November 27, 2014

Elyria
Cloudy
30°F
test

Service seeks to bridge divisions after intense campaign

ELYRIA — The constant assault of negative, finger-pointing political ads Ohioans have been subjected to for months is just about over.

Some might say that’s reason enough to give a prayer of thanks.

Prayers will no doubt be part of a special community church service Tuesday evening at 7:30 at Elyria’s First United Methodist Church on Third Street.

The Rev. Roger Talbott thinks church is a fitting place to gather, reflect and find a measure of comfort after what most agree has been one of the most divisive, politically polarizing presidential campaigns ever.

“This campaign has been hard on people’s souls, and it’s been particularly hard on Ohio as we are a major swing state,” Talbott said. “We’re at ground zero for this kind of negativity and divisiveness.”

That’s why Talbott regards the service as a time for healing and for people of faith to proclaim their faith in God, and their unity in a higher, more lasting power than that afforded by our political system.

“Everywhere I go this (negative campaigning) has been a major topic,” Talbott said. “Everyone is just weary of it.”

Talbott acknowledged that politics and political differences are part and parcel of “what it means to be an American for our community and our nation. Neighbors have strong feelings, but with this comes a certain loss of perspective about what’s really important.”

Known nationally as Election Day Communion, the idea of holding church services after the polls close was born with a few Midwestern Mennonite churches whose congregations met to worship and affirm their unity and faith.

“Just last week I read where they had some 450 congregations involved, and now it’s over 700 churches (representing 20-plus denominations),” Talbott said.

Open to anyone, Tuesday night’s service will be held in cooperation with other local churches including Peace Mennonite Church, Magyar United Church of Christ, Asbury United Methodist Church, and Lake Avenue United Church of Christ.

In addition to Talbott, other pastors taking part in the service include the Rev. Adam Houser of Peace Mennonite Church, the Rev. Alana Kelley of Magyar United Church of Christ, the Rev. Bob Gross of Lake Avenue United Church of Christ, and the Rev. Monique Greenfield of Asbury United Methodist Church.

“The focus will be on what holds us together, which is much more important than the things that divide us … or who wins the election,” Talbott said.

“The future of the nation is in God’s hands, not the hands of either candidate,” Talbott said.

To learn more about Election Day Communion, visit www.ElectionDayCommunion.org.

Contact Steve Fogarty at 329-7146 or sfogarty@chroniclet.com.