York-area churches pray for candidates, country

Jason Addy
York Dispatch
  • Churches around the area held special gatherings and ceremonies in anticipation of Tuesday's elections.

No matter the outcome of Tuesday’s elections, many in York County and across the country will wake up Wednesday feeling a little uneasy about the post-election world.

With that apprehension in mind, Luther Memorial Church on Hollywood Drive in Spring Garden Township opened its doors Monday night for an Election Eve Prayer Vigil, where about a dozen members of the community came together.

As election volunteers worked to turn the church into a polling place, Pastor Laura Haupt led members of her congregation and the public in asking for “justice and peace in our land” and praying for each candidate who is seeking office at local, state and federal levels.

Haupt said the prayer vigil was held to soothe some of the stress, anxiety and grief that she is hearing from her parishioners “about how divided our community seems to be right now.”

Pastor Laura Houpt leads an Election Eve Prayer Vigil at Luther Memorial Lutheran Church in Spring Garden Township, Monday, Nov. 7, 2016. Dawn J. Sagert photo

“As a church, we really strive to be a community church to meet the spiritual needs of our community, not just our membership,” Haupt said. “It’s really important that we create a safe space for us to come together, regardless of political affiliation, and hear the Scripture and pray together, and just have that space for our own prayers, for praying for one another, for praying for one another’s candidates.”

Judy Garber, of York Township, said she attended Monday night’s vigil in order “to pray for our country” during this divisive time. She has already decided who she will vote for Tuesday, but Garber said the vigil helped her “to be more at peace, whatever the outcome may be.”

Richard Nachajski, of Spring Garden Township, said he stopped in for the vigil after seeing a sign outside the church because he thought the service might help people come together and “grab onto the power of the spirit.”

“We need God’s intervention and guidance,” Nachajski said. “I thought as a community we could raise our voices. I do that individually, but when we put our minds and hearts together, we can storm heaven.”

Several other churches in the area held Election Eve special gatherings Monday night, including St. John’s Episcopal Church, St. Peter’s Lutheran Church, Shiloh Baptist Church and Cross Roads United Methodist Church.