|Photo by Cheryl Brumbaugh-Cayford|
|NOAC participants sign a letter to President Obama, urging “life-giving” means in Syria.|
A letter urging President Obama to “seek life-giving means to assist Syrians as they would seek peace and pursue it” was signed by close to 500 of those participating at the 2013 National Older Adult Conference. The full text of the letter appears below.
After the evening concert and the next morning, many of the NOAC attendees took advantage of an opportunity to sign the letter, which will be sent along with the list of signatures to the White House by the denomination’s Office of Public Witness.
The letter that was signed by many of those at NOAC follows. The call to fasting and prayer is at www.brethren.org/news/2013/day-of-fasting-for-peace-in-syria.html .
September 5, 2013
To President Barack Obama,
We, the undersigned, have been participating in the National Older Adult Conference of the Church of the Brethren, in Lake Junaluska, North Carolina. As members and friends of the Church of the Brethren, which has for centuries considered all war to be sin, we seek to follow Jesus’ command to love our enemies, and seek to follow the Gospel call to God’s shalom and Christ’s peace.
Our hearts have ached for the people who have suffered and died at the hands of the Syrian regime, as well as those who have been injured and killed in acts of violence by those fighting the Syrian government. We grieve for the Syrian refugees, and for those caught in the middle and unable to flee the country, including many Christian brothers and sisters. Our prayers are with those who have lost loved ones, and those bearing the burden of this dreadful situation.
However, our faith in the Prince of Peace and our sense of radical discipleship lead us to believe there are other ways besides a military solution and air strikes against Syria. A military strike by the United States or any other power will only multiply the suffering and human destruction in Syria, as Syrian Christians have stated publicly (Sept. 2 letter from the National Evangelical Synod of Syria and Lebanon, published by Presbyterian Church USA).
The call we hear from Syrian Christians is for us as Americans to seek paths of restorative justice instead of retributive justice. Please seek life-giving means to assist Syrians as they would seek peace and pursue it.
Our church leaders have called us to join with other Christians around the world in a day of fasting and prayer this Saturday, Sept. 7.
May the moving of the Holy Spirit lead you, those who are advising you, and us as a nation to an outcome that respects the Kingdom of God.
(Signatures appeared on following pages)