Rev. Dr. Scott Couper

May we create a space for sanity and peace

The way forward in the Middle East can only begin with a ceasefire

On the morning of Tuesday, Nov. 2, in Westminster West, I participated in a service committing to the ground the body utilized by the beautiful and loving soul of Eshagh Shaoul.

Our brother Eshagh was a faithful, observant, Iranian Jew. If you ever fellowshipped with him and his wife, Rosalyn, at their home in Putney, you would have transcended who you are as they escorted you though the "Temple of Love," a sacred ground adjacent to their home whereupon all the world's major faith traditions are observed and revered.

Dr. Jim Levinson led the service, as would a rabbi. He recited from the Torah. Dr. Amer Latif also participated in the service, as would an imam. He recited from the Holy Quran. I also recited from the Bible, as would a Christian cleric.

Jew, Muslim, and Christian laid to rest a brother whom we all wish to emulate.

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U.S. flouts international law by ignoring nuclear weapons prohibition treaty

On Aug. 13, I stood on Main Street, Brattleboro, with my two friends, Daniel Sicken and Bill Pearson, to protest the United States' arsenal of nuclear weapons. Here is what I learned while standing in solidarity with them: Nuclear weapons are against international law, and the United States (legally)

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Saudi war and blockade against Yemen is largest worldwide humanitarian crisis

I have assisted the great work of Action Corps to advocate on issues related to Centre Congregational Church's “Just Peace Church” designation to our Vermont representatives in Congress. I recently participated in a call to Sen. Bernie Sanders' office to encourage him to introduce another Yemen War Powers Resolution,

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‘I ache for my Asian brothers and sisters’

I awoke. Ten minutes of devotional podcast and 10 minutes of National Public Radio podcast in bed. My heart sank. Eight dead, reportedly mostly Asian-American women in the Atlanta area. Oh, no. These are our sisters. News reports are still informing us of the details in Atlanta. It is true, the attacks seem not to be purely racially motivated. As with most incidents of violence, motivations are complicated, not simple. In Atlanta, preliminary reports indicate that the term “intersectionality” can...

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The real issues in Kenosha

In Wisconsin, another unarmed Black man (say his name: Jacob Blake) was shot in the back by a police officer. According to my viewing of the video, there is little evidence that Jacob posed a lethal threat to the policemen, nor anyone else. He was shot seven times in the back and is now likely left paralyzed for life. Protests and unrest are understandable after such an injustice - because these incidents continue to occur over and over again. During...

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At minimum, white people of European descent should apologize for Colonial land grab

The Hebrew scriptures narrate much contestation between Canaanites and Hebrews. After escaping Egypt and entering into what is referred to as the Holy Land, Hebrews encountered Canaanites in the land of “milk and honey” that they wished to occupy (Numbers 13:27-28). The story about the felling of Jericho's walls (Joshua 6:1-27) is a perfect example of such contestation. In the end, the Israelites invaded the Canaanites, defeated them, and occupied their land. The narratives in the Hebrew scriptures are usually...

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Supreme Court decision is a ray of sunshine

In our church entryway, a certificate hanging on the wall is a source of enormous pride to us. The document proclaims that Centre Congregational Church (United Church of Christ) is an Open and Affirming Congregation. The text reads that in 2013 our church “entered into a covenant welcoming people of all sexual orientations, gender identities, and gender expressions into Christian fellowship.” In the midst of so much disheartening national news in our country, it gives us great cause for celebration...

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Black Lives Matter is also a moral and a religious understanding

On May 31, Centre Congregational Church participated in a rally against police brutality, in solidarity with people of color in our country - people who, after 400 years, still struggle with systematic racism. As I was setting-up the outdoor seating, someone drove by and, seeing the sign in front of the church, shouted from the car window, “All lives matter!” I found myself taking a deep breath and, remembering words that seemed apt, prayed, “Father, forgive them, for they know...

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