The church leaders have recognized and stressed the critical role of ecumenism, or religious unity, in peace efforts.
"I want to emphasize one point: the ecumenical movement, of which the National Council of Churches is an instrument, is most essentially a movement of peace," Kinnamon stated. "Part of the point is sociological: Christian divisions (which ecumenism seeks to overcome) often exacerbate political conflicts and hinder effective peacemaking. War is too massive an evil to be responded to denominationally."
Members of the Historic Peace Churches are calling people of faith to seek nonviolent ways to confront the violence, terrorism and fear prevailing in many countries. They are not only inviting believers from the various Christian denominations but also representatives of the Jewish and Muslim faiths to join the efforts for peace.
"We are deeply aware that the most effective work for peace will ultimately require interfaith vision, effort and cooperation," a statement from the meeting's website says.
Asking Christians to set aside their fears – fears within the peace churches that unity would weaken their peace message or fears among Christians seeking unity that a message of peacemaking would prove divisive – Kinnamon challenged believers to be "ambassadors of reconciliation by the way we live with one another."