As my last post indicated, I have said goodbye to my Virginia home of the past four years and returned to my home state of Iowa. Today is the first day in my new home of Toledo, Iowa, which is where my wife grew up. Yesterday, on my way from Virginia to Iowa, I had the privilege of preaching at Sonnenberg Mennonite Church in Kidron, Ohio. It was the first opportunity I'd had to preach in some time, and it was a wonderful experience from start to finish. Many thanks to all who were connected with my stop here.
Sermon text: Luke 10:25-37
Title: "Who is my neighbor?"
Slightly edited text follows...
From first I laid eyes on it, the Election Day Communion movement has had my support. And when I saw that my pastor had committed to conducting a service at our congregation, I was in. Despite a few cautions I gave in a post from early September, I've watched with bemusement and pleasure as the largely social media-driven movement has, at last count, enlisted the support of over 700 congregations in all 50 states in the U.S. to celebrate the Eucharist on the night of the presidential election. A few days ago, as I was marveling at the 50/700 mark, it struck me... "What happens after election day?"
Depending on who wins, for instance, will there be Inauguration Day Communion or State of the Union Communion? With all the momentum this movement has built, I'll offer three suggestions for the organizers of EDC...
Gather reflections from participants - Get pastors and church leaders and other participants to write reflections on social media and see how this thing worked itself out in some of the 700+ congregations. Start a hashtag on Twitter, ask people to post on the Facebook page.
Turn participants to the sacred-liturgical calendar - "State of the Union Communion" is a bad idea. On the (Western) church calendar, Advent is starting in a few weeks. What would it look like for EDC to shift its focus back into the church calendar? What does Advent - the period of waiting for the remembered birth of the humble king of all creation - do to the national-liturgical calendar? (My answer: subverts it...so let's talk about that.)
Poll the global body of Christ - EDC is a U.S. thing. How can they help remind U.S. Christians that their participation in the Lord's body crosses borders and time? Have any non-US connections been made through the formation of this movement? Can a sister or brother in Christ from another country "look in" to this movement and offer a word?
What other questions should the EDC organizers be pondering, or what kinds of things can they shift to, when their raison d'être passes in two night's time?