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October 15, 2002
Mennonite Church USA congregations,
I write to you after hearing that the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate have voted to give authority to our president use force against Iraq. While we are not yet certain that the United States will attack Iraq (we continue to pray that our country will not strike first), we can be sure that relationships between our two countries have degenerated further.
Since August, over 17,000 Mennonite Church USA members endorsed a letter I sent to President Bush asking that he not lead the United States into war against Iraq. Now I invite you to take another step to act faithfully for peace. I ask you to join me in a time of prayer and fasting.
I invite you to designate Peace Sunday, November 10, 2002, as a time for congregational discernment. Gather to listen to what God is calling us to do as a Mennonite Church in the United States. We need to hear God's voice, as congregations and as a new denomination, even as the tensions between the United States and Iraq seem inevitably headed toward war.
As a people of faith and hope, we believe deeply in the power of prayer. Let us pray today and on November 10 that God will show us ways to serve as Christ's peacemakers. Join me in praying and fasting on November 10 so that:
I pray that your congregation will choose to join other congregations of Mennonite Church USA as we pray and fast for discernment on Peace Sunday, November 10 (you'll find ample worship resources and action ideas for your congregation on the Peace and Justice Support Network web site at http://peace.MennoLink.org). After November 10, please share with us what God is saying to you so that we can share your voice with other congregations. Respond to email@example.com.
May we together find both courage and blessing as God's peacemakers,