Bishop leads updating of ‘In Defense of Creation’



e-Review Florida United Methodist News Service
      
 

Bishop leads updating of ‘In Defense of Creation’

May 3, 2006    News media contact: Tita Parham* 
800-282-8011  
tparham@flumc.org    Orlando {0480}

An e-Review Feature
By Jenna De Marco**

The United Methodist Church continues to find ways to help its members grapple with the topic of security in the post-911 world.

In another attempt to foster discussion on security, the executive committee of the Council of Bishops decided in January that a task force should take on the job of updating an important document called “In Defense of Creation: The Nuclear Crisis and a Just Peace,” according to Bishop Timothy W. Whitaker.

The council published the “In Defense of Creation” study in 1986. It focuses on the topic of nuclear deterrents.

“In Defense of Creation will be used because it will be so familiar to the church,” Whitaker said. “ … It was quite an important statement by the Council of Bishops … and it was primarily a study of the threat of nuclear war.”

The task of updating the document was passed as a resolution during the 2004 General Conference, and funds already have been established for the project. The goal is to complete the work by the next General Conference.

Elected to the task force by the Council of Bishops Executive Committee are: Timothy Whitaker, convener; C. Dale White, consultant; Patrick Streiff, Central Conferences; Deborah Lieder Kiesey, North Central Jurisdiction; Violet Fisher, Northeastern Jurisdiction; Robert Schnase, South Central Jurisdiction; Charlene Kammerer, Southeastern Jurisdiction; and Robert Hoshibata, Western Jurisdiction.

LAKELAND — Participants at a forum on "In Search of Security" held at Florida Southern College discuss a series of questions related to the document. A second forum was held at Bethune-Cookman College in Daytona Beach. Photo by Tita Parham, Photo #06-345.

Whitaker was a participant in the task force that wrote the United Methodist Church Council of Bishops’ document “In Search of Security.” The 32-page document, published in 2005, was written in order to stimulate discussion on the topic of security. Bishops provided discussion opportunities for United Methodists in their areas, such as the ones that took place in Florida last spring. The opportunities in Florida were live forums held at Bethune-Cookman College in Daytona Beach and Florida Southern College in Lakeland. They were also broadcast live on the Web.

“I think we provided an opportunity for people to reflect on public policy from a Christian theological perspective,” Whitaker said of the discussion groups. “That’s important because the gospel of Jesus Christ relates to the whole life. It relates to our interior life, our relationships with others, and also to the public arena.”

Whitaker said our culture has a distorted belief the gospel only relates to the interior life and not to public issues.

“It’s important for the church to provide an opportunity for people to begin to make the connection between public life and the gospel,” he said.

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This article relates to Peace With Justice.

*Parham is managing editor of e-Review Florida United Methodist News Service.
**De Marco is a freelance writer based in Viera, Fla.




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