Study guide helps church groups consider faith in wartime
4/15/2003 News media contact: Tim Tanton · (615) 742-5470 · Nashville, Tenn.
Tenn. (UMNS) - The United Methodist Church is offering a free, online
study guide to help congregations and groups "consider God's Word" in
this time of war.
Interpreter magazine, UMC.org and United
Methodist News Service have teamed up to offer the four-part study
guide, "Can We Talk? Seeking God's Heart in Time of War." Ray Waddle, a
seminary-trained journalist and former religion editor of The Tennessean
newspaper, wrote the guide, in consultation with M. Garlinda Burton,
Interpreter editor and director of UMNS. The magazine, news service and
Web site are operated by United Methodist Communications.
of the leaders at UMCom have been looking at ways that we can help
United Methodists give voice to their feelings about the war," Burton
said. She developed the idea of a study guide as a "blueprint" that
people could use for discussion, she said.
The guide's stated
purpose: "To invite U.S. Christians of good will and differing
viewpoints to consider God's Word and our faith in that Word in the face
Its sections cover "Just War, Just Peace," "Love of
Enemies, Love of Country: Issues of Patriotism and Faith," "Believing in
a Sovereign God in an Insecure World" and "Prayers During Wartime:
Finding Common Ground Among Us."
"What I hope is, by making it
free and accessible on the Web, that local churches will pull it down
and use it to talk about tough issues in a way that honors different
points of view and find some common ground," Burton said. "Regardless of
what side of the issue you're on with regard to war, all Christians
want peace. (The question is:) how do we get to that peace?"
and Burton offer guidelines for using the resource, as well as
questions for discussion. The guide is recommended for use by Sunday
school classes, congregations, church leadership teams and small groups,
under the direction of a pastor, district superintendent, Sunday school
teacher or other Christian educator.
The guide is available at
the United Methodist Church's official Web site, www.umc.org, as well as
at the UMNS site, http://umns.umc.org. The first two sections are
already online, and the other two will be posted by April 21.
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