Call of Conscience, a Church of the Brethren web-based curriculum, is available to download from www.brethren.org/CO . Written by Julie Garber, this resource is designed to help youth develop their beliefs about peace and conscientious objection to war. The curriculum focuses on developing a personal peace position based on biblical teaching and the traditions of the church.
As young men, and possibly women someday, reach the age of 18 they are required by law to register with the Selective Service System, a federal agency responsible for a military draft in the event the nation wants more soldiers than it can recruit as volunteers. If Congress decided to reinstate the draft, young people would have only a short time to gather evidence to convince Selective Service they are conscientious objectors and have a religious opposition to killing.
Call of Conscience helps youth prepare to “make a defense for the hope that is within them” (1 Peter 3:15). Four sessions designed to be led by an adult will help youth think through their beliefs as taught by the Church of the Brethren. Full session plans and downloadable resources are included:
— Session One: The difference between allegiance to God and allegiance to the state.
— Session Two: Biblical teaching on war and peace.
— Session Three: The Church of the Brethren historic and living peace position.
— Session Four: Making a case for conscientious objection.
In a culminating project, youth compile a file of evidence that they believe in the teachings of Jesus on peace, by keeping journals, collecting letters of reference, gathering lists of influential books, websites, news clippings, and films, and answering questions Selective Service will ask to determine the strength of their commitment to peace.
See www.brethren.org/CO .