Chicago Megachurch Willow Creek Launches Billboard Campaign for Presidential Election

(Photo: Willow Community Church)Willow Creek Community Church of Chicago, Illinois launched a billboard campaign for the 2016 presidential election season. Billboards by the church featured the message "Love Everyone, Always" and began running on Monday, October 17, 2016.

Willow Creek Community Church has launched a billboard campaign during the last leg of the election season with a simple message: "Love Everyone, Always."

The Chicago, Illinois area-based megachurch put up 27 digital billboards on Monday, with the intention of having them displayed until Sunday, November 20.

The digital message also changes to have the word "Love" periodically replaced with the words "Bless," "Serve,", "Protect," and "Forgive."

Mary Kathryn Mackin (MK), director of marketing and communications for Willow Creek, said in a statement given to The Christian Post by Willow Creek that the billboards are just part of this campaign.

"Only God could have orchestrated a campaign that was planned over the summer about loving everyone and launches at a moment in time when our world is filled with so much division," stated Mackin.

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(Photo: Reuters/John Gress)Pastor Gene Appel's image can be seen projected on several televisions in the 7,000-seat Willow Creek Community Church during a Sunday service in South Barrington, Illinois, November 20, 2005.

"In addition to billboards, we created yard signs and bumper stickers which we will distribute through volunteers. We will also share inspirational social media messages."

The billboard campaign has garnered local media attention, with the Daily Herald reporting that locations for the billboards will include the Jane Addams Memorial Tollway and Chicago's Ogilvie Transportation Center.

"Meant as an antithesis to fear and divisions, the church's message aims to promote a central teaching of Jesus Christ: Love your neighbor as yourself," reported the Daily Herald.

"The campaign coincides with a fall sermon series at Willow Creek, a 41-year-old Christian church with a main campus in South Barrington and seven other locations in the Chicago area. The series starts Oct. 22."

Regarding what message he hopes people take away from the billboards, Willow Creek Teaching Pastor Steve Carter stated that he hopes they realize that "Jesus invites us to love everyone, always."

"The people who don't look like us, vote like us, or act like us —God still deeply loves them. We want to be a church that loves, respects, serves, and welcomes everyone, always," stated Carter.

Willow Creek is not the only congregation looking to help counter the political upheavals of this year's presidential election season.

For the second time since 2012, the Peace and Justice Support Network of Mennonite Church USA and Mennonite Mission Network is organizing a national observance called "Election Day Communion."

Scheduled to be held on Tuesday, November 8, the event involves churches across the nation holding communion services to unite Christians of varying political strands.

"Election Day Communion began in 2012 with a concern that Christians in the United States are being shaped more by the tactics and ideologies of political parties than by their identity in and allegiance to Jesus," reads their website.

"Out of this concern, a simple vision sparked the imaginations of several Mennonite pastors: The Church being the Church on Election Day, gathering at the Lord's Table to remember, to practice, to give thanks for, and to proclaim its allegiance to Christ."

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