In June 2006, UUA's General Assembly voted to study and act on the issue of Peacemaking for four years, as part of the the Congregational Study Action Issue process. The description of the issue that was voted on is at http://www.uua.org/csai. In 2009 the results of the study will lead to a proposal for a Statement of Conscience on the issue.
A wealth of resources on the issue are available at http://www.uua.org/peacemaking
Peacemaking-network is the UUA email forum for this SAI.
In the Spring of 2007, the Washington Office For Advocacy hired Alex Winnett to be the Program Associate for Peacemaking. His two year long position will be to help congregations, individuals and affiliates navigate the CSAI on Peacemaking.
Comments on the Statement of Conscience
Comments and responses to the October draft of the Statement of Conscience:
- Peacemaking SOC Comments - submitted by congregations
- Draft SOC Feedback Responses - Some drafts of comments
Building a Culture of Peace: How Can UUs Lead the Way?
You are warmly invited to join in a series of informal discussions by teleconference featuring noted UU leaders and scholars, on the topic of how UUs can provide leadership in building a culture of peace. This presentation is sponsored by the UU Peacemaking Congregational Study/Action Core Team. To download, wait until your browser indicates it's ready.
Seminar #1 – "Can Peace be a Force that Gives Life Meaning?" with Rev. Richard Gilbert is available online.
Seminar #2 – “Strategic Options for Building a Culture of Peace” with Prof. Sharon Welch is available online
Seminar #3 – "Reconciling UU Humanitarian Hawks and Pacifist Doves" with Prof. Howard Tolley is available online
Seminar #4 - "The Morality of Violence " with Dr. Charlie Clements is available on line
Seminar #5 - "Unitarian Universalist Congregations: Centers for Peacemaking" - with Rose Edington and Mel Hoover is available on-line.
Conversation #6 "How Can Peace Psychology Help Us Understand How to Take The Lead in Building a Culture of Peace?" - with Hal Bertilson, August 6. script of this teleseminar
Conversation #7 "Building A Peacemaking Culture" - with Mac Goekler and Judy Morgan, Thursday, August 28, 2008 - 8 pm EDST Our commitment to peacemaking compels us to develop visions and strategies for building a culture of peace...poetic and inspiring visions on one hand, and nuts-and-bolt strategies for action, on the other hand. An effort has begun to develop a vision/strategy document that would provide focus and inspiration in building a more peaceful, just, sustainable culture. It will draw on the UU long history of involvement in anti-oppression work, ranging from civil rights to women's rights to gay/lesbian rights. A draft introductory vision statement, that captures the core commitment to ending "us vs. them" thinking, is available at:
http://www.uuism.net/uuwiki/index.php?title=Peacemaking_CSAI_Narrative Mac and Judy will describe this effort and lead a discussion of what visions and strategies can guide us in building a culture of peace and right relationship with all. Please bring your ideas!
Presenter: Judy Morgan is the Social Justice Chair for the Wildflower Church (South Austin, TX). Judy is also the co-chair of the CSAI UUA Peacemaking Core Team.
Presenter: Mac Goekler is co-chair of the Social Justice Committee for the UU Church of Kent (OH). He is also a co-regional coordinator for UUSC. Mac is also a member of the CSAI UUA Peacemaking Core Team.
Input for SAI Resource Guide
Suggestions for Ministers
Suggestions for Advocacy
- Center on Conscience & War - The Center is committed to supporting all those who question participation in war, whether they are U.S. citizens, permanent residents, documented or undocumented immigrants--or citizens in other countries.
- Center for Nonviolent Communication - the work of Marshall Rosenberg and others, also known as "Compassionate Communication". Helps at all levels of peacemaking, from personal, to relationship, to congregational, to community, to politics, to the world....
- Central Committee for Conscientious Objectors - CCCO supports and promotes individual and collective resistance to war and preparations for war.
- Fellowship of Reconciliation - FOR seeks to replace violence, war, racism, and economic injustice with nonviolence, peace, and justice. We are an interfaith organization committed to active nonviolence as a transforming way of life and as a means of radical change. We educate, train, build coalitions, and engage in nonviolent and compassionate actions locally, nationally, and globally. UU John Haynes Holmes was one of the founders.
- Friends of Adin Ballou - Friends of Adin Ballou honors the life and legacy of Universalist and Unitarian Rev. Adin Ballou (1803-1890). The goals of Friends of Adin Ballou are to research and study the words and deeds of Adin Ballou and the Hopedale Community, and to find ways to keep their legacy alive in the modern world.*
- Global Action to Prevent War
- The UN
- United States Institute of Peace
- War Resisters League - The War Resisters League affirms that all war is a crime against humanity. We therefore are determined not to support any kind of war, international or civil, and to strive nonviolently for the removal of all causes of war. UU John Haynes Holmes was one of the founders.
