The dangerous climate created by the current tensions between the United States and Iran could lead to war. Both governments need to commit to diplomatic talks to ease the tensions and reduce the likelihood of armed conflict.
The Committee on Peacemaking and International Issues reported on Latin American issues on Friday afternoon. Photo by Joseph Williams
SAN JOSE, June 27, 2008 — Commissioners to the 218th General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) “stayed the course” of being peacemakers around the world. The Assembly called for “responsibly” bringing the troops home from Iraq, continuing peacemaking in Israel and Palestine and supporting human rights in Zimbabwe, the Philippines, North Korea and Colombia.
Issues concerning peace, as it relates to the Middle East and other crisis areas of the world, took the majority of the committee’s time during deliberations earlier this week. Their mindful discernment helped the full General Assembly to move business quickly and collaboratively. As a result, the full assembly quickly passed overtures that affirmed immediate food aid to North Korea, civil rights accompaniment to citizens of Colombia and a careful approach to peacemaking in Israel and Palestine.
Bishop Eliezer M. Pascua, general secretary of the United Church of Christ in Philippines. Photo by Danny Bolin
SAN JOSE, June 27, 2008 — Bishop Eliezer M. Pascua leads a church that lives at the intersection of uncertainty and faith.
Pascua, general secretary of the United Church of Christ in the Philippines (UCCP), has seen 26 pastors and lay leaders killed over the past five years for the stands they have taken.
Church leaders who continue to speak out for the nation’s marginalized do so not knowing how the military and government might react. Imprisonment or death could very well be the result.
Nevertheless, the UCCP holds fast to its conviction that faithfulness requires the church to be advocates for people who are disenfranchised. “As one of the largest mainline denominations, we believe an integral part of our mission and ministry is to get involved in the struggles and hopes of the people,” said Pascua, an ecumenical delegate to the 218th General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). “The whole UCCP carries this conviction.”
SAN JOSE, June 27, 2008 — By a 5-to-1 margin, the 218th General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) on Friday approved “A Social Creed for the 21st Century,” exactly 100 years after the “Social Creed” of 1908 spoke to the harshness of industrial life at the turn of the last century.
The 218th General Assembly of the PC(USA) has taken action on several recommendations from the committee on Peacemaking and International Issues, concerning the Philippines, Colombia, Conscientious Objectors, and Israel/Palestine: