June 13, 2018

Prayer Service and Vigil for Peace Seek Diplomacy Not War With Korea

DIPLOMACY NOT WAR: About 50 people gathered for a multifaith service and candlelight vigil for peace at the Nassau Presbyterian Church on Nassau Street on Sunday night preceding the June 12 summit between President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. (Photo by John Lien)

By Donald Gilpin

As preparations were continuing in Singapore for the summit between President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, 50 people gathered at the Nassau Presbyterian Church on Sunday evening for an hour-long multifaith service for peace inside the church followed by a candlelight vigil outside.

Sponsored by the Princeton-based Coalition for Peace Action, the service was organized by the Rev. Dave Davis, senior pastor of Nassau Presbyterian and president of the Princeton Clergy Association, along with CFPA Executive Director the Rev. Robert Moore, and featured contributions from 10 different area faith leaders.

Applauding the progress made so far in the summit talks, Moore said, “I’m pleased as long as the momentum goes forward. Diplomacy involves sticking with it even if you’re only getting a partial success.”

Moore commented on the “positive, respectful” tone of the proceedings and the “great potential for progress.” He mentioned, “It’s going to take some time [about 15 years according to some experts] for the denuclearization of North Korea, but we have momentum now to confront this challenging, complex situation.”

Moore expressed hope of continuing “towards abolishing nuclear weapons completely to make the world truly safe.”

He described the multifaith gathering as “impressive in attracting such a diverse group of faith leaders,” including the Rev. Carlton Branscomb of First Baptist Church; the Rev. Karen Hernandez-Granzen of Westminster Presbyterian Church; Avis Hofstad of First Church of Christ, Scientist; Salim Manzar, Muslim faith leader; Br. Chris McNabb, of Trinity Episcopal Church; the Rev. Bill Neely, of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Princeton; Beverly Owens, music director at Witherspoon Street Presbyterian Church; and Eberhard Wunderluch of the Baha’is of Princeton; in addition to Davis and Moore.

“We want to express support for the intensified diplomacy to resolve the North Korea issue,” Moore said. “Until late last year, military threats and bluster were causing a highly dangerous context that could have led to war, intentionally or through miscalculation. We want to pray for and express good wishes for the diplomatic momentum to continue and result in peaceful resolution of the conflict.”