the face of increasing polarization, by holding a communion service on Election Day, according to information on the website.
“The political issues that divide us aren’t insignificant,” said the Rev. Kevin Gassner, pastor of Saunton Mennonite Church in Staunton, Va. “But there’s something more important than presidential elections. There’s something that matters more than our political differences. By sharing communion this Election Day, we’re making a political statement; we’re proclaiming the lordship and reign of our king, Jesus Christ.”
As of Friday, four Maine churches in addition to Abundant Life had planned services. They are Second Baptist Church in Bowdoinham, Green Street United Methodist Church in Augusta, Life Community in Farmington and Readfield United Methodist Church in Readfield.
For information, visit electiondaycommunion.org.