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First Unitarian Oakland
When many congregations were acting to prevent war in Iraq, members of First
Unitarian in Oakland felt strongly that they wanted to pass a resolution and make a strong public
statement in a fairly short period of time. They modeled a careful and inclusive process for passing resolutions.
First, the justice council gathered extensive feedback from their 400 member congregation prior to
drafting a resolution. They reported that in “over less than four weeks the minister preached on the
subject twice; we held three after-church forums; conducted a written poll (150+ responses) on whether church attendees
agreed with a statement from a local anti-war coalition; telephoned 40 church members to
discuss their personal views, paying particular attention to those who felt security issues might justify
force; and held numerous face-to-face conversations with church members. The congregational core team supported the
feedback process by conducting most of the telephone conversations.” They also held forums
questioning the moves toward war with the People’s Nonviolent Response Coalition during this time.
The resolution was very short and specific: “First Unitarian Church of
Oakland is opposed to a unilateral pre-emptive strike by the United States against Iraq at this time.” It was
passed unanimously and the congregation joined The People’s Nonviolent Response Coalition.
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Last updated on Monday, August 29, 2011.
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