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South Dade Church Offers Election Night Solace For Campaign-Battered Souls

Laura Coburn

Reconciliation. Redemption. Binding up the nation's mostly self-inflicted wounds. There's going to be a need for all of that after this bitter election cycle is over.

And that need is where Election Communion Day comes from. More than 300 churches in 44 states have signed on to conduct services and offer communion right after the polls close on Election Day.

Exactly one of those churches is in South Florida, according to the ECD web site. It’s St. Andrews Episcopal Church in Palmetto Bay. The Rev. Spencer Potter, rector of the church, says his members have been as immersed in the campaigns as everyone else and they need to be reunited in their faith after being divided by the candidates.

"It will be a coming-together service, no matter who we voted for," Potter said. "Whether we voted for Romney or Obama or not at all. It will be one service at one table with God, knowing that we’re all in this together."

Churches And Politics

Churches have been deeply involved in this election campaign, but almost always in the service of one side or another. Early this month, hundreds of mostly  conservative pastors observed Pulpit Freedom Day by openly endorsing candidates in their Sunday sermons, a defiant violation of IRS rules that govern church tax exemptions.

In Miami, black ministers are adapting their Souls to the Polls tradition to the new early voting rules that put it in jeopardy. Since they can longer bus their members to polling places right after church on the last Sunday before election day, they're developing Operation Lemonade to deliver the black vote to President Obama and other Democratic candidates. 

But Election Communion Day is being served up as an antidote to, rather than a tool of, the campaigns. At St. Andrews, Potter says everybody will need some healing, particularly after the election when nearly half of the American population will be feeling like losers.

"We're making sure the people in the congregation know that, no matter what happens, God is still sovereign and God is still in control."

And He approved this message.