Way of Peace

A statement for the 2020 general election

October 28, 2020

United Theological Seminary encourages the followers of Jesus to resolve to be peacemakers in their communities regardless of who is elected to office in the November 2020 elections. In a time when our society is filled with anger and deep political divisions, Christian leaders need to stand for a peaceful response and against any violent reactions to the results of our November elections.

In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said: “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you” (Matthew 5:44).

The Prayer of St. Francis reminds us: “Where there is hatred, may we sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is sadness, joy.”

St. Paul reminds us that those who accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior and are filled with the Holy Spirit will exhibit these fruits of the spirit in all situations: “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control” (Galatians 5:22).

In the midst of this extremely contentious political season, we at United Theological Seminary invite you — our neighbors, alumni/ae, students, and colleagues-in-ministry — to join us in the way of peace modeled by Jesus, who has the power to reconcile painful divisions and absorb violence with self-giving love. We believe that the church is called to contribute to peace. Let us each in ourselves and our communities be that church in our public spheres. Let us pledge to stand together in non-violence when fear and hatred swirl around us.

The way of peace is not dispassionate or passive in the face of injustice or deeply held beliefs. The way of peace calls us beyond ourselves, disturbs deep-seated prejudice or destructive habits and invites us to active discernment. The way of peace seeks to prevent violence in word and deed. As people of faith, we profess that Jesus is Lord and Jesus will be Lord after the election. Please join us as we seek to be responsibly involved as citizens in the healing of our nation and world.

Grace and peace,

The leadership of United Theological Seminary, Dayton, Ohio:

Dr. Joni S. Sancken, Associate Professor
Dr. Peter J. Bellini, Associate Professor
Dr. Wendy J. Deichmann, Professor
Dr. Thomas B. Dozeman, Professor
Dr. Lisa M. Hess, Professor
Dr. Justus H. Hunter, Assistant Professor
Dr. Vivian Johnson, Professor and Associate Dean for Academic Affairs
Dr. Scott T. Kisker, Professor and Associate Dean for Masters Programs
Dr. Anthony Le Donne, Associate Professor
Dr. Luther J. Oconer, Associate Professor
Dr. Andrew Sung Park, Professor
Dr. Jerome P. Stevenson Sr., Assistant Professor

Executive Staff
Dr. Kent Millard, President
Dr. David F. Watson, Vice President for Academic Affairs
Callie Picardo, Vice President for Development
Dr. Bridget D. Weatherspoon, Vice President for Enrollment
Steven L. Swallow, Vice President for Finance and Administration
Dr. Madeline C. Henners, Director of Contextual Ministries
Dr. Harold A. Hudson, Associate Dean for Doctoral Studies
Karen E. Payne, Chief Marketing and Accreditation Officer
Rev. Dr. Rosario Picardo, Dean of the Chapel
Dr. J. Elvin Sadler, Assistant Dean for Doctoral Studies
Heather Shellabarger, Director of Distance Education

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