Just Peace Updates
Clergy Speak out on Syria
UCC Clergy have crafted a statement expressing moral outrage regarding the Obama Administration’s exemption of airstrikes in Iraq and Syria from strict protections to prevent civilian deaths. Please consider adding your name and share widely. Excerpt: “we urge in the strongest possible terms that you order American forces to return to your policy that no strikes will take place in Syria and Iraq unless there is “near certainty” that civilians will not be harmed.”
Learn more abou the conflict in Syria.
A Faith Perspective on Pentagon Spending
Our country’s excessive Pentagon spending both starves other vital programs and contributes to the militarization of our foreign and domestic policy. Join the Faith Community on October 29 for a webinar about U.S. Pentagon Spending. Listen to experts from several national faith advocacy organizations speak about just how big the US Pentagon budget is and what we can do to create more balanced federal spending priorities. Register to participate.
UCC leaders against airstrikes, arming opposition to end Islamic State threats
Sandy Sorensen and the Rev. Michael Neuroth of Justice and Witness Ministries Washington, D.C., office and the Global Ministries' Co-Executives, the Rev. Julia Brown Karimu and the Rev. James Moos, all signed a letter expressing concern over airstrikes and calling for humanitarian assistance and diplomatic solutions outlined in the Just Peace practices in response to the crisis in Iraq and Syria.
The National Gun Violence Prevention Sabbath
The National Gun Violence Prevention Sabbath weekend has been a cornerstone in the national conversation about gun violence and, specifically, what people of faith can do in their own communities to prevent it. This year, we're hoping to strengthen our reach while also bolstering the efforts of a key partner, Newtown Action.
The National Gun Violence Prevention Sabbath weekend has traditionally been observed in March, but is being rescheduled to complement Newtown Action's National Vigil for Gun Violence Victims, December 11-14. Pledge your congregation’s participation now.
2014 International Day of Prayers for Peace
Sunday, September 21st was International Day of Prayer for Peace. The United Church of Christ partnered with On Earth Peace to lift up 9/21 as a day of prayer and education for peace. Hundreds of events were held around the globe under different campaigns. Check out our summary of events and images and a reflection by Michael Neuroth for a D.C. event.
Coming Soon: Online Course on Just Peace 101, hosted by Chicago Theological Seminary.
A tribute by Rev. Dr. Susan Brooks Thistlethwaite on the Life and Witness of Glen H. Stassen
Glen H. Stassen, friend of Jesus and peacemaker, died on April 26, 2014. Glen was a well-known and beloved Christian Ethics professor at Fuller Theological Seminary, and one of the primary architects of the paradigm of Just Peacemaking, as can be seen in the video clip above from a forthcoming documentary on this crucial fourth paradigm beyond Pacifism, Just War and Crusade. (Read more.)
The United Church of Christ: A Just Peace Church
The Just Peace Church vision is a hallmark of United Church of Christ theological identity. For over two decades, the Just Peace Church pronouncement has inspried a grassroots movement of UCC congregations committed to corporately naming and boldly proclaiming a public identity as a justice-doing, peace-seeking church. The Just Peace pronouncement articulated the UCC position on war and peace distinct from other approaches such as crusade, pacifism, or “just war.” Grounded in UCC polity and covenantal theology, the position focuses attention on alleviating systemic injustice of all types using non-violence and calls us to offer the message, grounded in the hope of reconciliation in Jesus, that “Peace is possible.”
Justice and Witness Ministries is committed to a revitalized Just Peace Church movement and to empowering and resourcing congregations to create a stronger justice and peace witness. Now is the time to rekindle our commitment to Just Peace and make visible our longstanding witness to this approach. To do so, we will be working to update the list of Just Peace Churches in the UCC and will keep this site up to date with educational resources.
Does your church consider itself to be a Just Peace congregation? What is your church doing to live out its calling to be a Just Peace church? What does it mean to be a Just Peace Church in times like these? I hope you will take the time to update your church’s information on our site and offer your responses to these questions. Your energy and voice is needed to reinvigorate and shape the direction of our collective movement.
For more information contact Michael Neuroth and join us in coversation via Facebook and Twitter @JustPeaceUCC.