A Plymouth Resolution to Authorize Participation in Occupy Lawrence
Historical Commitment of the United Church of Christ to this Issue:
Even as we discuss this issue now, UCC churches in NYC are collaborating with an interfaith partnership and involved at the grass roots level in supporting Occupy Wall Street. Though these faith leaders do not control the messages that are coming out of this movement, they are participating as a way of creating the message, to keep it grounded in core Christian principles and in the root issue of economic justice. This readiness to jump in and get involved in NYC has come from a long history of support in the UCC for similar phenomena.
The 42nd Annual Meeting of the Kansas-Oklahoma Conference (2003) passed a resolution “Calling for a more Just and Humane Direction for Economic Globalization.” This resolution was a local affirmation of the same resolution passed at the 24th General Synod of the United Church of Christ (2003). These resolutions specifically called the churches to advocate for “economic justice for individuals, communities, nations, and the global community.”
This resolution followed on the heels of a resolution at the 18th General Synod (1997) calling our denomination to “Affirm Democratic Principles in an Emerging Global Economy” which highlighted the vulnerability of our democracy to the emerging power of corporations and multination corporations. By the passage of this pronouncement, the churches were called by the General Synod, to advocate on behalf of a just, democratic, participatory and inclusive set of economic policies.
Theological Rational Behind these Resolutions and Commitments:
There are so many references in scripture in support of solidarity with the poor that it would be impossible to catalogue them in a single document.
Let it suffice to say that there are three clear lessons that come from the Gospels that the UCC has echoed for a long time as its core commitments. Those three principles are as follows:
1: We are called to faithful stewardship of our wealth, stewards of our gifts and stewards of creation. 2: We are taught to respond with gratefulness of the blessing of God’s abundance here on earth. And 3: We are called by our faith into solidarity with the poor and advocacy on behalf of the oppressed.
A Plymouth Resolution to Authorize Participation in Occupy Lawrence.
Whereas it has been difficult economic times for many Americans and people around the world, and
Whereas many feel that they have lost the ability to influence the government toward more just polices because of the power of big business, and
Whereas the Occupy Wall Street phenomena is attracting a popular call for economic justice, and
Whereas there is breadth of support from conference wide and national UCC resolutions around these issues, and
Whereas the NYC UCC Clergy are already involved, and
Whereas the cause in being mirrored in our local setting, called Occupy Lawrence, and
Whereas Plymouth Church has resources and opportunities to make this a meaningful and sustained movement for economic justice,
Be it therefore resolved that Plymouth Church releases a banner that reads “care first for the least” to go to any marches or activities of Occupy Lawrence for the next six months, and
Be it further resolved that the Mission Board will recommend to staff that the kitchen be made available if needed, when and where staff can do so without it substantially interfering with normal operations, to support Occupy Lawrence, and
Be it further resolved that the church will provide education opportunities and allow recruiting for participation in its activities. And
Be it especially resolved that the church does not support any or all voices that might be involved with this cause but is authorizing the above mentioned support to help lift up the cause of economic justice within the milieu of perspectives.