Subject: NCC Newsletter – April 21, 2023

April 21, 2023

Happy Earth Day!

Here Are Five Creative Ways to Celebrate

  1. Recycle (paper, plastic, glass, electronics, clothing) and compost

  2. Cut down on the use of paper and plastic

  3. Bring reusable bags when you go shopping

  4. Give your car a rest and bike, walk, or use public transportation

  5. Walk in the park or the woods, ride on a bike trail, plant a tree or flowers, or start a garden

NCC Celebrates Earth Day

On April 22, people around the world will observe Earth Day to renew a shared commitment to the sustainability of the planet. Since the first Earth Day observance in 1970, more than one billion people and 190 countries have participated in the global event. As Christians, we understand the importance of being good stewards of the planet God created and entrusted us with.

This Earth Day, NCC will participate in the United Church of Christ’s inaugural Earth Day Summit to “lift up, celebrate, and further ministries dedicated to caring for God’s creation.” Creation Justice Ministries released a Sowing Seeds – 2023 Earth Day Sunday Resource, which “provides stories from people committed to caring for our planet through the food system, reflections, sermon starters, prayers, and more to guide you and your congregation in faithful action.”

We encourage member communions to join us at UCC’s Earth Day Summit, download Creation Justice Ministries’ Sunday resource, or participate in local Earth Day activities.

NCC Opposes Key Federal Program Cuts
in Debt Ceiling Legislation

The federal debt has increased substantially over the past 20 years, from $5.8 trillion in 2001 to $31.4 trillion in 2023. For months, economists and other experts have urged Congress to raise the debt ceiling to avoid defaulting and triggering a financial crisis should the federal debt exceed the legal limit.


This week, House Republicans, led by Speaker Kevin McCarthy (CA), introduced the Limit, Save, Grow Act of 2023. In a joint statement with members of the House Republican Leadership and Budget Committee Chairman Jodey Arrington (TX), Speaker McCarthy said the bill “will limit federal spending, save taxpayers trillions of dollars, grow our economy, and lift the debt limit into next year.”

According to Speaker McCarthy, the legislation will raise the debt limit by 1.5 trillion and lower federal spending by $4.5 trillion over 10 years. Amongst other things, the proposal will nullify nearly $400 billion in federal student loan debt relief and limit the Secretary of Education’s authority to propose or issue new regulations and executive actions, repeal several clean energy and energy efficiency tax incentives, and impose stricter work requirements on Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) beneficiaries, raising the working age limit from 50 to 56 years old.


The NCC strongly opposes the Limit, Save, Grow Act of 2023 and any legislation that makes significant cuts to the programs that ensure Americans—especially the most vulnerable in our society—have clean air to breathe, economic opportunity, and food security.

Standing for Democracy

Photo: Rev. Stephen Green, NCC Community and Civic Engagement Consultant (left) with recently reinstated Tennessee State Representative Justin Jones of Nashville as they continue standing for democracy and voting rights.

Bishop McKenzie Is Faith Leaders and Social Justice Panelist During National Action Network Convention

NCC Interim President and General Secretary Bishop Vashti McKenzie joined panelists Dr. Fredrick D. Haynes, III, Senior Pastor, Friendship-West Baptist Church, and Board Member, National Board of Directors, National Action Network; Bishop Adam Jefferson Richardson, Senior Bishop of the AME Church; Pastor Gabby Cudjoe Wilkes, Co-pastor, The Double Love Experience Church; and Moderator Rev. Dr. W. Franklyn Richardson, Chairman, National Action Network National Board of Directors, to discuss “Preaching Justice: The Role of Faith Leaders in Advancing Social Justice” on Friday, April 14, during the National Action Network's annual convention in New York City.

Photo: Dr. W. Franklyn Richardson, Board of Trustees Chairman for NCC partner, the Conference of National Black Churches, and Chairman of the National Action Network’s Board (left), with NCC's Interim President and General Secretary Bishop Vashti McKenzie and Rev. Stephen Green, NCC Community and Civic Engagement Consultant.

Dr. Tammy Wiens Joins World Day of Prayer Service

Photo: The Rev. Dr. Tammy Wiens gathered with Christian women in southwest Pennsylvania for a World Day of Prayer service. The Rev. Kerri Clark of Our Redeemer Lutheran Church in McMurray, PA, with lay leaders Laura Casper and Suzanne Kennedy, provided worship leadership for the April 21 prayer service.

