A proposal endorsing “affirmations regarding the welfare of our neighbors in Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador” will be considered by the Assembly Committee on Peacemaking, Immigration and International Issues at the 223rd General Assembly, which meets June 16–23 in St. Louis.
The proposal, from the Presbytery of the Pacific, recommends creating a “mission co-worker position to facilitate a Meso-American faith-rooted advocacy witness in Central America.” The mission co-worker would work in partnership with the Reformed Calvinist Church in El Salvador and other churches in the Northern Triangle of Central America and Mexico “to develop a Meso-American refugee and immigration advocacy network.”
The overture calls the church to train leaders in El Salvador and “invest in peacemaking in the Northern Triangle,” with the goal of reducing migration and reintegrating people who were returned from the U.S. to El Salvador.
The Presbytery of Shenango has submitted an overture that directs the Stated Clerk to condemn the conflict in South Sudan and urge the U.S. government to pressure the country’s leaders to seek peace in the region. To do this, the overture suggests putting pressure on the government in South Sudan’s capital, Juba, as well as the militia groups supported by former Vice-President Riek Machar and other armed groups to adhere to a cease fire. It also calls on the United Nations Security Council to help ensure safe passage for humanitarian aid into camps for internally displaced people.
An overture from the Presbytery of the Cascades asks the Assembly to encourage PC(USA) presbyteries to engage in prayer and preparation for peace on the Korean peninsula and to work with the National Caucus of Korean Presbyterian Churches
In other business before the committee:
- The Presbytery of New York City calls on the U.S. president along with executive and congressional leaders to promote voter education and transparent elections in Madagascar and to take steps to prevent human trafficking in that country.
- Seeking God’s Peace Through Nuclear Disarmament is the goal of an overture from New Hope Presbytery. The overture calls all members of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) to work to achieve nuclear disarmament. It urges support of “No First Use” legislation and calls upon the U.S. to “begin the process of complete, irreversible and verifiable nuclear disarmament.”
- A resolution on human rights in Yemen, from the Advocacy Committee for Racial Ethnic Concerns, would direct the Stated Clerk to write to the president, Secretary of State, and Secretary of Defense, “urging them to actively participate in seeking a political settlement to the war,” and to “suspend U.S. government military support of Saudi Arabia in its bombing and blockading of Yemen.”
- A resolution from the Advisory Committee on Social Witness Policy (ACSWP) “affirms a reformed commitment to a just and durable peace among nations and peoples based on the vision of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.”
- San Jose Presbytery encourages the Presbyterian Peacemaking Program to develop curriculum to help young adults “discern their position on war and violence before registering with the Selective Service System for possible military conscription.”
- New York City Presbytery seeks to direct ACSWP to study “the current socioeconomic and political realities in Central America” and report its findings and recommendations to the 224th General Assembly in 2020.
Eleanor Ferguson is a college student and free-lance writer in Billings, Montana. She is covering Assembly Committee 9 for the General Assembly News.