Skip to comments.Lapping the Field [UCC vs ECUSA]
Posted on 07/04/2005 7:15:32 PM PDT by sionnsar
You know that your Christian tradition has gone off the liberal deep end when even the United Church of Christ won't follow you.
There seems to be a considerable amount of trepidation in the UCC about the idea of disinvestment from Israel. A few days ago, the Baltimore Jewish Times reported that:
To combat the challenge, the JCPA, American Jewish Committe, ADL, American Jewish Congress and American Jewish Committee have joined the Reform, Orthodox and Conservative movements to promote interfaith outreach on local levels, where Protestant communities have seemed more open than at the national leadership.
The approach has borne fruit.
In St. Louis, for example, the Jewish Community Relations Council worked closely with the Eden Theological Seminary, which is producing an anti-divestment video that it will send to all the Protestant conferences.
My home town, Webster Groves, Missouri, has as good a claim as any town anywhere to the title of UCC Central. Not only is Eden Seminary(which Reinhold Neibuhr attended located there but the offices of UCC's Missouri Mid-South Conference are located on Eden's grounds. There is a UCC congregation located a block or so west of Eden on Lockwood Avenue, another a block west of that and a third located in southwest Webster. And until the late 1980's or early 1990's, there was a fourth in the south end of town.
Around here, Eden's considered pretty much a liberal hotbed. A former extremely liberal rector at my old parish got her theological education there and relations between Eden and my old parish have always been warm and friendly. Because of my parish's expansion work in the 60's, my eldest sister was married in Eden's chapel and my parish used to get interns from Eden all the time, some of them quite popular. For Eden to participate in an anti-disinvestment campaign is really quite remarkable.
Given the fierce opposition to the idea, UCC disinvestment supporters will try to push through a more positive resolution:
Seeking to head off a divestment movement that is gathering steam in mainline Protestant denominations, the Massachusetts delegation to a United Church of Christ synod that began yesterday is proposing that instead of pulling money out of Israel, Christians should invest in peace organizations.
A group of Massachusetts delegates, supported by some from Connecticut and Maine, will try to persuade the synod to endorse a selective investment" strategy in organizations pushing for cooperation between Palestinians and Israelis, according to the Rev. Stephen L. Sterner, interim president of the Massachusetts conference of the United Church of Christ.
Because disinvestment qua disinvestment doesn't work.
We are uncomfortable with the language of divestment, because theres the possibility that it tends to place uneven responsibility on Israel for the conflict itself, and thats a problem, especially in a year like this when theres been so much movement toward resolution," said the Rev. John A. Nelson, senior pastor of Dover Church and a Massachusetts delegate to the synod.
The Presbyterian resolution was attention-getting, but ultimately it was a symbolic effort that may have been more destructive in terms of Jewish-Christian relations and not particularly constructive in terms of alleviating the Palestinian plight," said the Rev. Nancy S. Taylor, senior minister of Old South Church, a United Church of Christ congregation in Copley Square.
The times are indeed interesting when I have to concede that the United Church of Christ is taking a more nuanced approach to an issue than the Anglicans are.
Half a loaf is better than none, but this group just eagerly endorsed blessing same-sex unions. This alone is worth a severe rebuke.
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