Read a message from ABCUSA General Secretary Dr. C. Jeff Woods, below.
While the conflict in the Middle East continues into its third week of escalating violence, we pray for all family members of victims, displaced persons, those living without the basic necessities of life, and those living in terror.
Sadly, the complicated nature of potential short- and long-term solutions and possible de-escalations have also increased. Every day it seems like there is a new stakeholder in the peace talks or a new claimant making threats of war.
Violence is not only across the ocean, it is in our midst. Indecipherably, a man shot and killed 18 people in Lewiston, Maine. Please pray for ABC of Maine’s Executive Minister Al Fletcher, the pastor and people of the Court Street Baptist Church, all residents in Maine terrorized by this shooting, and for this shooter plagued by mental health issues.
Jesus calls us to be peacemakers in our prayers, in our interactions with our neighbor, in our own health and well-being, and in promoting the well-being of others. “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God” (Matthew 5:9). Peacemaking is in our job description as children of God. American Baptists have a long history of peace making and we carry that tradition.
“The Christian community is compelled by its understanding of the Gospel to seek peaceful solutions to international crises for the sake of abundant life.” (American Baptist Policy Statement on Peace, adopted on October 24, 1945).
To learn more about American Baptists involved in the Middle East, please refer to a recent American Baptist Press Release from International Ministries here.
To view recent statements from the “National Council of Churches” regarding war in the Middle East, click here.
To view recent statements from “Churches for Middle East Peace” regarding on war in the Middle East, click here.
Whatever views that you may hold regarding the possible solutions to bringing end to the violence in the Middle East, as children of God, I call us all to be peacemakers.
Dr. C. Jeff Woods
American Baptist Churches USA