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.

Sign up for our newsletter!

SUBSCRIBE
Bishop Richard Wilke. An official portrait courtesy of the Council of Bishops.

Gay daughter sent bishop back to Scriptures

The co-author of the popular Disciple Bible study writes about how learning his daughter is gay led him to examine Scriptures about homosexuality more closely.
Mission and Ministry
The Rev. Thomas Lank

Seeing ‘new face’ of Christian church in China

A joint United Methodist volunteer team from the North Central and Northeastern jurisdictions makes a journey of peace and goodwill to China.
General Church
The Rev. William B. Lawrence.  Photo by H. Jackson/Southern Methodist University.

Commission on General Conference added to confusion

Closed meeting and referral decision were mistakes, writes a former president of the United Methodist Judicial Council.