Wearing a tie will express formal opposition to war
On Sunday, May 6, I'm going to do something I thought I would never do in Hawaii: wear a tie to church, and long pants and shoes and socks. I won't be alone.
In mid-March our pastor went to Washington, D.C., to participate, along with many others, in the Christian Peace Witness for Iraq. The message was "United by the cross against the war. Support our troops; bring them home. Say no to torture; say yes to justice. Commit to rebuild Iraq; end the occupation."
On April 1 the Rev. Buddy Summers was not wearing his usual aloha shirt when he told the congregation that the president, a fellow Texan about the same age, had sent him a note saying, "If you'll wear a tie to your church in Hawaii, I'll bring home the troops from Iraq." It was April Fools' Day. Several of us men and not a few women said, "Hey, if that's all it would take ..."
Just about every Sunday, we sing, "The kingdom of God is justice and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit." I resonated with an Egyptian presidential candidate's remarks when she said, in effect, that those who seek justice are more religious than those who pray. We just finished a book on Christian nonviolence as an alternative to fight or flight.
All this came together and an idea emerged: Wear a tie to church. Show your respect for each other, our troops and for the Iraqi people. Show your opposition to the continued occupation of Iraq.
We've laughed discussing a number of ways to headline the action, such as "tie one on for peace." On the Sundays leading up to the event, we have been displaying a rack of ties as a reminder to wear one to church on May 6. We plan a "before and after" group photo.
We are a diverse congregation sometimes almost paralyzed with different views not only upon the appropriateness of the war, but upon the most appropriate ways to go forward.
But we all agree that Jesus calls us to be peacemakers and to move forward. Laughter is setting us free from the paralysis of despair. We are finding new energy and hope.
The Rev. Summers is planning a May 6 sermon titled "Christian Hope in Time of War."
Christ Church Uniting Disciples and Presbyterians is at 1300 Kailua Road. For more information, call 262-6911.
Look for me on May 6. I'll be the one with a tie, and long pants and shoes and socks.
Jim Sorensen is a member of Christ Church Uniting in Kailua.