By Matt Landry

As the news continues to cover the conflict in Syria, the U.S. Congress continues to debate United States involvement in the conflict. The United Methodist General Board of Church and Society recently wrote, “Congress is expected to vote early next week on authorization of military force against Syria, whose use of chemical weapons against its own citizens is abhorrent. A U.S. military strike on Syria, however, is a false choice between bombing and impunity. Only a political solution to the conflict in Syria will end the suffering of its people. As Christians we are called to be disciples of peace.” Here is the link to the full GBCS statement and call to action.

As United Methodists, we also recall our teachings in our Social Principles, which states, “We believe war is incompatible with the teachings and example of Christ. We therefore reject war as an instrument of national foreign policy.”

In a recent statement, United Methodist Bishop Grant Hagiya of the Greater Northwest Area, urged all United Methodists to heed Pope Francis’ call to fast and pray on Saturday, Sept. 7. As the Bishop Hagiya wrote, “As Christians we are called to be peacemakers, even as we sometimes hold within our body very different understandings on how that peace might be achieved. But nothing in our disagreements should keep us from being united in our prayers for peace in Syria and around the world.” Here is the link to the full statement.

Let us unite our hearts and minds and pray for wisdom and guidance for our President, the leaders of our nation, for the people of Syria and even President Assad, heeding Jesus’ call to love your enemies and pray for those who persecute.

The Rev. Matt Landry serves as the Indiana Conference Social Advocacy Team Chairperson

Call to support negotiations, not attacks on Syria

WASHINGTON (UMNS) – An action alert has been issued by the Peace with Justice unit of the United Methodist Board of Church and Society, asking church members to call on Congress to oppose a U.S. military attack on Syria and support “vigorous peace negotiations” instead. The agency, along with United Methodist Women, also is co-sponsoring a Sept. 6 noontime peace vigil at the Church Center for the United Nations in New York. The Rev. Olav Fykse Tveit, top executive of the World Council of Churches, sent an open letter to the U.N. Security Council, also opposing military intervention.

Prayer for Syrians

Almighty God, You alone hold this world in Your hands so we come to You with petitions for those who are suffering at the hands of their own government in Syria. We pray that the enemies of the helpless will be scattered and Your power will be displayed in the healing that takes place. Please guide all of those making decisions about military action with Your wisdom. Hear our prayer, O Lord. Amen

– Shared by Indiana Conference Prayer Coordinator Paula Shrock