The month of August held a big surprise for our Bremerton Chapter of CWA. While attending a Republican picnic, a candidate for the U.S. Congress approached me and asked if he could speak at our church. A bell sounded loudly in my head as I remembered my pastor asking me last spring to host a forum. I had not acted on this request because of the other activities in which our chapter was involved.
But this time it struck me as odd that this request would come to me personally from a candidate I barely knew. I began to think that perhaps this invitation was more providential rather than coincidental.
We seized the opportunity. In a week’s time we obtained permission from our pastor and confirmed the attendance of two U.S. Congressional candidates and four Kitsap County Commissioner candidates. All of the candidates were invited to attend. Flyers were posted in the community; people were invited via phone, e-mail and Facebook, and public announcements were made at church and political meetings. To our amazement this event came together exceptionally well with only a week’s notice.
On the night of the forum, nine candidates showed up! Four were Kitsap County Commissioner candidates, two U.S. Congressional candidates, two judges, and one state representative. Questions were posed on issues such as marriage, abortion, gun control, health care, education and others with a 1-2 minute response time allowed.
Prior to and after the official question and answer time, we served coffee and refreshments. This was a real hit as it gave residents of Kitsap County an opportunity to personally meet and greet the candidates.
We closed our doors around 9:45 p.m. Everyone wanted to linger. Feedback from our candidates was quite positive. They said this was one of the best forums in which they had ever participated.
We are thankful to the Lord for His blessing on the event and hope our success will inspire other Chapters to step out in faith and lead their own forums.