Members of the Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary community have reflected upon the national moral crisis with which the world is presently confronted and feel compelled to respond to the recent endorsement by Congress and impending war connected with the policies on Iraq.
On Wednesday, October 23, classes will be suspended in order that students, faculty and the public may attend a “teach-in,” entitled “Clouds of War: Responding to the Tension Between the U.S. and Iraq.” Beginning with worship at 7:30 a.m. outside in the main quadrangle, the teach-in will offer several open sessions to help individuals understand and discuss the implications of a pre-emptive military strike.
“We are concerned that the policies pursued by the Bush administration and endorsed by the recent votes in Congress suggest that terrorism won on September 11, 2001,” stated members of the Seminary community in a draft of an official statement
to be approved and acted upon by the Seminary Council on Monday, October 21. “The terrorists win when we lose hope in the efficacy of diplomacy, cooperation, and multilateral action. The Bush foreign policy is premised on the assumption that violence is the only meaningful, appropriate, and effective response to violence – and that an escalation of violence is the best way to demonstrate our might and resolve.“ When approved on Monday, the entire statement will be posted on the Seminary’s website.The Wages of War Statement
was adopted by the Seminary Council on Monday, October 21, 2002. You can read the full document in PDF Format
Rev. Garnett Foster, who is the director of spiritual and vocational formation at Louisville Seminary, hopes the teach-in will help individuals develop a better understanding and sense of the context of Iraq and its world. In organizing the event she and her colleagues have enlisted the leadership of Gabriel Habib, former executive secretary of the Middle East Council of Churches, a caucus of denominational representatives, Seminary faculty and students who will reflect on Christian understandings of war and peace. “We want to gain a deeper understanding of the situation not just academically, but also experientially,” she said.
“Our hope, as a Seminary and as a teaching arm of the Church, is that America will hear the story the Church has to tell and that it will pursue a just peace and not a just war. Just peace is not a stopgap measure to restrain the flow of evil after events have spun out of control. It is a community building process grounded in mutuality, reciprocity, and the arduous work of cooperation to achieve social justice,” concludes the drafted statement.
There is no charge to attend the teach-in, which will be held in several locations on the campus (a schedule follows.) A more detailed schedule of events will be posted on the Seminary’s website. For more information or to talk with one of the coordinators of the teach-in, please contact Garnett Foster at 502-895-3411 or by e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Clouds of War
RESPONDING TO THE TENSION BETWEEN THE US AND IRAQ
Wednesday, October 23, 2002
Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary
7:30 AM, Worship, Quadrangle
8:00 AM, Breakfast Break, Letter Writing and Artistic Responses, Winn Center
8:45 AM, Understanding the Regional Context: Iraq and Its World
Addressing questions from academic and experiential perspectives.Hundley Hall
10:15 AM, How do Middle East nations, and Christians and Muslims in the Middle East, see the United States?
Gabriel Habib, former Executive Secretary of the Middle East Council of Churches from Lebanon. Winn Center
11:30 AM, Worshipful Response. Winn Center
12:00 Noon, Free Subsistence Lunch with Conversation Around the TablesHosted by people with different areas of interest and expertise
Participants are encouraged to give whatever amount you usuallyspend for lunch to support food programs for children in Iraq. Checks are to be made to the PCUSA, EOC #047914. Winn Center
1:15 PM, Christian Resources on War and Peace. Hundley Hall
Faculty of the Louisville Seminary
Students in the Social Ethics Class
3:30 PM, A Time for Letter Writing and Artistic Responses. Hundley Hall
4:15 PM, Denominational Caucuses
(To allow parents to participate, artistic activities for children on the theme of peace will be available at this time)
Reflection on how social witness policy is made, whathas been said on Iraq, how the denomination uses its policies and how parish pastors can use such statements. Facilitated by denominational representatives from the United Methodist, Presbyterian, Baptist and Episcopal churches. Winn Center
7:00 PM, Worship in the Chapel. Caldwell Chapel
(Children are Welcome)
The Reverend Doctor W. Eugene March will preach