Church of the Brethren
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Tell the Government Your Service Story!

As a historic Peace Church, the Church of the Brethren has long opposed the military draft. In the 1980 resolution "The Time Is So Urgent: Threats to Peace," the Church affirmed its opposition to conscription, noting that "registration and conscription tend to foster, or at least complement, a militaristic national mood and an interventionist mind-set in response to world problems."

This opposition to conscription exists within a broader commitment to peace. In 1934, the Annual Conference affirmed that "[We] cannot encourage, engage in, or willingly profit from armed conflict at home or abroad. We cannot, in the event of war, accept military service or support the military machine in any capacity."

The "1982 Reaffirmation of Opposition to War and Conscription for Military Training" gave additional biblical rationale for this commitment, citing the following verses:

Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. To him who strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also. . . (Luke 6:27,28)

So whatever you wish that men would do to you, do so to them; for this is the law and the prophets. (Matthew 7:12)

Put your sword back into its place; for all who take the sword will perish by the sword. (Matthew 26:52)

In September of 2017, the National Commission on Military, National and Public Service was established to study the current draft requirements, and to propose changes to the draft and national service system. Their mission is "to recommend ideas to foster a greater ethos of military, national and public service to strengthen American democracy," and is meant to consider the need for "increased propensity for military service" among Americans.

This commission is currently accepting comments from the public, as they seek to inform their discussion about national service. While their mandate remains heavily focused on military service, their definition of service includes both national volunteer service, and service in the military.

This is an opportunity for the public to urge the commission to highlight the benefits of non-military service, in programs like Brethren Volunteer Service and AmeriCorps.

Are you a conscientious objector? Have you served in a service program like Brethren Volunteer Service or AmeriCorps? Have you seen a community positively impacted by national volunteer programs? This is a great opportunity for you to share your story and impact the focus of this commission.

Click here to share your story and thoughts with the National Commission on Military, National and Public Service. Please forward this email to family and friends who may also have a story to share!

Note: because of the special nature of this request, we have sent this message on a one-time basis to a few people who are not signed up for Action Alerts. If you would like to get all Action Alerts, sign up at

In Christ's peace,

Tori Bateman
Peacebuilding and Policy Associate
Church of the Brethren, Office of Public Witness
Washington, D.C.

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For more information about the public witness ministries of the Church of the Brethren, contact Nathan Hosler, Director, Office of Public Witness:

Nathan Hosler
337 North Carolina Ave SE
Washington, DC 20003

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Church of the Brethren Action Alerts are a ministry of the denomination's Global Mission and Service and Office of Public Witness in Washington, D.C. Contact Global Mission and Service at the Church of the Brethren General Offices, 1451 Dundee Ave., Elgin, IL 60120; 800-323-8039 or

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