- Dictionary of Unitarian and Universalist Biography Antiwar and Peace Activists
Articles and Essays
- Pacifists and Pragmatists John Buehrens, UU World, January/February 2002
- Against Vengeance: Witness for the things that make for peace Rebecca Ann Parker, UU World, September/October 2002
- Prophetic Nonviolence Paul Rasor, UU World, Spring 2008,
- Unitarian Universalist Responses to War and Peace: A Brief History Jane Rosecrans
- The Power of Peace Pamela Rumancik
- Unitarian Universalism and the Movement for World Peace Paul Sawyer
- Embattled Faith: How do you "support the troops" when you oppose the war? Neil Shister, UU World, July/August 2003
- Misconceptions About Nonviolence George Wolfe
- Is Any War “Just” George Wolfe
- Fighting the Same Enemy George Wolfe
- General Resolutions General resolutions concerning peacemaking made by the UU Association of Congregations
- Witnessing for Peace: A Pastoral Letter Rev. William G. Sinkford
Books & Pamphlets
- Theological Basis of Social Action James Luther Adams, Chapter 7 of On Being Human Religiously, Beacon Press, 1976.
- Christian Non-Resistance Adin Ballou, 1846
- Discourses on War William Ellery Channing
- My Gandhi John Haynes Holmes, Harper, 1953.
- Proverbs of Ashes: Violence, Redemptive Suffering, and the Search for What Saves Us Rebecca Parker and Rita Brock, Beacon Press, 2002.
- Civil Disobedience (Resistance to Civil Government) Henry David Thoreau
- After Empire: The Art and Ethos of Enduring Peace Sharon D. Welch, Fortress Press, 2004.
Other Religious Traditions
- American Nonviolence Ira Chernus,
- Being Peace Thich Nhat Hanh, Edited by Arnold Kotler. Berkeley, California: Parallax Press. 1987.
- Beyond Vietnam -- A Time to Break Silence Martin Luther King, Jr., April 4, 1967
- The Truth About Stories: A Native Narrative Thomas King, Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2003.
- Moral Man and Immoral Society: A Study in Ethics and Policitcs Reinhold Niebuhr, Westminster John Knox. 1932.
- Peacemaking: The Believers’ Calling The United Presbyterian Church in the United States of America. The 192nd General Assembly (1980).
- Resistance and Contemplation James Douglas, Doubleday, 1972
- Liberating Faith: Religious Voices for Justice, Peace, and Ecological Wisdom, by Roger Gottlieb, Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2003.
- The Little Book of Strategic Peacebuilding: A Vision and Framework for Peace with Justice Lisa Schirch, Pennsylvania: Good Books. 2004
- For the Peace of the World: A Christian Curriculum on International Relations The National Council of Churches
- Peace is the Way Deepak Chopra, Harmony Publishers, 2005.
- When Jesus Became God: The Struggle to Define Christianity during the Last Days of Rome Richard E. Rubenstein
- Engaging the Powers: Discernment and Resistance in a World of Domination Walter Wink, Augsburg Fortress, 1992.
- Any Book by Walter Wink Walter Wink
- Gandhi: His Life and Message for the World Louis Fischer, The New American Library, 1954.
- Gandhi the Man Eknath Easwaran, Nilgiri Press, 1978.
- Gandhi’s Pilgrimage of Faith Uma Majmudar, State University of NY, NY, 2005.
- Gandhi: An Autobiography: The Story of My Experiments with Truth Mohandas K. Gandhi, Beacon Press 1957.
- The Wit and Wisdom of Gandhi Homer Jack, Beacon Press, 1951
- The Gandhi Reader: A Sourcebook of His Life and Writings Homer Jack, Beacon Press, 1956.
- The Way to God Mohandas K. Gandhi, Berkeley Hills Books, Albany, CA, 1999.
