Soapbox: Arresting comments
December 2007 - January 2008
December 1, 2007

Online reports of the Oct. 10 arrest of the Rev. John H. Thomas and the Rev. Linda Jaramillo prompted many readers to leave online comments at www.ucc.org/news. Here are a few:

Heartfelt thanks for your powerful witness on behalf of our communion today. It is a part of the Light and Love which no darkness can overcome ... and part of the revolution that is happening on our beloved planet in these complex times.

The Rev. Susan Teegen-Case
Philadelphia, Pa.

I am very moved at this protest-prayer by John Thomas and Linda Jaramillo. Thank you to the UCC for inspiring me once again to work in an even more committed way to witnessing for God’s kingdom here "on earth as it is in heaven." May peace come soon.

Obadiah Ballinger
New Haven, Conn.

With the latest petition drive, I fear our denominational leadership is taking us down a self-destructive path. Our unique feature as a denomination is freedom and independence. To try to organize events from the "top" has two horrible consequences:  First, if successful, it moves us from being a "least common denomination" to being more like the denominations many of us left. Second, it is sort of a slap in the face to those of us who have already protested or supported troops, as if what happened without being led is of no consequence.

Our unique witness is that we are a denomination of personal freedom. In this day and age that is a more precious witness that any organized movement.

The Rev. Dan Lozer
Sioux City, Iowa

Thank you for being there in my stead! So few other denomination leaders would take these risks, much less do it themselves. In a time when our culture tends to be hopeless, thank you for conveying my voice.

Karen Eddy
Billings, Mont.

I sit here on the other side of the country, reading this news, with tears of gratitude for your witness. Thank you for doing this on behalf of so many of us. One of the most moving worship services we’ve had here at Alki UCC was on Sept. 16 when four of our members read aloud the Pastoral Letter on Iraq. We are with you.

The Rev. Diane Darling
Seattle, Wash.

I have never been prouder to be a UCCer! Thank you for doing what I am not able to do because of distance. I see few heros in the name of Christ in today’s society but you two are at the top of my list. I will continue to work to get more signatures on the petition. Your bravery should help.

The Rev. Deanna J. Lewis
Centralia, Kan.

It is unlikely that your courageous witness to Jesus Christ and the gospel of peace will change the heart of the President. But perhaps your witness will stiffen the backbone of members of the House and the Senate.

Certainly, your action for peace will give encouragement to hundreds and thousands in local congregations to take their stand against empire and for the rule of God.

The Rev. Jon Schultz
Madison, Wis.

Peace is possible if we want it! Thanks to John and Linda for making it real in D.C. Now, what’s next UCC?

The Rev. Jerry Leggett
The Peace Bubble Tour

Thanks for your courage and faith that was not diminished by the threat of being arrested for taking a positive, justice stand against an illegal war. A war that is draining our nation of vital resources and the ability to finance adequate healthcare and education for our children. I am proud to be a part of this great UCC denomination. I thank God for your faith and leadership.

The Rev. Alice Harper-Jones
Chicago, Ill.

We are taking our faith to the world. Synod was not empty statements but myriad calls to action! Here is one mighty one. Thank you, John and Linda.

Bill Stanley
Bellevue, Wash.
 

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CONTACT INFO

Rev. J. Bennett Guess
Executive Minister, Local Church Ministries
700 Prospect Ave.
Cleveland,Ohio 44115
216-736-3801
guessb@ucc.org