More than 50 church leaders met in Seattle in April and issued a joint call for congregations to play a role in promoting a culture of peace.
We — fifty church leaders, practitioners, scholars, activists and pastors from across the life of our nation and representing a broad range of Christian traditions — gathered for a Christian Peace Circle in Seattle on April 18-19, 2013. We are encouraged by a shared commitment to Jesus’ way of peacemaking. We heard again Jesus’ call to seek justice and love our enemies even as we are grieved and anguished by the violence, killing and war-making that permeates the very fabric of our nation.
Our deepest sympathies are with the victims of the violence in Boston. We are also greatly disturbed that while we met the U.S. Senate failed to adopt the most common sense, popularly supported measures to reduce gun violence in this country. We wrestle with what it would mean for our churches to be prepared for the next
We believe our congregations share a sacred role in being strategic centers that nurture a culture of peace. We cultivated new bonds of friendship and partnership among us. We pledge to create spaces where Christians mobilize to pray, train and act for peace together and with others of good will.
Participants in the Christian Peace Circle included leaders of Catholic, Evangelical, Pentecostal, Historic Protestant, Historic Peace Church, and Orthodox churches and representatives of major Christian peace networks. Participants from the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) included the Sharon E. Watkins, General Minister and President; Robert K. Welsh, President of the Council on Christian Unity; and, Michael Kinnamon and the Richard Cunningham, professors at the School of Theology and Ministry of Seattle University.