- NPR "Speaking of Faith: A Radio Pilgrimage with Thich Nhat Hanh
- Can Peace be a Force that Gives Life Meaning? April 14, 2008 Teleseminar – Rev. Richard Gilbert: This is an informal teleseminar series exploring how UUs can more effectively work to build a culture of peace and prevent violence. It is sponsored by the Peacemaking Congregational Study/Action Issue (CSAI) Core Team. The recordingis between 45-55 minutes in length. Rev. Richard Gilbert is a longtime UU minister and author of the "Prophetic Imperative: Social Gospel in Theory and Practice", and creator of "Building Your Own Theology" Notes on content: Rev. Gilbert reviewed briefly the mixed history of UUism in terms of peacemaking. He noted the following needs in effective peacebuilding: 1) clarification of the moral and theological arguments against war, grounded in Judeo-Christian texts among others, to use in dialogue with conservatives, 2) identification of practical policy alternatives, that get beyond simplistic demands to ‘bring the troops home’ – a good example of this is "A Responsible Plan to End the War in Iraq" developed by anti-war legislators, 3) emphasize the cost of war in lives and money using the work of Bill Sinkford and the UUA staff. In the long-term there is a need to cultivate effectiveness in peacemaking as an important part of our RE program, linking inner and outer peace. He also noted that we need to oppose war in a compassionate way, that recognizes and acknowledges the sacrifices of military personnel – and that we need to ‘frame’ the issues with language and imagery that speak effectively to those with divergent views, as George Lakoff suggests.
- “Strategic Options for Building a Culture of Peace” April 28, 2008 Presenter: Sharon Welch, provost of Meadville Lombard Theological Seminar, and author of several books including After Empire: the Art and Ethos of Enduring Peace. Sharon is a leader in the UU Peacemaking Congregational Study/Action Issue Program. Her new book, Real Peace, Real Security will be published very soon. Dr. Welch outlined three paradigm shifts that are occurring. Pacifists are recognizing the need for force in protecting innocent populations in situations such as Darfur and Rwanda. Some military leaders are recognizing the limits of force in dealing with insurgent populations, as exacerbating rather than resolving hostilities. Peace activists are seeing the need for comprehensive and strategic peacebuilding rather than simply avoidance of violence. Peacebuilding includes building capacity to meet basic human needs and human rights, transforming power inequities, strengthening democratic institutions, and so forth. As an expression of this growing awareness, there is a proposal being considered at the UN to establish a Peace Service of 15, 000 volunteers to do structural peacebuilding. What is being envisioned by some is an international rule of law, and worldwide effective democratic institutions – a Pax Humana. Are we daring and creative enough to bring this into reality?
- "Reconciling UU Humanitarian Hawks and Pacifist Doves" In order for UUs to lead in building a culture of peace, our denomination must address competing values within our faith community. UU humanitarian hawks advocate the use of force to prevent genocide, while pacifist doves categorically renounce the use of violence. By clarifying our own principles and procedures, UUs could offer a model for others on when to embrace and when to renounce the US use of force. Howard Tolley is Professor of Political Science and adjunct Professor of Law at the University of Cincinnati where he directs the Teaching Human Rights Online project. http://homepages.uc.edu/thro His first book Children and War: Political Socialization to International Conflict was published toward the end of the Vietnam conflict. He has served on the UUSC Board and recently chaired the Peacemaking Task Force at St. John's UU Church http://www.stjohnsuu.org/ which adopted a comprehensive peace initiative at an April 27 Special Congregational Meeting.
- JUST WAR AND PACIFISM, a conversation with Paul Rasor, Ira Chernus and Sharon Welch How can Unitarian Universalists build a moral theology of peace and war? When, if ever, is armed force justified? Do our UU Principles suggest principled nonviolence? Three prominent UU-connected peace scholars address the debates about "just" war, nonviolent strategies of resistance, and the use of military force in peacekeeping. This program is a good introduction for UUs to current thinking about war and peace, while offering depth and consideration of varied opinions on how to best promote and achieve peace. Participants: Sharon Welch, Provost at Meadville Lombard Theological School, and the author of After Empire: the Art and Ethos of Enduring Peace, and the forthcoming book, Real Security/ Real Peace: the challenges of global citizenship Paul Rasor, UU theologian and author of Faith Without Certainty: Liberal Theology in the 21st Century, published in 2005 by Skinner House Books., His article “Prophetic Nonviolence: Toward a Unitarian Universalist Theology of War and Peace” appears in the current (Spring 2008) issue of UUWorld Ira Chernus, Professor of Religious Studies at University of Colorado and author of "American Nonviolence: History of an Idea" and "Monsters to Destroy: The Neoconservative War on Terror and Sin." Moderator: Kathy Partridge, host of KGNU's Connections radio program and member of the Boulder Valley UU Fellowship. Your comments are solicited! Please post them here.
