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NCC Kicks off 40 Days of Prayer for Election, Christian Unity Gathering
NCC Newsletter
September 30, 2022
NCC Hosts Reparations Event, Prayer Service During Congressional Black Caucus Annual Legislative Conference
On Thursday, September 29, NCC and the William Monroe Trotter Collaborative for Social Justice sponsored a special event during the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation Annual Legislative Conference. "Exonerating a History and a Heroine: Mrs. Callie House and the Empirical Case for Reparations" explored the pivotal work of a civil rights pioneer, Mrs. Callie House, and current efforts toward reparations. Hosted by Metropolitan African Methodist Episcopal Church in Washington, DC, panelists included NCC Interim General Secretary/President Bishop Vashti McKenzie, Cornell William Brooks of the William Monroe Trotter Collaborative for Social Justice at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, and Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, lead sponsor for HR 40, a bill that would create a commission to study slavery and possible reparations for descendants.
Following the reparations session, NCC hosted "We the People: A Call to Prayer and Progress", a prayer service which kicked off 40 days of prayer that NCC is sponsoring in the lead up to the election. You can watch the daily prayer at 12 Noon ET on NCC's YouTube channel at
event annoucement Christian Unity Gathering more info and register at
We are incredibly excited for all that is planned for this year's Christian Unity Gathering. Highlights include:
  • Opening Worship with:
    Rev. Julian DeShazier, University Church, Chicago

  • Discussion on Public Theology with:
    Dr. Loida Martell, Lexington Theological Seminary
    Dr. Michael Trice, Seattle University
    Rev. Stephen Greene, St. Luke AME Church in Harlem, NY
    Dr. Iva Carruthers, Samuel Dewitt Proctor Conference

  • Christian Leadership in Uncharted Territory with:
    Dr. Tod Bolsinger, Fuller Seminary

  • Dealing with Trauma and Grief with:
    Dr. Thema Bryant, American Psychological Association
    Rev. Dr. Olusola Ayo-Obiremi, Nigerian Baptist Theological Seminary
    Rev. Michael Marsh, St. Phillip's Episcopal Church, Uvalde, TX
    Rev. Denise Walden, VOICE Buffalo, Buffalo, NY
    Rev. Hyepin Im, Faith and Community Empowerment, Los Angeles, CA

  • Peace, War, and World Hunger with:
    Ambassador Daniel Speckhard, Corus International
    Serge Schmemann, International Herald Tribune

  • Faith Responses to Humanitarian Crises with:
    Rev. Dr. Angelique Walker-Smith, Bread for the World
    Rick Santos, Church World Service
    Dr. Pavlo Smytsnyuk, Ukranian Catholic University
    Allison Duvall, Episcopal Migration Services
    Katrina Straker, International Orthodox Christian Charities

  • Future of Faith Formation with:
    Dr. Christine Hong, Columbia Theological Seminary
    Rev. Garland Pierce, African Methodist Episcopal Church
    Dr. Carmichael Crutchfield, Christian Methodist Episcopal Church
    Rev. Marissa Galván-Valle, Presbyterian Publishing Corporation
    Rev. Dr. Dominique Robinson, Seminary of the Southwest
    Very Rev. Dr. Anton Vrame, Holy Cross Orthodox Press

  • ACT NOW! Uprooting Racism, White Supremacy, and Christian Nationalism with:
    Rev. William Lamar, IV, Metropolitan African Methodist Episcopal Church, DC
    Amanda Tyler, Baptist Joint Committee
    Dr. Sarah Riccardi-Swartz, Northeastern University
    Dr. Pamela Cooper-White, Union Theological Seminary

Along with all of these great discussions we will have times of worship and reflection to help ground and center us.

For more information about this year's program and to register, visit

We are also still seeking sponsorships on three levels and each of the tiered levels of sponsorship offer different perks.
  • Gold ($300) – This level includes mention of sponsorship in the slide deck during sessions
  • Frankincense ($500) – Includes all the benefits of Gold plus display of sponsor logo in the Whova event platform, as well as mention in press releases about the event
  • Myrrh ($1000) – Includes all the benefits of Gold & Frankincense plus social media mentions on all NCC social media accounts.
Click on the Sponsor Now button below to partner in this important work and make your support for NCC known to our many participants.

American Academy of Religion Issue Open Letter on Academic Freedom
The American Academy of Religion sent an open letter to Florida's higher education leaders calling on them to uphold academic freedom in the midst of numerous limits imposed on various educational levels on what can be taught in classrooms. Most notably, the Florida Board of Education banned the teaching of critical race theory in 2021. The letter was addressed to the Florida Board of Governors, State University Board of Trustees, University Presidents and Provosts in the State of Florida, and higher education leaders at large.

The letter states that "Engaging directly with how religions have been influenced by - and have been influential in - critical developments in our diverse histories (which may include problematic outcomes and troubling legacies to work through) is essential to the education of a responsible citizenry." It also calls for the rejection of political agendas that seek to limit academic freedom.

event announcement Christian Nationalism and Ongoing Threat to Democracy in US more info and register at
World Council of Churches Approves Release of Two Statements on Racism and Reconciliation with Indigenous People
The World Council of Churches Central Committee approved the release of two statements coming out of the recent Assembly that had not been formally presented. In the introduction to the first statement, "Statement on Confronting Racism and Xenophobia, Overcoming Discrimination, Ensuring Belonging", the WCC stated simply that, "(t)he World Council of Churches, at its 11th assembly, in Karlsruhe, Germany, abhors the perpetuation of all forms of racism, xenophobia and related discriminations against humanity and the pervasive suffering it causes."

