Monday, April 8, 2019

A United Church of Christ (UCC) Resolution on Preventing Nuclear War ("Back From the Brink")

"Earthrise" (William Anders, 1968)

I am feeling hopeful today.

I just returned from a gathering of the Wisconsin Conference of the United Church of Christ (UCC). Being together with people from 218 different congregations, with close to 41,000 members, and seeing them all work together, reminded me of the enormous potential in the Church to bring about the better world we all seek.

At the gathering, I was reminded that in just over 2 months the full UCC will convene for its bi-annual meeting in Milwaukee. And that's particularly important to me because of a resolution on preventing nuclear war that will be brought forward at that gathering.

The "Resolution Calling for the United States to pull “Back From The Brink” and Prevent Nuclear War" calls for action in five areas:

* renouncing the option of using nuclear weapons first;
* ending any president’s sole, unchecked authority to launch a nuclear attack;
* taking US nuclear weapons off hair-trigger alert;
* cancelling the plan to replace its entire arsenal with enhanced weapons; and
* actively pursuing a verifiable agreement among nuclear armed states to eliminate their nuclear arsenals.

There are already people at work on those five areas in the US government and in governments around the world. For instance, there are four bills currently making their way through Congress:

And there is the global nuclear ban treaty currently advancing in the United Nations.

The reason, in my opinion, that the UCC resolution is particularly important lies in this sentence: If passed, "[t]he 32nd General Synod of the United Church of Christ will request that all churches, associations, conferences, and associated bodies of the United Church of Christ consider how to implement this resolution with the support and encouragement of the Covenanted Ministries." Nationally, the UCC consists of approximately 4,956 congregations with 853,778 members. These are people deeply committed to their relationships with each other and with God -- they meet weekly to worship, to socialize, and to get stuff done -- and they care profoundly about God's Creation. I can't think of another single group with more awesome potential to make a change in the fate of the Earth.

So: if you are a member of a UCC congregation, please share the news of this resolution with others and encourage them to support it at the Milwaukee meeting in June.

And if you are a member of some other denomination, you might want to begin to ask: what can our churches be doing to pull us "Back From The Brink"?

(Read more about the "Back From The Brink" campaign.)

John F. Kennedy: "... the fate of the world and the future of the human race, is
involved with preventing a nuclear war." ("Back From The Brink" campaign)