Claiming a Vision of True Security

Historic election year 2008 brought EAD Advocates together to reflect on a vision of global security turning away from preemptive war and toward diplomacy and justice

Friday, March 7 – Monday, March 10, 2008

“Some trust in chariots, and some in horses, but our trust in the name of our God.” – Psalm 20:7 (New King James Bible)

“Some take pride in chariots, and some in horses, but our pride is in the name of the Lord our God.” – Psalm 20:7 (NRSV)

The 2008 Ecumenical Advocacy Days gathering was a huge success! Over 700 participants gathered over the March 7 weekend to ask Congress to envision and act on a new pathway to true human security – one which seeks not only the absence of tension, but the presence of justice (Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.). The Rev. Dr. Mark Lomax, Founder and Pastor First African Presbyterian Church in Atlanta, Georgia, kicked off the conference with a rousing sermon linking advocacy and peacemaking. Lisa Schirch, Professor of Peacebuilding at Eastern Mennonite University, received a standing ovation after presenting on the need for the United States to focus attention on diplomacy and development rather than military might. The closing worship service  on Sunday was led by the Archbishop Vicken Aykazian, President of the National Council of Churches. Archbishop Aykazian called on participants to ease the pain and suffering in the world by relying on their faith to bring true security. The conference culminated on Monday when conference attendees participated in nearly 300 visits with their members of Congress.

Listen to the Sunday Morning Worship Service:

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National Gathering Theme

In the language of today, Psalm 20:7 might read: “Some trust in violence and the technologies of war, and some in military power, but our trust is in the unfailing love and faithfulness of our saving God.”

As people of faith and hope, we believe our nation is entering – and must enter — an era of renewal and re-creation. The conviction is now widespread that it is time to envision and act on a new pathway to true human security – one which seeks not only the absence of tension, but the presence of justice (Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.) The 2008 Ecumenical Advocacy Days assembly will explore new visions of security in our homes, neighborhoods, nation and world.

Vision Statement

As people of faith and conscience, we envision a world where security is not measured by military power, closed borders or corporate profits, but by the capacity to achieve the common global good and share the resources which sustain communities. In such a world all children are treasured as sacred gifts and our elderly are regarded for their experience and wisdom. Each woman, man and child is safe from violence and has the resources for a life of dignity and sufficiency. Such a world looks to secure a safe and productive future for generations yet to come.

In the Book of Genesis God provides the earth’s bounty for the sustenance and well being of all people — and indeed all creatures — not just for a fortunate few (Gen. 1:29, 30). All human being – not just a powerful elite – are called as stewards of these resources for the sake of the common good (Gen. 1: 28).

Accordingly, in a truly secure world, the earth and all its people will receive the respect they are due as God’s creation and bearers of the divine image. Food, water and other essential resources, which are plentiful in some areas and desperately scarce in others, will be fairly distributed and available to all so that no one goes to bed hungry, no one is required to walk miles to find potable water, and no one is forced to flee their country to find work and safety.

As people of faith and action, we have the capacity to create public policies which move nations in the direction of true human security and the responsible care and keeping of the earth. Doing this is the best hope and the most practical strategy for achieving national and global security. The United States as a nation will only be secure if all people here and throughout the world are truly secure. This is a lesson from our nation’s historical experience as well as from our Scriptures.

Jesus calls out to the human family to embrace “the things that make for peace” (Luke 19:42). Ecumenical Advocacy Days 2008 was an opportunity to join him in this call.

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