- Seminar #5 - "Unitarian Universalist Congregations: Centers for Peacemaking" - with Rose Edington and Mel Hoover - One of the unique opportunities of our faith is the ability to see things in a holistic way. As in most UU congregations, the membership of the UU Congregation in Charleston WV includes people with various life experiences and varied theological perspectives.
The Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Charleston has been at the heart of the Peace and Anti-War efforts in the community and a creative force in statewide efforts.
- Mel Hoover and Rose Edington are the co-ministers of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Charleston, WV. They met while in seminary in Rochester, NY, where Mel was preparing for ministry as an Episcopalian and Rose as an American Baptist. In 1984 they transferred their ordinations to UUism.
- While in his first year of seminary, in 1968, Mel was a leader in the Black Caucus whose members locked themselves in the main seminary building and stopped seminary life as usual until the Caucus' demands were met. Rose came to seminary in 1969 and became a leader in the Women's Caucus whose work led to the hiring of the first women faculty. They married in 1970. In 1978 their daughter Melanie was born. When Melanie was 3 years old their family expanded by the adoption of 9 year old James and 11 year old Leonard.
- Much of Mel's initial ministry was in education and ecumenical and inter-faith arenas. He spent 16 years at the UUA challenging UUism to become an anti-racist, anti-oppressive, multicultural faith. Rose's ministry includes Director of a Sexual Abuse Crisis Center, religious education and parish ministry.
Mel and Rose had always wished to work together at some point and therefore accepted the September, 2002 call to be co-ministers in Charleston WV. Rose is originally from the Charleston area of West Virginia and Mel is originally from Columbus, Ohio.
- Peacemaking DVD and Learning Guide Through an informative video narrative accompanied by interviews with UU activists and scholars the DVD will introduce our congregations to the contemporary challenges of sustainable security and enduring peace. The following prominent UUs were interviewed at the 2007 UUA General Assembly: Sharon Welch, Jim Nelson, Denny Davidson, Bill Sinkford, Gini Courter, LoraKim Joyner, Barbara Bates, Janice Marie Johnson, Adam Gerhardstein, Bill Schulz, Denny Davidoff, and Paula Cole Jones. The interviews have been edited and a script for the narrative portion of the DVD has been completed. Our Goal is to complete and distribute the Peacemaking DVD and Learning Guide in the spring of this year.
The media below have been suggested by sundry Unitarian Universalist peace activists. Before a public showing, please be aware of copyright requirements. The links below may be helpful.
Church Video Licensing No recomendation is given either way on this outfit. They just offer a potential legal solution.
- "A Force More Powerful, Part I," a PBS documentary, including 3 segments
- Civil Rights actions in the 1960s in Nashville, Tennessee
- Ghandhi's actions in India, including the Salt March
- Actions against apartheid in South Africa
- "A Force More Powerful, Part II," a PBS documentary, including 3 segments
- Danish resistance to the Nazis during World War II
- The Solidarity movement in Poland
- Toppling the dictator Pinochet in Chile
- "Blood Diamond" (fiction; contemporary) An ex-mercenary turned smuggler and a Mende fisherman, amid the explosive civil war overtaking 1999 Sierra Leone, these men join for two desperate missions: recovering a rare pink diamond of immense value and rescuing the fisherman's son, conscripted as a child soldier into the brutal rebel forces ripping a swath of torture and bloodshed across the alternately beautiful and ravaged countryside.
- "Diary of Anne Frank" (historic re-enactment). A diary discovered in the attic of an Amsterdam factory reveals the plight of a jewish refugee family that lived there in hiding for two years during the Nazi occupation.
- "Gandhi" Sir Richard Attenborough's 1982 film is an engrossing, reverential look at the life of Mohandas K. Gandhi, who introduced the doctrine of nonviolent resistance to the colonized people of India and who ultimately gained the nation its independence.
- "Hidden Wars of Desert Storm" A two-year investigation brings answers to all of these questions, basing itself on documents never seen before on television and backed by interviews of such prominent personalities as Desert Storm Commander, General Norman Schwarzkopf, former US Attorney General Ramsey Clark, former UN Iraq Program Director Denis Halliday, former UNSCOM team-leader Scott Ritter and many others. A large selection of archival footage, moving images recently brought back from Iraq, an original soundtrack scored by acclaimed composer Fritz Heede and the narration by two-time British Academy Award-winner, actor John Hurt, all contribute to making "Hidden Wars of Desert Storm" a fast-paced, informative documentary while resolutely accessible to a general audience.
