A Resolution Concerning A Christian Response to War approved by the 204th Annual Meeting (2003)

6/7/2003


Approved by the 204th Annual Meeting, June 6-7, 2003, Mount Holyoke College. Proposed by the Commission for Mission and Justice Ministries

WHEREAS, the 204th Annual Meeting of the Massachusetts Conference of the United Church of Christ takes note of the large number of current and impending violent conflicts throughout God's world, and

WHEREAS, as disciples of the Prince of Peace and as Christians who have been called to live out a vocation of reconciliation, we acknowledge with humility our duty to pray for, seek out, advocate and work for those things which make for peace, and

WHEREAS, we are called by Jesus to “love our enemies” and by St. Paul to “contend with the powers and principalities” “wearing the whole armor of God” and wielding the tools of the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 6.12f), and
 
WHEREAS, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. aptly asserted that “The past is prophetic in that it asserts loudly that wars are poor chisels for carving out peaceful tomorrows. One day we must come to see that peace is not a merely distant goal that we seek, but a means by which we arrive at that goal” (attributed), and
 
WHEREAS, Isaiah prophesized “and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore.” (Isaiah 2:4)

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the 204th Annual Meeting of the Massachusetts Conference of the United Church of Christ
 
1. recommits as Christians to working for and promoting the peaceful resolution of all violent conflicts, in our own nation and worldwide
 
2. believes that all peaceful possibilities and options for resolution of conflicts should be exhausted before resorting to war

3. continues to believe that we are called as a nation to vigorously and diligently pursue diplomatic, financial, educational and intelligence strategies that are non-violent in cooperation with other countries and international bodies in the face of conflict and potential conflict

4. passionately and faithfully affirms the personal and corporate Christian vocation as peacekeepers, peacemakers, and reconcilers in the name of Christ that we might shine God's light into the darkness and bring Christ's healing into the brokenness of this world; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the 204th Annual Meeting of the Massachusetts Conference of the United Church of Christ reaffirms previous General Synod and Annual Meeting Resolutions that we are a Just Peace Church; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the 204th Annual Meeting of the Massachusetts Conference of the United Church of Christ urges the Commission for Mission and Justice Ministries of the Massachusetts Conference of the United Church of Christ to institute educational and action programs concerning the issues implicit in this resolution as financing is available; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that the 204th Annual Meeting of the Massachusetts Conference of the United Church of Christ requests that its Minister and President send copies of this resolution to appropriate world, national, and local leaders.
 



 



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