GA 2010: Assembly approves amended peacemaking overture

On its final night of deliberations, the 219th General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) considered the report on its Committee on Peacemaking and International Issues (minus a major report on the Middle East, which was presented by another committee and considered separately earlier).

               An overture sent by Greater Atlanta Presbytery regarding the war in Afghanistan calls on the U.S. government to support non-combat actions to promote peace and stability in Afghanistan, and to “cease direct combat operations,” except to protect coalition forces or Afghani security forces or as part of humanitarian efforts.

               Joel Davies, an elder from Monmouth Presbytery, asked the assembly to add a section to that recommendation asking for prayer for the families affected by the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001.  Additionally, a preamble was added thanking American citizens and service personnel for their sacrifice and service in Afghanistan and Iraq. 

               The assembly approved the amended overture by a hand vote.

               Other motions concerned the U.S. commitment to peacemaking, particularly in Sudan, Korea, Haiti, Colombia, Madagascar, and Honduras, as well as efforts to protect religious minorities around the world. 

               Maggie Lauterer, a minister from North Carolina, closed the committee’s report with a request for prayer for peace in troubled places in the world, saying: “Of all the things we have talked about today and yesterday, these are the things that break our hearts.”