St. Alphonsus Ligouri “Rock” Church partners with St. Francis Xavier (College) Church
Members of two Catholic churches in St. Louis have come together to make the voting process easier.
Parishioners at St. Alphonsus Ligouri “Rock” Church and St. Francis Xavier (College) Church, whose neighboring spires dot the landscape along Grand Avenue, are joining forces to support civic engagement, with a focus on minimizing voting barriers faced by communities of color. Collaboration between the two parishes is an old habit.
Members of the Rock Church's Peace and Justice Committee and the College Church's Racism and Reconciliation Committee have been meeting regularly for six years. They've jointly sponsored a number of events and opportunities for cross-racial dialogue.
On October 10, the two groups offered their second notary drive, leading up to the November 3 general election; the first was held in July, just before the August 4 primary. At these events, notaries public were available, free of charge, for those who require notarization of the signature on their ballot envelope.
In addition, with the aid of materials provided by the League of Women Voters and other nonpartisan organizations, voters were able to learn about the voting process, the difference between absentee and mail-in ballots, the manner in which ballots are to be submitted, and the important deadlines to which voters must adhere.
“Voting is not just our right, but it is our responsibility to ourselves, our faith, and our community,” said Shira Truitt, an attorney, notary public, parishioner at St. Alphonsus Rock, and participant in the notary drives.
Within their respective parishes, members of the two committees also are working to encourage fellow parishioners to exercise their right to vote. For example, at the College Church, committee members are helping parishioners prepare for the election by using materials provided by the United States Catholic Conference of Bishops, as well as those prepared by the Ignatian Solidarity Network that tie the obligation to vote to Catholic social teaching principles.
“As we approach the election, we will help parishioners access resources that will assist their personal discernment as they make voting decisions,” said Lisa Burks, who co-chairs the Racism and Reconciliation Committee at St. Francis Xavier.
“That will include making available Catholic publications, creating occasions to reflect in small faith groups, and offering individual and communal prayer.”
Drive-through communion on election day
Manchester United Methodist Church, Community Christian Church, and Good Shepherd Lutheran Church are partnering to offer Drive-Thru Communion on election day, 3:30-7:30 p.m. Tues., November 3 at 14380 Manchester Rd. in Manchester.
Called “Go to the Polls, Come to the Table,” it signifies that regardless of denomination, faith, or politics “all of us are one in Jesus Christ,” organizers said.
“To celebrate the sacrament on election day is to announce that what unites us is stronger than what divides us,” said Rev. Andy Bryan, lead pastor at Manchester UMC.
“At the table we are all one, and our oneness stands in stark contrast to the divisiveness we experience in a campaign season. Holy Communion is the church’s embodiment of the counter-cultural message of the Gospel: the reign of God is here now, within us, among us, and around us.”
This ecumenical experience is open to everyone. Come as you are, no reservations are needed. For safety reasons, everyone must remain in their vehicles.’
Officiating clergy will wear masks, use hand sanitizer, and practice physical distancing. Passengers in each vehicle will be provided an individual pre-sealed disposable container that includes both a wafer and juice. Gluten-free elements will be available upon request.
For more information, visit https://manchesterumc.org/table.