Clergy, Lay leaders release Pastoral Letter on Nuclear Weapons Production

More than twenty-four clergy and lay leaders of religious communities in East Tennessee joined to issue The Urgency of Now: A Pastoral Letter on Nuclear Weapons Production in Our Community on Monday, August 3, 2015 on Market Square in downtown Knoxville.

The letter, released in the week of the 70th observance of the Hiroshima/Nagasaki bombings calls for people of faith to engage the morality of the ongoing production of nuclear weapons in Oak Ridge, Tennessee and plans for a new bomb plant”the $6.5 billion Uranium Processing Facility”at the Y12 Nuclear Weapons Complex there.

“As people of faith, dedicated to lives of gratitude, service and love, we ask ourselves: Is it right for us to support the production of weapons of mass destruction designed to be used against other human beings with our money, our votes, or our silence?” asks the letter.

The letter will be opened to additional signatures at a public release and ceremonial signing event on Market Square and will be available on-line soon for signatures to be added.

An annotated version of the letter has also been prepared. Religious leaders who created the Pastoral call plan to produce study resources and discussion guides for personal and congregational use.

The letter is available here:

Pastoral letter brief


An annotated version of the letter can be found here:

Pastoral letter annotated



Sunday Vigil at Y-12 in Oak Ridge Tennessee

Sunday Vigil

The OREPA Board has now decided that we are prepared to do a limited re-opening of the Sunday vigil to allow for slightly more participation.  We are asking anyone who wants to attend a Sunday vigil to sign up in advance—by the Thursday before. There are two ways to sign up. You can email Ralph at or you can call him at 865 776 5050. If the five slots are already taken, we’ll ask you to wait until next week. All vigilers are expected to wear masks. Bring your own chair. Avoid physical contact and maintain an appropriate social distance in the circle of chairs. Of course, if for any reason you feel you may have been exposed to the virus or to someone with the virus, you should not attend the vigil. At this point, we are not resuming our monthly potlucks.

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