As U.S. Election Day draws nearer, the Willow Creek Community Church in the Chicago suburb of South Barrington, Illinois is launching a billboard campaign called "Love Everyone, Always" in hopes of unifying people despite their political differences.
The "Love Everyone, Always" campaign will be launched on Oct. 22 on digital billboards over the Jane Addams Memorial Tollway at Elmhurst Road near Des Plaines and at the Ogilvie Transportation Center in Chicago, according to the Daily Herald.
The billboards promoting love and unity will be up until Nov. 20. Willow Creek leaders came up with the idea for the campaign over the summer after seeing so many people torn by strife and racial injustices. Over the past few months, several black men have already lost their lives in Minnesota and Louisiana because of police shootings, and church leaders believe it's time to put an end to hatred and bitterness.
Their billboard campaign hopes to bridge the gap among people of different backgrounds, race, and even political affiliations. The message is simple: Love your neighbour as you love yourself.
"I think our world would be fascinated in a time where there seems to be so much negativity, so much rhetoric, so much cynicism, by just a fresh pop of inspiration that brings you back to roots of good news," said Teaching Pastor Steve Carter.
Aside from love, the animated message on the billboards will also include other positive reminders to "respect," "forgive" and "serve" other people.
Church members will not stop with just the billboard. As part of the "Love Everyone, Always" campaign, volunteers will also distribute yard signs and bumper stickers that promote the biblical message.
"We wanted to kind of get back to this is what Jesus invites us to do, to love and respect and welcome and bless everyone always," Carter said.