Greetings from Pastor Stephen....
When I was a seminary student, I was introduced to what is known as “The Just War Theory”. This is an academic theory that has been a part of most religions in most cultures including Christianity since about 400 A.D. This “Just War Theory” allows countries and cultures to give themselves permission to engage in warfare for a variety of self-serving reasons. I believe we all can see how “well” this has worked. NOT!
For several decades, congregations in the United Church of Christ (Including First Congregational UCC, Watertown!) have sought to develop a public identity as a Just PEACE Church. We boldly proclaim and prayerfully seek to be a Justice-doing and a Peace-seeking church. This is our calling. This is our message. This is our commitment. Every day. Every moment. Every opportunity. Not just now and then and not just once a year.
There is one Sunday in September every year when we join with ALL United Church of Christ congregations in affirming that we are devoted to being a “Just Peace” faith community. This year that Sunday will be September 18. However, with all that is happening in Ukraine and with the thousands of people seeking safety as refugees and with the deadly news every day that shows the devastation that this war has created, I believe we need to join together in prayer and witness and financial support for Peace and public critique of those who would try to believe that this is a Just War. There is no place for that failed theory in today’s world.
I hope you will join me in choosing to teach and pray and share and learn what it means to be devoted to a Just Peace witness. I pray that you and your families and your neighbors and your friends will join us in this significantly important time.
Pastor Stephen, Interim Minister