- "Hotel Rwanda" (historic re-enactment). The moving true story of one man's brave stance against savagery during the 1994 Rwandan conflict. As his country descends into madness, five-star-hotel manager Paul Rusesabagina sets out to save his family. But when he sees that theworld will not intervene in the massacre of minority Tutsis, he finds the courage to open his hotel to more than 1,200 refugees. Now, with a rabid militia at the gates, he must use his well-honed grace, flattery and cunning to protect his guests from certain death.
- "Iraq for Sale" by Robert Greenwald. The story of what happens to everyday Americans when corporations go to war.
- "The Piano Player" (historic re-enactment) The magic of music, the power of love, the evils of money, and the horror of genocide are the weighty themes tackled in Gloomy Sunday, a moving German-Hungarian film from director/co-writer Rolf Schubel.
- "No End in Sight" A staggering portrait of arrogance and incompetence, the documentary No End in Sight avoids the question of why the U.S. invaded Iraq in 2003, choosing instead to focus on the war's aftermath--and meticulously examine the chain of decisions that led Iraq into a grotesque state of lawlessness and civil war.
- "Peru: Between the Hammer and the Anvil" by Jarard Ungerman and Audrey Brohy The film looks at the civil war that opposed the Shining Path to the Colombia armed forces in Peru from 1980 until 1995. The focus is on how simple people were caught in the cross-fire of a conflict fueled by social and racial inequalities.
- "Schindler's List" (historic re-enactment) The film presents the indelible true story of the enigmatic Oskar Schindler, a member of the Nazi party, womanizer, and war profiteer who saved the lives of more than 1,100 Jews during the Holocaust.
- THE SHIFT This movie raises awareness to the story of our roles in an evolutionary shift in our collective consciousness. As it chronicles the faces, the stories and leaders assisting in this social transformation, the film reveals its emergence & meaning.
- "Syriana" (fiction; contemporary) Big oil means big money. Very big money. And that fact unleashes corruption that tretches from Houston to Washington to the Mideast and ensnares industrialists, princes, spies, politicos, oilfield laborers and terrorists in a deadly, deceptive web of move and countermove.
- "War Made Easy" from a book by the same name by Norman Soloman, WAR MADE EASY reaches into the Orwellian memory hole to expose 50 years of government spin and media collusion that has dragged our country into one war after another from Vietnam to Iraq.
- "Why We Fight" by Eugene Jarecki, Why We Fight surveys a half-century of military conflicts, asking how – and answering why – a nation of, by and for the people has become the savings-and-loan of a government system whose survival depends on an Orwellian state of constant war.
Speakers and Workshops
- The Art and Ethics of Strategic Peacebuilding Sharon Welch, Meadville Lombard course Offering
- The Art and Craft of Enduring Peace: Virtuosity, Creativity, Honesty Sharon Welch's talk at Nashville
Congregational Study Groups
- Small Group Ministry materials and ideas Small Group materials are near the bottom of the page.
Sermons and Service Ideas
- Building a Culture of Peace The Incomparable Rev. Wendy Bell, Harvard, MA
- Is Peace Our Way? Reverend Paige Getty
- War is a Force That Gives Us Meaning! And Peace? Richard S. Gilbert, May 6, 2007
- The Cost of War by Mark W. Harris - April 6, 2008 - First Parish of Watertown
- Are We a Peace Church? by Mark W. Harris - April 2, 2006 - First Parish of Watertown (scroll down to find it)
- On Peace Rev. Carolyn Patierno, minister of All Souls Unitarian Universalist Congregation of New London
- Embedded War David Pyle, Presented at the UU Society of Geneva, IL on Saturday, October 27th 2007
- War and Peace Paul Sprecher of Second Parish in Hingham,
- Pacifist Doves and Humanitarian Hawks: Should UUs Become Activist Pacifists? Prof. Howard Tolley.
- MEMORIAL DAY: BEYOND THE BATTLE HYMNS, led by a member of UU Church of the Restoration who is a woman military veteran and peace activist, focuses on the legacies of Unitarian Julia Ward Howe, author of "Battle Hymn of the Republic."
Peace Pages On Congregational Web Sites
- The Peace Umbrella UU Church of Palo Alto, CA
- Identification of Church as a Peace Site The UU Community Church of Santa Monica, CA
- Columbine Peace Labyrinth Columbine UU Church, Littleton, CO
- Task Force on a Just Peace UU Church of Bloomington, IN
- A Place For Peace UU Congregation of Somerset Hills, NJ
- Peacemaking Pledge Campaign St. John’s UU, Cincinnati, OH
- UU Peace Fellowship Raleigh, NC