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A Call to Repentance and Peace with Justice

96 bishops decry 'unjust and immoral' situation in Iraq

Church's leaders urge Bush to provide plan for Iraq withdrawal

Bishops Condemn War in Iraq - Lakeland Ledger  Nov. 12, 2005

A Call to Repentance and Peace with Justice

As followers of Jesus Christ, who named peacemakers as blessed children of God, we call upon The United Methodist Church to join us in repentance and renewed commitment to Christ’s reign of compassion, justice, reconciliation, and peace.

As elected and consecrated bishops of the church, we repent of our complicity in what we believe to be the unjust and immoral invasion and occupation of Iraq. In the face of the United States Administration’s rush toward military action based on misleading information, too many of us were silent. We confess our preoccupation with institutional enhancement and limited agendas while American men and women are sent to Iraq to kill and be killed, while thousands of Iraqi people needlessly suffer and die, while poverty increases and preventable diseases go untreated. Although we value the sacrifices of the men and women who serve in the military, we confess our betrayal of the scriptural and prophetic authority to warn the nations that true security lies not in weapons of war, but in enabling the poor, the vulnerable, the marginalized to flourish as beloved daughters and sons of God. We confess our failure to make disciples of Jesus Christ and to be a people who welcome and love all those for whom Christ died.

Aware that we are to bring forth fruit worthy of repentance, we personally and as bishops commit ourselves to:

?Pray daily for the end of war in general and the Iraq war specifically; for those who suffer as the result of war, including the soldiers and their families; the Iraqi people in their struggle to find a workable form of government; and for the leaders of the United States that they will turn to truth, humility, and policies of peace through justice.

?Reclaim the prophetic authority that calls nations, individuals, and communities to live faithfully in the light of God’s new creation where all people know their identity as beloved children of God; where justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like an ever flowing stream; and  where barriers are removed and all  creation is healed, reconciled, and renewed.

?Commit ourselves to peacemaking as an integral component of our own Christian discipleship, which means advocating and actively working for the things that make for peace: personal, institutional, and governmental priorities that protect the poor and most vulnerable; modeling an end to prejudice toward people of other faiths and cultures; confronting differences and conflicts with grace, humility, dialogue, and respect without being so cautious in confronting evil that we lose our moral authority.

We call upon all United Methodists to join in the pursuit of peace through justice as revealed in Holy Scripture and incarnate in Jesus Christ. 
?Let us move beyond caution rooted in self protection and recover moral authority anchored in commitment to Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace.
?Let us object with boldness when governing powers offer solutions of war that conflict with the gospel message of self-emptying love.
?Let us with compassion share the pain of God’s children who suffer from the devastation of war and those who live in poverty resulting from misplaced priorities and misguided public policies.
?Let us work toward unity in a world of diversity, that all peoples will come to know that we belong to one another, and that “in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself … and entrusting the message of reconciliation to us”(2 Corinthians 5:19).

