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

Syria 9 5 Social agency urges United Methodists to ask Congress to negotiate, not attack Syria

Women and children walk through the Zaatari Refugee Camp near Mafraq, Jordan. Opened in July, 2012, the camp holds more than 50,000 refugees from the civil war inside Syria. The United Methodist Committee on Relief has worked with its partners to assist the refugees. Other United Methodists are urging negotiations instead of a U.S. military attack on Syria. Photo © Paul Jeffrey, ACT Alliance.

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.


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  1. Peace And Conflict Resolution

    What I would tell my Congressperson if I could

    Don’t believe the so-called “classified materials” being shared with you on alleged Syrian use of chemical weapons. At this level of the game, one is safer to use one’s heart-felt intuition. The tactic of the Administration being used on Congressional Reps, “Are you prepared for the consequences of doing nothing?”… should be responded to with: “Violence inflicted on Syria based on lies, half-truths and mass deceptions will become your legacy Mr President following this path; truth has a way of revealing itself. And Sir, it remains within your office of President to always do something, does it not? Even a surprising, perhaps stunning, new and meaningful new page in your Administration — a true peace initiative based on truth not deceptions. So do nothing at your own risk. As for my congressional district, we will be finding new alternative energies in an aggressive effort of paradigm shift. Join us in this peaceful cause and leave this war behind. As for your critics, extend them love and light, peace and joy and bid them well, but move on to world peace”

  2. Deborah Englar

    If God deems it necessary to stand for the lives of ALL those murdered in Syria then He will bring us (the U.S.) to action. Our path is to pray without ceasing that the Lord be in control of all the strife. Then whatever God’s Will we will know that we are with Him in what we do or do not do. We have watched silently by for a long time witnessing the mass murder of a people. Chemical weapons is just another form of this mass murdering.

    At this time, bombing another country that has not directly endangered our people in the U.S. would be an act of aggression/war on our part. If we do act, we need to be prepared that we will be in the midst of WWIII. What are we prepared to do when IRAN is capable of bombing our cities and our people. Will it be too late then? PRAY TO OUR GOD NOW!!!!

    1. Peace And Conflict Resolution

      In a world view, praying to God is often referred to as “The Meditation Effect”. Scientifically monitored under controlled tests shows that 3 people in a community of 90,000, can produce a positive outcome in service-to-others though small group meditation on peace, love, compassion, and tolerance. Notice the process is only reported to work in one direction: the positive direction in service-to-others. Care to go for a trial run?

      Population………Min. Group Size
      90,000 …………………. 3 My Town’s Size 
      250,000 ……………….. 5
      500,000 ……………….. 8
      1,000,000…………….. 10
      10,000,000…………… 32
      100,000,000………… 100
      8,000,000,000………894 Earth’s Population +-

      READ MORE >>> http://tinyurl.com/cqhspel

  3. Lewis Culpepper

    Amazing how the Administration claims to be so concerned about a few hundred being gassed or slaughtered (which is totally bad) but yet allows 1,000,000 unborn Americans to be slaughtered before their birth each year and also FORCES U.S. citizens to fund this atrocity to the tune of $400,000,000 annually.

  4. Annie Otto, Wildwood, FL

    Listening is far more helpful in the Middle East than pushing our ideas on people with a much longer history of their multiple groups and multiple religious beliefs. Watching “Lawrence of Arabia” again reminded me of how being ‘among’ the tribes is ‘listening’ and thus hearing what they are saying they need. Once elected, noone should try to take control of everything in the lives of the voters. Freedom comes from within a country and its people. Charlie Rose deserves the Nobel Peace Prize for his interview with Syrian President. Tom Friedman deserves an award for hosting the CSPAN3 panel on Egypt’s needed reconciliation. I recommend the Coventry, England, Reconciliation Team. They have a proven record of listening before speaking. God bless them.

  5. Annie Otto

    Would the Council on Bishops consider inviting England’s Coventry Reconciliation Team to come and listen and work with the divisions between our President and Congress over Immigration, Health Care, the Budget, and name calling? Perhaps this outside group noted for listening first might bring about new avenues for negotiations in the apparent stale-mate.

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