A Call to Action

September 5, 2013


action alertThe Rev. Gradye Parsons, Stated Clerk of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), is urging people to personally engage Congress about Syria and to pray.



Contact your Senators and Representatives TODAY to oppose U.S. military action against Syria. Here’s how.

NESSL logoThe National Evangelical Synod of Syria and Lebanon has asked for help (PDF).

PC(USA) church partners support call for no military action in Syria. Read more.

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Watch "Update on Syria,” a webinar to hear from global partners and colleagues from Syria, Presbyterian World Mission staff and Gradye Parsons Tuesday, recorded Sept. 10 at 1 p.m.

Hello my name is Gradye Parsons. I’m the Stated Clerk of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), and I come to you out of my concern for Syria and out of the church’s concern for Syria, and out of the concern for our government’s intervention into that troubled land.

The General Assembly meeting in Pittsburgh, Penn. last summer in 2012 made the following statements about this Syrian crisis.

  • To support a mediated process of the cessation of violence by all perpetrators,
  • To call for outside parties to cease all forms of intervention in Syria,
  • To support a necessary and strong role for the United Nations, and
  • To refrain from military intervention in Syria

Yesterday I received a letter from the General Secretary of the General Synod of the Synod of Syria and Lebanon, and he writes, “We urge the international powers to refrain from the use of power against Syria, as any strike from the U.S.A. or any other power will only multiply the suffering and the human destruction. We appeal to all who are able, by the name of the God of love, to help bring violence to an end. Help the Syrians to come together and together build a new Syria.”

Based on his letter and our concern I’m writing as a person, as an individual, to my Congress people – my representative and my two senators – urging them to consider the voices of the people of Syria and the voices of other people about how we should best go about giving our gifts as Americans best intentions of bringing peace to that land and bringing peace that’s a long lasting peace; a peace of reconciliation and a peace of long last relationships. I’m also asking you to hear the call from the Pope Francis to make this weekend a special weekend of prayer for the people of Syria, and I’m asking you to join me now in prayer for the people of Syria and for our Congress as we deliberate carefully about the best way to bring hope and peace to that land.

Let us pray. Dear Lord we thank you for your gifts that you give to us, the gift of grace and of hope and of reconciliation, and we pray for the people of Syria and we pray for the people in our Congress, that they may deliberate carefully about the best way forward so that peace may come to that troubled land, in Jesus name, Amen.

  1. I think Anne Wood is on solid ground with both critical thought and moral compass. This not the hour to be lax in critical thinking or follow blindly. President Obama, Speaker of the House John Boehner and Secretary of State John Kerry have made a compelling case for action now not latter. I urge people of faith to follow our long proven tradition of just war and not give our support to war crimes. Wilson did his best just like Obama to hold our powder, FDR did his best also just like Obama to hold our powder. FDR and Wilson did their best to create organizations like the League of Nations and United Nations to resolve conflicts such as this. With the best of intentions these failed due to flaws and lack of support. This is why the strongest and wealthiest nation on earth by default must act and act now with certainty in its right cause. Monsters will not have their way without consequences. Punish ASSAD now. When your child ask for bread would you give the child a stone. the Children of Syria have litterally cried out for US.Obama to help. I say yes help with aid and help enforce international law now. Oh but stay out of the Syrian Civil War, that is not justified by just war ethics. The distinction matters.

    by James Turturro

    September 8, 2013

  2. I do not believe in war. People should be able to resolve their differences by negotiations. However, there are people that disagree with me. My concern is that with no action chemical weapons may continue to kill the innocent. Is this another Holocaust? The U.S. did not want to intervene in the beginning and millions were lost. Finally the U.S. declared war on Japan in the defense of our country and we entered the European War. Is there any difference between gas chambers and chemical weapons? What does God want us to do? What is the loving thing to do? I don't want to watch children grasping for air and dying without some action. A message needs to be sent to the Assad government that this will not be tolerated.

    by Lynn Genheimer

    September 7, 2013

  3. Thank you, Gradye, for sharing your concern over our government's intervention into Syria. Like many others, I too am offended by wars. Our Quaker friends have reminded us that (1) there are other options to consider before using military means to solve a problem; and even more importantly, (2) resolving conflicts by military means, no matter how well intended, ultimately cost even more lives and more destruction.

    by Jim Montgomery

    September 7, 2013

  4. Mly prayers will be added to those of others who believe that war is not the answer!

    by Betty L. Dodson

    September 6, 2013

  5. We should have learned in WW!! but did not that every air attack kills some civilians. If we send rockets into Syria, we will kill Syrian civilians. By what right are we doing this? We have not boycotted Syria nor sat down at the negociating table with them. We have no international mandate to attack them now. This is murder.

    by Anne Barstow

    September 6, 2013

  6. Great example of leadership. Look. See. Think. Speak. Pray. Now, how do we go?

    by David Jones

    September 6, 2013

  7. Before I support the request for 'no intervention' I would want to know whether the Synod of Syria and Lebanon has traditionally supported the Assad regime. 'No intervention' would mean not enforcing a 'no-fly zone'. It would mean allowing these atrocities to continue in the hopes that talks would bring about resolution. The success of talk bringing peace at this point does not seem likely. I am a pacifist and do not at all support 'boots on the ground', but neither can I support 'no intervention' at this point. I look forward to your response regarding the Synod's historical support standing. Sincerely, Anne Wood

    by Anne Wood, CLP

    September 6, 2013

  8. May God grant the U.S parliament the wisdom to make the right decision.

    by kalu timothy

    September 6, 2013

  9. Prayers for the people of Syria and the middle east as well as for the President and congress to find another way out of this morass

    by Bud Frimoth

    September 5, 2013

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