World Day of Prayer (WDP) is a global ecumenical movement led by Christian women who welcome all to join in prayer and action for peace and justice. Since the 1920s, women worldwide have joined to observe WDP on the first Friday of March, but local WDP activities are held all year long. 

The Friday, April 21 gathering, originally scheduled for March 2020, was postponed when all community services were canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Each year, a different country takes leadership in preparing liturgy and Bible study resources to support their chosen theme. The Taiwan WDP chapter has organized around the 2023 theme, “I Have Heard About Your Faith,” but the women of Southwest PA were eager to honor the Zimbabwean women who had planned and organized the 2020 theme, “Rise! Take Your Mat and Walk.”

For more information about WDP and the worship and educational resources for 2023 and 2024, visit

Panel Explores 60 Years after King's Letter from Birmingham Jail

Sixty years ago, the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., sitting in a Birmingham City Jail cell, began drafting what would become one of the most important documents of the civil rights era. Written in response to eight white clergymen calling for a delay in demonstrations in the South, King expressed the “urgency of the moment,” issuing a call to all Americans to reject the “piercing familiarity” of the word “wait” and to press forward together in the fight for justice. This call, however, landed particularly on faith leaders.


What did this prophetic response mean in the historical context in which it was written? What does it mean for us today?


To explore answers to these critical questions, the Center on Faith and Justice at Georgetown University and the National African American Clergy Network are co-hosting an important virtual conversation on the “Letter from Birmingham Jail @ 60” on Wednesday, April 26, 6:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. ET.


Scheduled participants are: Bishop Vashti Murphy McKenzie, Interim President and General Secretary of the National Council of Churches and retired Bishop of the African Methodist Episcopal Church; Rev. Dr. Otis Moss III, Senior Pastor, Trinity United Church of Christ, Chicago, IL, and Professor of Homiletics, School of Theology, Mercer University; and Rev. Jim Wallis, Chair in Faith and Justice and Director of the Center on Faith and Justice, McCourt School of Public Policy, Georgetown University.


There will be a virtual Q&A following the discussion. To register for this free event, click on this link.

Ecumenical Advocacy Days Begin Tuesday

On Tuesday, April 25, #EAD2023 begins!


It's not too late to register, you can purchase a ticket through Thursday, April 27. Scholarships are available that will cover the cost of a ticket.


EAD has some wonderful plenaries and workshops scheduled. Take a look at the agenda to see what's being offered.


All plenaries and workshops will be recorded for later viewing for those who are unable to join the sessions live. Participants will have 30 days from the end of EAD to watch those recordings.


Register now!

Earthquake Relief Efforts Continue

The February 6, 2023 earthquake that hit Syria and Turkey resulted massive destruction and heavy losses of life as well as to public and private properties.

The Middle East Council of Churches launched an appeal to the world, calling for the support of Syria in order to help its people at various levels, in addition to urging for the lifting of sanctions on the country so that it can receive all the basic and necessary materials for those afflicted. Hence, MECC in Syria, in cooperation with the churches, went to the field and hastened to heal the wounds of the affected people and alleviate their pain.

The MECC team in Syria took additional photos of the destruction in wounded Aleppo, Syria as well as relief efforts that can be viewed here.

Prepare now to participate in the NCC's Spring Governing Board events, beginning on Monday, May 15, 2023, with a special, sponsored luncheon for the Governing Board and the new Health and Wellness Task Force, and ending at noon on Tuesday, May 16. 


All events will be held at the National City Christian Church, Thomas Circle. Hotel reservations can be made at: 


The Madison Hotel

1177 15th Street NW

Washington, DC 20005 


Book your reservations by April 24, 2023, using the following link:

Schedule of Events


Monday, May 15, 2023

9:00a–11:00a Christian Education and Faith Formation

Convening Table (Members Only)

10:00a–11:15a Health and Wellness Task Force Meeting (Members Only)

11:00a–12:45a Sponsored Luncheon for  Governing Board & Health and Wellness Taskforce (Members Only)

1:00a–5:00p Governing Board Business Session (Members Only)

5:30p–6:45p Dinner (Members Only)

7:00p–Anniversary Launch Worship Service (Open to the Public)


Tuesday, May 16, 2023 

8:00a–12:00p Governing Board Business Session (Members Only) 

12:30p  Box Lunch (Members Only)

1:00p–3:00p Policy Roundtable (Members Only)

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