Should Plymouth be a Just Peace Church?

The United Church of Christ adopted the Just Peace pronouncement in 1985 as a response to Just War theory and to go beyond pacifism. Many other denominations have since adopted the Just Peace pronouncement and the World Council of Churches adopted it in 2013. See http://www.ucc.org/just_peace for more information.

A Plymouth committee has been formed to study how the Just Peace pronouncement would affect Plymouth and to recommend (or not) to Plymouth’s Church Council that Plymouth be designated a Just Peace Church. As a Just Peace Church, Plymouth would seek justice and peace in every sphere of life including

  • Just Peace in the community – so that all may live free from fear
  • Just Peace with the Earth – so that life is sustained
  • Just Peace in the marketplace – so that all may live with dignity
  • Just Peace among the nations – so that human lives are protected

The committee identified Plymouth groups currently working on peace and justice in these areas and produced the following list:

  • Economic Justice Task Force
  • Mental Health and Disability Task Force
  • Human Trafficking Task Force
  • Green Team
  • AMOS Core Team
  • Homeless Assistance Team
  • Family Promise
  • RENEW
  • Transition from Prison
  • Cuba Partnership
  • Board of Benevolences
  • Plymouth Young Adults/SURJ
  • Sustainable Food
  • Climate Change Coalition
  • Plymouth Grounds Coffee Shop
  • Willits LGBTQ Committee
  • Race Education Committee
  • Board of Christian Social Action
  • Peace Committee
  • Women’s Career Closet

This extensive list raised two obvious questions:

  1. If Plymouth is doing all of this, why does it need to be designated a Just Peace Church?
  2. How would Plymouth change if it became a Just Peace Church?

The simple, general answers are that it would provide Plymouth a formal, public identity as a justice-doing, peace-seeking church and Plymouth would be more intentional about its peace and justice issues and activities. The committee plans to engage the entire Plymouth community over the coming months to develop more nuanced, specific answers to these and other questions and to determine whether or not the Just Peace designation is right for Plymouth.

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