1985 General Synod Call to Action in Response to the Hostage Crisis

1985 General Synod Call to Action in Response to the Hostage Crisis

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United Church of Christ, “Minutes Fifteenth General Synod, Ames, Iowa, June 27 – July 2, 1985.”  Edited by Carol Joyce Brun, Patricia DeLeon and Florence Coppola, 85-GS-83, “A Call to Action on the Hostage Crisis,” p. 77.  Reproduced from the General Synod Collection, United Church of Christ Archives.


The Moderator introduced Rev. Gordon Stearns, Chairperson of Committee #28 who then introduced new business, “The Call to Action in Response to the Hostage Crisis.”  Mr. Stearns moved adoption of this call to action.

Mrs. Paula Crady moved a substitute motion in light of the release of the hostages.  Following discussion, Ms. Susan Briggs (NH) moved an amendment: “That we urge our government to help negotiate release of other hostages, such as the Shiites and Palestinians in Israel.”  The amendment was defeated.

It was voted to replace the main motion with the substitute motion.

85-GS-83 VOTED:  The Fifteenth General Synod adopts the substitute motion, “A Call to Action on the Hostage Crisis.”


The Fifteenth General Synod of the united Church of Christ expresses its joy over the release of thirty-nine American hostages held captive in Lebanon.  We request the Middle East Office of the United Church Board for World Ministries convey our gratitude to those in Lebanon and Syria whose patient negotiations made the release possible.

We are aware, however, that sixteen Americans and Europeans, including Terry Anderson, a graduate of Iowa State University, the rev. Benjamin Weir of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), and Father Lawrence Jenco of Joliet, Illinois, remain captive in Lebanon, having been kidnapped in Beirut at different times over the last sixteen months. We pray that their captors will be moved by compassion to restore them to their families. We ask the President of the United Church of Christ to express our concern and sympathy to the families of those remaining in captivity in Lebanon.

We urge members of the United Church of Christ to write the congressional representatives and the Secretary of State, Mr. George Schultz, reminding them of this unresolved hostage crisis and asking that all diplomatic, non-violent means be pursued to attain the release of these persons.