Opinions expressed here are my own and do not represent the views of the congregation I joyfully serve. But my congregation loves me!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Peace Proposals at General Assembly

Commissioners to the upcoming General Assembly of the PCUSA will consider a number of overtures regarding peacemaking. The Presbyterian Peace Fellowship has written about a number of overtures and included its recommendations. Check out their four-page pdf document.

The Presbyterian Peace Fellowship also provides an analysis and links to the specific overtures on its website. You can check individual topics, including:

  1. Regarding Iraq
  2. Gun Violence
  3. Colombia
  4. Israel/Palestine
  5. A Social Creed for the 21st Century
  6. Interfaith Relations and Peacemaking
  7. Conscientious Objectors
  8. Other Peace Related Overtures
This is an excellent website. Easy to navigate with links to the original documents. The PPF has really done their homework for this GA.

Even if you are not Presbyterian, you will find some good stuff on the website and in these overtures. Hopefully, this GA will take a strong stand for peacemaking.

This overture from Baltimore Presbytery is one of the best regarding the Iraq War. It is worth the blog space to post it here:


The Presbytery of Baltimore overtures the 218th General Assembly (2008) to do the following:

1. Pray, in a spirit of deep sorrow and confession, for God’s justice and peace to prevail in Iraq; and recognizing and heeding God’s call to love all persons as made in God’s own image, and even to pray for our enemies, encourage all Presbyterians to be in intentional and regular prayer for everyone in and of Iraq: for Iraqi civilians, Christian, Muslim, Jew, Yezidi; for soldiers and armed actors; for the refugees and the displaced; for the tortured and their torturers; and for insurgents, kidnappers, and terrorists, for all are God’s beloved, all are in need of the transformation of God’s love and God’s peace.

2. Commend and thank the peacemakers who have worked nonviolently to end the war in Iraq through prayers, vigils, and acts of resistance and witness such as the actions organized by the Christian Peace Witness for Iraq; and encourage all Presbyterians to participate enthusiastically in peacemaking efforts to end the occupation of Iraq.

3. Commend and thank members of the armed forces, and their loved ones, for their service and sacrifice.

4. Call upon the United States government to support our military personnel by granting speedy discharges to conscientious objectors; fully funding veterans’ benefits; ensuring that injured service personnel and veterans have the best medical, mental health, and rehabilitation care available; and providing generous benefits to surviving family members.

5. Call upon the government of the United States to end its military presence in Iraq by withdrawing all troops, hired soldiers, and contractors, and permanently closing all military bases in Iraq.

6. Call upon the United States and all member states of the United Nations to establish and fully fund a United Nations peacebuilding mission for Iraq to work in partnership with Iraqi leaders, neighboring nations, and appropriate international governmental and nongovernmental organizations to establish security in Iraq, rebuild institutions and infrastructure, resettle and assist refugees, and initiate a process of truth and reconciliation to promote healing and forgiveness.

7. Call upon the United States and other responsible nations to voluntarily make restitution in an amount adequate to repair war damage; to fully investigate, and where appropriate, in accordance with the principles of due process recognized in U.S. and international law, to prosecute all charges of war crimes including torture and mistreatment of prisoners; and to cooperate completely with any international investigations of war crimes committed by any party to the conflict in Iraq.

8. Call upon the United States to remove all weapons, mines, depleted uranium, and other military waste products from Iraq; to repair other damage to the environment, including priceless archaeological sites.

9. Call upon the United States to return full direct control of Iraq’s oil resources and oil revenues to Iraq.

10. Direct the Stated Clerk to communicate this action to the president of the United States, members of the U.S. Congress, and the secretary-general of the United Nations.
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