The second statement, titled "Statement on Reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples", acknowledges that "Indigenous Peoples are created with God-given identities that are beautiful. God was present in their lands and among their peoples before colonizers arrived. When Christians brought the Bible, Indigenous People recognized the voice of their Creator in Jesus’ teachings. They did not hear a call to reject their identities."

The statements can be viewed in their entirety at the links below:

Statement on Confronting Racism and Xenophobia, Overcoming Discrimination, Ensuring Belonging -

Event announcement: Christianity in America - Sacred or Supremacist? Register and more info at
Fall Meeting for Christian Education, Faith Formation, and Leadership Development Table (CEFFLD)
The NCC's CEFFLD convening table held its Fall meeting via Zoom on September 15. Drawing on excerpts from her book “The Big Deal of Taking Small Steps to Move Closer to God,” Bishop McKenzie led a conversation on prayer as the inspiration for our openness to God’s new thing. This was a fitting address to close out the 2021-2022 CT focus on “Spiritual Practices to Sustain Our Spirit-Led Work for Justice.” One of the successful projects of the CT over the past year is the monthly series of videos, podcasts, and articles from CT members including: Matt Bridges, Sue Humble, Brenda Smith, Janeè Grover, Rose Schrott, Reshma Phillips, Despina Prassas, Susan Naylor, and Carmichael Crutchfield. A library of these CT resources is available on the NCC website: Speaking as the NCC liaison for the CT, Rev. Dr. Tammy Wiens expressed deep appreciation for the leadership, vision, and spiritual nourishment of co-conveners Rev. Eric Cain (Alliance of Baptists), and Rev. Sheila, (Christian Church, Disciples of Christ).
The Election is Less Than 40 Days Away - Voter Empowerment: Check-up Sunday Every Sunday
“We were all made in God’s image and likeness. Voter suppression on the basis of skin color is a throwing away of Imago Dei.”

Jim Wallis, Chair in Faith and Justice and the founding Director of the
Georgetown University Center on Faith and Justice

“The right to full participation of the person in political and civic life, including the opportunity: to vote by secret ballot…the right to vote is a basic human right.”

from the 1963 NCC Human Rights Policy Statement

September is Voting Rights Month. The National Council of Churches issues a Call to Action to energize and empower voters to exercise their right to vote in upcoming elections and in every election. The right to vote with unfettered access to the ballot box is one of America’s sacred trust. It was a hard-fought right and is a present hard-fought fight right now in our country.

NCC Voter Empowerment imitative partners with our communions and others to provide a Voter Resource Guide and the Voter Toolkit, from Faiths United to Save Democracy that contains information for a church-based plan of action. On Check-Up Sunday, people can use a QR code to check their voter status, verify ID requirements, poll locations, poll rules and regulations, voter registration deadlines, early voting and election dates and more. There are ideas to stimulate conversations at church and at home.

Register your communion, church and organization today to receive the Voter Empowerment Resource Guide. It’s free. Click here to register: Go to Use the hashtag #Vote Ready #NCC on your social media platforms. 

Religious Communities urge President Biden to Resume Arms Control Negotiations
President Biden restated this summer his administration’s commitment to arms control with the ultimate goal of a world without nuclear weapons. He also prioritized reducing their role in the security strategy of the United States. In January 2022 the U.S. joined with other Nuclear Weapon States to affirm that a nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought.

Now, leaders of U.S. religious communities in an interfaith letter (which NCC also signed) are offering their support for the President’s statements and are calling on him to press for the resumption of arms control negotiations. They say that the time is overdue for the elimination of nuclear weapons and they cite two new developments that make it essential that the issue receive prompt and urgent attention.

NCC Seeks Director of Communications
NCC is looking to add a new Director of Communications to its team. Based at its headquarters in Washington, DC, the Director of Communications is responsible for all of NCC's outward messaging including press statements, social media, website, multimedia, and this newsletter! You can read the full job description on NCC's website and if this sounds like an opportunity for you please send your cover letter and resume/cv to 
Orthodox church in the Hamptons calls people with autism ‘part of our community’
Dressed in the yellow robes of an altar server, Dimitri Donus dutifully held the tall, golden sacramental fan as he processed with other acolytes during the Divine Liturgy on a recent Sunday at his Greek Orthodox church in this resort town on Long Island’s east end.

Later, he joined other church members for a meal, munching on fried chicken, corn on the cob and cornbread. Then, along with his housemates and their caregivers, he traveled a half-hour by van and set out on a small boat for an afternoon sail.

Donus is one of a handful of residents of a house run by US Autism Homes for young adults with autism through a private-public partnership involving the Dormition of the Virgin Mary Greek Orthodox Church of the Hamptons. At the 5,000-square-foot house a six-minute walk from the church, he has a place to live and an extended circle of friends beyond his immediate family.


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