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1979 Twelfth General Synod
20. Consultation on the future of the city of Jerusalem
The Moderator recognized Mrs. Marilyn Briggs (MA), Chairperson of Section C, for a continuation of the Section report. Mrs. Briggs referred the delegates to Advance Materials, Section III, pages 24-25, and moved the adoption of the Overture on Consultation on the Future of the City of Jerusalem. She called on the Rev. James Dewey (IK) to speak to the Overture. Mr. Dewey said that the primary concern of the Overture is to support peace for the city of Jerusalem, a city of great historical and religious significance. There was discussion.
The Rev. Kendall C. Baker (SW) was recognized and moved to amend the Overture by referring it to the Council on Ecumenism for consideration and report, with recommendations, to the Executive Council. There was discussion and upon being put to a vote the Moderator declared the motion was lost. It was
79-GS-78 VOTED: the Twelfth General Synod adopts the Overture on Consultation on the Future of the City of Jerusalem. Consultation on the Future of the City of Jerusalem.
The signing of the peace treaty between Egypt and Israel, hopeful as that is in the eyes of many, is at best a beginning with many obstacles remaining.
One very big obstacle is the sharply opposing positions among the nations most concerned about Jerusalem, with its shrines and holy places considered sacred by three major faiths—Judaism, Christianity and Islam, the divided opinions have both political and religious roots.
Because of the religious aspects of this problem, we hope we are right in believing that negotiations and consultations concerning this problem could properly involve these faith groups.
The UCC through its Board for World Ministries has had mission work in the region for many years, and recently has been involved in some Christian-Muslim dialogue, though not specifically about the Jerusalem problem.
We believe that exploratory consultations by leaders of the three faiths most deeply involved might contribute to peaceful Resolution of the problem.
WHERAS, a promising beginning of the journey toward a just and lasting peace in The Middle East has been made in the March 26, 1979, signing of the treaty between Egypt and Israel; and
WHEREAS, one of the major issues concerns the City of Jerusalem, its shrines and holy places of three faiths: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, and the jurisdiction over them, so that religious issues are intertwined with political ones;
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, the Twelfth General Synod requests the President of the United Church of Christ, and the United Church Board for World Ministries to work through leaders of the World Council of Churches to initiate action to involve Jewish, Christian and Muslim leaders in consultations to examine the issue of the City of Jerusalem, its shrines and holy places held sacred by the people of these faiths, and especially the political connection and jurisdiction most conductive to the peace of the region.