After years of careful discernment, prayer, and study the Just Peace Committee asked that the congregation adopt the following declaration at our 2013 Annual Meeting making First Congregational Church of Bellingham, United Church of Christ, a Just Peace Church. The declaration passed unanimously on Sunday January 27, 2013.
Just Peace Church Declaration
First Congregational Church of Bellingham,
United Church of Christ
Jesus taught and lived a new reality he referred to as the ‘Kingdom of God’. God’s reign was already present in our world, IF we just shifted our perception; recognized it; and lived in God’s domain now. Jesus invited his disciples then, and invites us today, to a life of Peace and Justice; a ‘Just Peace’ rooted in the Hebrew word ‘Shalom’ – a sense of wholeness for each person and for our planet.
Jesus invites us to a life of….
-Service to our neighbor
-Restorative and Economic Justice
-Stewardship of our Planet
…and the Building of Community for the Journey.
Our chosen Methods are the Practices of:
Hope; Unconditional Love; Forgiveness; Non-Violence and Reconciliation.
In living out Shalom as a Just Peace church we covenant as a bold faith community, to reflect Jesus’ radical love as an Open and Affirming church. No matter where you are on life’s journey, personally, a Just Peace church declaration encourages us as individuals and as a faith community to educate, grow, empower, and spiritually renew ourselves for peace making, doing justice, and practicing sustainability in our families, community and world. Where there is justice, there is peace.
We are called as a Just Peace church to…
…stand with and advocate for, all who experience injustice and violence; the hungry, sick, poor, elderly, homeless, neglected, exploited, marginalized and discouraged…
…partner with religious and community groups who advocate for justice and peace…
…root out the causes of injustice and violence within the social structures of our society to bring about systemic change and healing…
…create a spiritual home of renewal and nurture for all those who do peace and social justice work in the world, at their jobs or as volunteers, sharing each others’ joy and burdens.
By declaring ourselves a Just Peace church, we live into our congregation’s purpose statement: “Welcoming All, Growing in Faith, Living God’s Love, Justice, Compassion”