Approved at the 203rd Annual Meeting, June 7-8, 2002
The purposes of this resolution are (1) to publicly offer our prayers and support to a UCC delegation from Massachusetts, and two other conferences, traveling to Colombia this summer, (2) to publicly offer our prayers and support to the good and innocent people who suffer in Colombia, and (3) call upon our Conference, in conjunction with two other Conferences and the Mission and Justice Ministries, to develop a presence in Colombia in cooperation with ecumenical partners, (4) and urge U.S. policymakers to stop military aid and aerial fumigation in Colombia.
WHEREAS, the Psalmist proclaims, "How very good and pleasant it is when kindred live together in unity" (Psalm 133:1) and Jesus in the Beatitudes taught his disciples "Blessed are the peacemakers for they will be called children of God" (Matthew 5:9); and the Apostle Paul has told us that we are entrusted with the "ministry of reconciliation" (2 Corinthians 5:18) and called to be "ambassadors for Christ" (2 Corinthians 5:20); and
WHEREAS, Mission and Justice Ministries, and the Latin American/Caribbean Office of the Common Global Ministries worked in collaboration with Witness for Peace to send a diverse, interfaith delegation to Colombia from March 11-13, 2001 which included 20 clergy and lay representatives of the United Church of Christ and the Disciples of Christ from around the country; and
WHEREAS, a delegation of church members from the Massachusetts Conference of the United Church of Christ, in conjunction with the Mid Atlantic Conference, and the Connecticut Conferences, will be going to Colombia from June 26 to July 8, 2002, to visit with leaders of church groups, campesinos, indigenous communities, human rights organizations, businesses, and the government, to learn and experience first hand some of the sorrows, and causes of sorrows, that afflict that country;
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the 203rd Annual Meeting of the Massachusetts Conference of the United Church of Christ supports the June/July delegation with prayers, endorsement, encouragement, and offerings, and that we call upon them to help educate and connect members of the local congregations of the Massachusetts Conference with our Colombian brothers and sisters upon their return (a study guide for congregations on the subject will be prepared); and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the 203rd Annual Meeting supports the collective development of a ministry and presence in Colombia, in cooperation with the Central Atlantic Conference, the Connecticut Conference, Wider Church Ministries of the United Church of Christ, the Common Global Ministries Board of the United Church of Christ and the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), and ecumenical partners there to work for peace, justice, and human rights;
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED,. that the 203rd Annual Meeting, in keeping with recommendations from the UCC/DOC delegates to Colombia in March, 2001, calls on the members of local churches of the Massachusetts Conference, United Church of Christ to urge U.S. policymakers to reallocate aid to Colombia from military to humanitarian and peace making purposes; to support manual coca crop eradication, to support sustainable agriculture, instead of aerial fumigation; and to provide adequate funding for drug prevention and treatment in the U.S.