Social agency urges United Methodists to ask Congress to negotiate, not attack Syria

An action alert has been issued by the Peace with Justice unit of the United Methodist Board of Church and Society, asking church members to call on Congress to oppose a U.S. military attack on Syria and support “vigorous peace negotiations” instead.

Mark Harrison, church and society executive, noted that “only a political solution to the conflict in Syria will end the suffering of its people” and cited the United Methodist Social Principles, which declare war to be “incompatible with the teachings and example of Christ.”

Church and Society’s U.N. Office also is sponsoring a peace vigil against military action on Syria from 12:15 p.m. to 1 p.m. Sept. 6 in the chapel of the Church Center for the United Nations. Co-sponsors include United Methodist Women, the Mennonite Central Committee, U.N. Office, and the Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations.

Other church leaders have expressed concern over how to respond to Syria’s use of chemical weapons on its own people. The Rev. Olav Fykse Tveit, top executive of the World Council of Churches, sent an open letter to the U.N. Security Council, also opposing military intervention.

Bishop Mary Ann Swenson, Ecumenical Officer of the United Methodist Council of Bishops, was among 24 Christian faith leaders who signed a July 13 letter asking President Barack Obama not to pursue military force against Syria.

Bishop Grant Hagiya of the Greater Northwest episcopal area has encouraged United Methodists to heed Pope Francis’ invitation and spend Sept. 7 in prayer and fasting for peace in Syria.

The United Methodist Committee on Relief and Church World Service have been working through partner agencies for months to address critical needs of Syrian refugees, who are now leaving the country at a rate of 5,000 a day, according to new information from the United Nations.


Like what you're reading? Support the ministry of UM News! Your support ensures the latest denominational news, dynamic stories and informative articles will continue to connect our global community. Make a tax-deductible donation at ResourceUMC.org/GiveUMCom.

Sign up for our newsletter!

UMNEWS-SUBSCRIPTION
Annual Conferences
The Rev. Jack Jackson. Photo courtesy of the author.

Florida Conference board caused the harm

Yes, harm resulted from a recent vote by the Florida Conference clergy conference, but the blame belongs with the conference’s board of ordained ministry.
Annual Conferences
The Rev. Paul W. Chilcote. Photo courtesy of the author.

Apply Wesleyan lens to clergy-session controversy

This is not the time for accusations or recriminations regarding the Florida Conference clergy session’s June 9 vote not to approve 16 candidates for provisional membership.
Bishops
Dr. David W. Scott. Photo © Hector Amador.

United Methodist bishops in global perspective

The lack of regional decision-making authority in the U.S. United Methodist conferences caused the recent dilemma over not being able to hold episcopal elections.