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Opening (5 minutes), Workshop 5: Just War, Pacifism, and Peacemaking

In "Resistance and Transformation," a Tapestry of Faith program

Materials for Activity

  • Worship or centering table
  • Chalice, candle, and lighter or LED battery-operated candle
  • Timepiece (minutes)
  • Chime or bell
  • Copies of Singing the Living Tradition, the UUA hymnbook, for all participants
  • Leader Resource 1, Statement of Conscience — Creating Peace
  • Optional: Cloth for worship/centering table
  • Optional: Microphone
  • Optional: Keyboard or piano

Preparation for Activity

  • Read the Statement of Conscience adopted by the UUA General Assembly in 2010 (Leader Resource 1). Be familiar with it so you can briefly share its contents with participants.
  • Arrange the worship or centering table, including the chalice, so all participants can see it when they are seated.
  • Choose a social justice hymn from Singing the Living Tradition that is familiar to participants. Possibilities include Hymn 119, "Once to Every Soul and Nation;" Hymn 121, "We'll Build a Land;" Hymn 140, "Hail the Glorious Golden City;" Hymn 146, "Soon the Day Will Arrive;" Hymn 157, "Step By Step;" Hymn 162, "Gonna Lay Down My Sword and Shield;" Hymn 168, "One More Step;" and Hymn 170," We are a Gentle, Angry People."
  • Optional: Invite a musician to teach and/or accompany the hymn.

Description of Activity

Have a participant light the chalice while you lead a unison reading of Reading 449 from Singing the Living Tradition: "We hallow this time together by kindling the lamp of our heritage."

Lead the group in singing the hymn you have chosen.

Introduce the workshop by explaining that a Statement of Conscience titled "Creating Peace" was adopted by the 2010 General Assembly in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The adoption of this statement came after a four year process during which congregations and districts were invited to explore the topic, confront it, reflect on it, learn about it, respond to it, comment on it, and take action, each in their own way.

Briefly share the contents of the Statement of Conscience, from Leader Resource 1.

Tell the group that the UUA provided congregations with a study/action guide called "Peacemaking," which began with this question:

Should the Unitarian Universalist Association reject the use of any and all kinds of violence and war to resolve disputes between peoples and nations and adopt a principle of seeking just peace through nonviolent means?

Say:

This workshop explores the history of liberal religious responses to war.

For more information contact web @ uua.org.

This work is made possible by the generosity of individual donors and congregations. Please consider making a donation today.

Last updated on Saturday, December 10, 2011.

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