Bishop Daniel C. Arichea, Jr., Banquito City, Philippines
Bishop George W. Bashore, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Bishop Thomas J. Bickerton, Pittsburg Area
Bishop Bruce P. Blake, Winfield Kansas
Bishop Benjamin Boni, Côte D’Ivoire Area, West Africa
Bishop Warner H. Brown, Jr., Denver Area
Bishop Monk Bryan, Lake Junaluska, North Carolina
Bishop Minerva G. Carcaño, Phoenix Area
Bishop Kenneth L. Carder, Durham, North Carolina
Bishop Roy C. Clark, Nashville, Tennessee
Bishop Judith Craig, Powell, Ohio
Bishop Sudarshana Devadhar, New Jersey Area
Bishop William W. Dew, Jr, Danville, California
Bishop Jesse R. DeWitt, Dexter, Michigan
Bishop R. Sheldon Duecker, Fort Wayne, Indiana
Bishop Sally Dyck, Minnesota Area
Bishop R. Kern Eutsler, Mechanicsville, Virginia
Bishop Violet Fisher, New York West Area
Bishop Eugene M. Frank, Kansas City, Missouri
Bishop Elias G. Galvan, Scottsdale, Arizona
Bishop William Boyd Grove, Charleston, West Virginia
Bishop Susan W. Hassinger, Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts
Bishop Robert E. Hayes, Jr., Oklahoma Area
Bishop J. Woodrow Hearn, Galveston, Texas
Bishop Kenneth W. Hicks, Little Rock, Arkansas
Bishop Leroy C. Hodapp, Evansville, Indiana
Bishop Robert T. Hoshibata, Portland Area
Bishop Janice Riggle Huie, Houston Area
Bishop John G. Innis, Liberia Area, West Africa
Bishop Neil L. Irons, Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania
Bishop S. Clifton Ives, Portland, Maine
Bishop Rueben P. Job, Goodlettsville, Tennessee
Bishop Alfred Johnson, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Bishop L.  Bevel Jones III, Decatur, Georgia
Bishop Charles Wesley Jordan, Upland, California
Bishop Hee-Soo Jung, Chicago Area
Benjamin A. Justo, Baguio Area, Philippines
Bishop Charlene P. Kammerer, Richmond Area
Bishop Leontine Kelly, San Mateo, California
Bishop Deborah Lieder Kiesey, Dakotas Area
Bishop James R. King, Jr., Louisville Area
Bishop Walter Klaiber, Tuebingen, Germany
Bishop J. Lloyd Knox, St. Petersburg, Florida
Bishop Arthur Kulah, Monrovia, Liberia
Bishop Clay F. Lee, Jr., Bryam, Mississippi
Bishop Linda Lee, Wisconsin Area
Bishop William B. Lewis, Edwardsville, Illinois
Bishop Ernest S. Lyght, West Virginia Area
Bishop James K. Mathews, Bethesda, Maryland
Bishop Marcus Matthews, Philadelphia Area
Bishop Felton E. May, Little Rock, Arkansas
Bishop Calvin D. McConnell, Portland, Oregon
Bishop J. Lawrence McCleskey, Charlotte Area
Bishop Marshall L. Meadors, Jr., Anderson, South Carolina
Bishop Jane Allen Middleton, Harrisburg Area
Bishop C. P. Minnick, Jr., Raleigh, North Carolina
Bishop Ruediger R. Minor, Dresden, Germany
Bishop Robert C. Morgan, Birmingham, Alabama
Bishop Susan Murch Morrison, Albany Area
Bishop Albert Frederick (Fritz) Mutti, Kansas City, Missouri
Bishop Abel T. Muzorewa, Harare, Zimbabwe
Bishop William B. Oden, Dallas, Texas
Bishop Benjamin R. Oliphint, Houston, Texas
Bishop Donald A. Ott, Pewaukee, Wisconsin
Bishop Øystein Olsen, Nordic and Baltic Area
Bishop Bruce R. Ough, Ohio West Areas
Bishop Gregory V. Palmer. Iowa Area
Bishop Jeremiah Park, New York Area
Bishop Edward W. Paup, Seattle Area
Bishop Joseph E. Pennel, Jr., Nashville, Tennessee
Bishop Sharon Zimmerman Rader, Chicago, Illinois
Bishop Roy I. Sano, Oakland, California
Bishop John R. Schol, Washington Area
Bishop Beverly Shamana, San Francisco Area
Bishop Ann B. Sherer, Nebraska Area
Bishop F. Herbert Skeete, Riverdale, New York
Bishop Dan E. Solomon, Abilene, Texas
Bishop C. Joseph Sprague, London, Ohio
Bishop Forrest C. Stith, Upper Marlboro, Maryland
Bishop Mack B. Stokes, Waynesville, North Carolina
Bishop Mary Ann Swenson, Los Angeles Area
Bishop Melvin G. Talbert, Brentwood, Tennessee
Bishop Solito K. Toquero, Manila Area, Philippines
Bishop Jack M. Tuell, Des Moines, Washington
Bishop Hans Växby, Eurasia Area
Bishop Hope Morgan Ward, Mississippi Area
Bishop Peter D. Weaver, Boston Area
Bishop Rosemarie Wenner, Germany Area
Bishop Timothy W. Whitaker, Florida Area
Bishop C. Dale White, Newport, Rhode Island
Bishop Max D. Whitfield, Northwest Texas - New Mexico Area
Bishop Richard B. Wilke, Winfield, Kansas
Bishop Joe A. Wilson, Georgetown, Texas
Bishop Joseph H. Yeakel, Smithsburg, Maryland