Seeking peace and unity on Election Night

Prayer service at St. John’s Episcopal focuses congregation on faith and finding common ground among divisiveness

Posted 11/14/16

Bells rang at St. John Chrysostom Episcopal Church at precisely 7 p.m. on Election Night, just as they do every hour on the hour.

“When the bells went off, that was the signal that we were not only beginning our worship, but the signal that the …

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Seeking peace and unity on Election Night

Prayer service at St. John’s Episcopal focuses congregation on faith and finding common ground among divisiveness

Posted

Bells rang at St. John Chrysostom Episcopal Church at precisely 7 p.m. on Election Night, just as they do every hour on the hour.

“When the bells went off, that was the signal that we were not only beginning our worship, but the signal that the polls are closed,” the Rev. Tim Thaden told about 10 members of his congregation who gathered for an “Election Day healing” prayer service. “So we’re in that zone between no more votes and finding out who our next president will be and all of those issues that have been in so many people’s hearts for such a long time.”

The Golden church, which draws members from Arvada, Lakewood and other surrounding communities, often has prayer services on such occasions and last had an election prayer service in 2012. While politics and government were on many minds, Thaden sought to recenter thoughts on faith.

“The main reason we’re here tonight is to establish our oneness in Jesus,” Thaden told church members.

In an interview and during the service, Thaden talked about the divisiveness in the nation over the election, but also noted that his congregation is even-tempered and gets along.

As attendees entered the building, they made small talk and joked with one another. Politics came up mostly when asked by the reporter.

“I’ve never been shaken by any of this other stuff, but it shakes the world around me so it has to have some impact,” Arvada resident Lynn Simms said. “This is a place where none of that gets in.”

Simms, who has been attending the church for about a decade, said she came to re-establish with herself that God is what’s important in her and others’ lives.

“Everything else is noise,” Simms said, “and this past 18, 19 months have tested a lot of people’s value systems. I’m going to pray for them tonight, specifically.”

Others also talked of unity, peace and focusing on faith.

“If we have preferences, we don’t know now anyway so it doesn’t make any difference,” Lynette Cupfere, who lives in Lakewood, pointed out. “We’re all one now anyway, so it doesn’t matter.”

Thaden has found that elections eason is a good time for a healing prayer service because some people will feel as if they won, while others will feel as if they’ve lost.

“Basically it’s a service tonight to pray for, of course, anybody who has personal needs,” he said, “but mostly for reuniting at the end of an election and finding a place where we can safely pray and be with one another without any sort of judgment.”

St. John Chrysostom Episcopal, Golden , election night, election

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