Church leaders 'sign on' to statement about war with Iraq

Church leaders 'sign on' to statement about war with Iraq

March 31, 2003
Written by Staff Reports

At their annual consultation, held this year in February in San Diego, UCC national staff and Conference Ministers wrote and "signed on" to the following statement about a war with Iraq:

For in [Christ] every one of God's promises is a "Yes." For this reason it is through Christ that we say the Amen.

II Corinthians 1:20
[Lectionary for Sunday, Feb. 23, 2003]

Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ: In these days, we hold in prayer the pastors, teachers and members of our churches who are earnestly seeking to preach and live according to the teachings of Jesus Christ. We know that our members are not of one mind, yet as leaders we believe ourselves morally bound to give voice to our conviction. The issues of war and peace are of profound spiritual import, and we respect all who struggle with the application of the Gospel to these perilous times. We pray for the men and women who now prepare to conduct war, earnestly hoping for peace so that lives will not have to be lost. We pray that we will all be faithful to God in Christ, whose "Yes" to humanity is trustworthy and true.

The United States is at the very brink of military action against Iraq. The recourse to war, according to our Christian tradition, is an admission of At their annual consultation, held this year in February in San Diego, UCC national staff and Conference Ministers wrote and "signed on" to the following statement about a war with Iraq. human failure. By such action, we admit our lack of commitment to use other means to resolve human conflict. It is a resounding "No" to God's eternal "Yes" to humanity.

As leaders in the United Church of Christ in the U.S.A., we add our voices to those of our partner churches in the Middle East and around the world, and to those of countless others who have spoken and marched in opposition to an attack on Iraq. We believe that this war is not about security—indeed, it will increase the world's insecurity. Nor is this war about human rights—while Saddam Hussein is an egregious violator of human rights, so are many of those whose support our government has enlisted.

Instead of war, we advocate for a continuation of aggressive inspections as a more prudent and a more humane and moral course of action. Instead of war, we urge approaches to this global crisis that emphasize economic justice, God's mercy, and a new vision of what it means for humanity to live together on this planet we share. May God inspire us all to work for peace!

Prayerfully, in Jesus' name,

Signatories to Annual Consultation statement

Jean M. Alexander, Conference Minister, Maine
David C. Balmer, Pennsylvania Southeast Conference Attorney
Carl F. Beyer, Interim Conference Minister, Rhode Island
Dale L. Bishop, Executive Minister, Wider Church Ministries, UCC
Geoffrey A. Black, Conference Minister, New York
Christine S. Boardman, Interim Conference Minister, Illinois South
Douglas M. Borko, Conference Minister, Florida
Stephen W. Camp, Conference Minister, Southern
Robert Chase, Director of Communication, United Church of Christ
Davida Foy Crabtree, Conference Minister, Connecticut
Benjamin C.L. Crosby, Conference Minister, New Hampshire
John R. Deckenback, Conference Minister, Central Atlantic
Timothy C. Downs, Conference Minister, Southeast
A. Gayle Engel, Conference Minister, Missouri Mid-South
David R. Gaewski, Conference Minister, Maine
Mary Susan Gast, Conference Minister, Northern California Nevada
Ana K. Gobledale, Local Church Relations, Wider Church Ministries, UCC
Stephen C. Gray, Conference Minister, Indiana-Kentucky
Edith A. Guffey, Associate General Minister, UCC
Stephanie Boughton Haines, Conference Minister, Pacific Northwest
Donald G. Hart, Executive Vice President, United Church Foundation
Jane E. Heckles, Conference Minister, Southern California Nevada
Susan A. Henderson, Interim Conference Minister, New Hampshire
Jane Fisler Hoffman, Conference Minister, Illinois
Randall Hyvonen, Conference Minister, Pacific Northwest
Susan Ingham, Conference Minister, Iowa
Bernice Powell Jackson, Executive Minister, Justice and Witness Ministries, UCC
Norman W. Jackson, Administrative Coordinator, Council of Conference Ministers, Secretary/Treasurer, Council on American Indian Ministries, UCC
John H. Krueger, Conference Minister, Kansas Oklahoma
Wallace Ryan Kuroiwa, Economic Justice Ministry, Justice and Witness Ministries, UCC
Kenneth G. Leischner, Conference Minister, Rocky Mountain
HZctor E. L-pez, Conference Minister, Central Pacific
Jose A. Malayang, Executive Minister, Local Church Ministries, UCC
Alan C. Miller, Conference Minister, Pennsylvania Northeast
Gene E. Miller, Conference Minister, South Dakota
F. Russell Mitman, Conference Minister and President, Pennsylvania Southeast
David S. Moyer, Conference Minister, Wisconsin
Rodney Mundy, Interpretation and Public Relations, Local Church Ministries, UCC
Nelson R. Murphy, Educational Marketing, United Church Foundation
Lois M. Powell, Justice and Witness Ministries, UCC
Ralph C. Quellhorst, Conference Minister, Ohio
Cally Rogers-Witte, Conference Minister, Southwest
Daniel Romero, Conference Minister, Southern California Nevada
Eugene Ross, Conference Minister, Central Pacific
Susan M. Sanders, Global Sharing of Resources, Wider Church Ministries, UCC
John M. Schaeffer, Conference Minister, Montana Northern Wyoming
Wade (and Peg) Schemmel, Conference Minister, Northern Plains
David Schoen, Evangelism Ministries, Local Church Ministries, UCC
Donald J. Sevetson, Interim Conference Minister, Hawaii
Clyde J. Steckel, Interim Conference Minister, Minnesota
Terrence M. Sternberg, Counsel, Southern California Nevada
Nancy S. Taylor, Conference Minister, Massachusetts
John H. Thomas, General Minister and President, UCC
Kent Ulery, Conference Minister, Michigan
Lyle J. Weible, Conference Minister, Pennsylvania Central
George S. Worcester, Conference Minister, Nebraska

If there's a war, go to

In the event the United States goes to war with Iraq, the UCC's website,, will become a prayer and action center for your congregation.

A special main page on the website will direct churches to such online resources as a special space in the online Prayer Chapel to remember members of the military, their families and friends; scripture references and resources for prayer, worship and action; and opportunities to help out with humanitarian aid.

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