2006 Statement of Sanctuary Support

Published on

University Monthly Meeting
of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers)
Seattle, Washington, USA

At their regularly scheduled meeting for business held this day,

Friends approved the following statement of support:

In mid-June, 2006, First United Methodist Church of Tacoma became a
sanctuary church and made the following statement:

“This church has long been active in efforts to achieve reconciliation and
peace in our community and the world. Tacoma is surrounded by military
bases and inextricably connected to the consequences of war. We have been
asked to consider supporting service men and women by becoming a sanctuary
for those considering resisting deployment to combat duties. We are called
upon to respond to our Christian faith tradition and religious heritage, and
to the needs of all who seek to live according to the dictates of

“We declare that ‘sanctuary’ is a place made holy by the sanctifying action
of God, amidst God’s people–an act of obedience to the mandate of the
gospel of Jesus Christ. We offer protection, advocacy, and support to those
who, after individual examination of conscience, are unable to participate
in the armed forces of the United States or combat duty in Iraq and
Afghanistan. ”

University Friends Meeting, (Quakers) of Seattle, in accordance with
our faith’s 350 year tradition of opposition to war, wishes to endorse
First United Methodist Church of Tacoma’s stand in offering sanctuary,
a sacred space for service men and women considering resisting
deployment to combat duties. These decisions must be very difficult
to make. And sanctuary will be a blessing to the men and women
struggling with them. We will circulate your request for assistance
to our members and our Peace and Social Concerns Committee is sending
you a financial contribution. May God bless your continuing efforts.

We know that following one’s “inner light ” not to participate in war
while in the military takes tremendous courage. We are heartened by
those who take that path. They bring hope to a war-sick world. We
thank them for considering seriously the path of peace.