The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

November 3, 2012

Churches plan Election Day Communion

— Three church denominations will come together in Beckley on Election Day and share Communion as a sign of unity in what seems like a sharply divided nation.

Election Day Communion will be held Tuesday beginning at 6 p.m. at St. Luke Evangelical Lutheran Church on Maxwell Hill Road. The church service is being organized in cooperation with St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church and First Christian Church of Beckley.

“There are people in our churches who come from both political parties, and while there may disagreements on some aspects of politics, what is important is that at the end of the day we come together at one table and share the Communion meal,” said the Rev. Jon M. White, pastor of St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church.

Election Day Communion is a national movement, with more than 650 congregations of various denominations participating across the United States. The Rev. Wanda Childs, pastor of St. Luke Evangelical Lutheran Church, wanted to bring that national movement to her congregation.

“We didn’t want to do it alone,” Childs said. “The purpose of this service is to bring people together, so we asked St. Stephen’s to join us. We want this to be open to everyone in Beckley. We want anyone who feels the need to join us at the table to do so.”

First Christian Church, part of the Disciples of Christ denomination, also joined to participate.

“But it’s not just for our three churches,” Childs said. “Anyone who wants to join us, no matter what denomination they belong to, or even if they don’t attend church, is welcome after they’ve cast their vote.”

White said the service will have no political agenda. “It’s all about building unity in the midst of theological, political and denominational differences,” he said.