Subject: NCC Newsletter – April 26, 2024

NCC Newsletter

April 26, 2024

NCC Attends "Rally for Housing Not Handcuffs"

"Rally for Housing Not Handcuffs" for Johnson v. Grants Pass in front of the Supreme Court Building in Washington, D.C., on April 22, 2024.

Matt Markay, National Council of Churches' Project Coordinator, attended the "Rally for Housing Not Handcuffs" for Johnson v. Grants Pass in front of the Supreme Court Building in Washington, D.C., on April 22.

Notable remarks were given by Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II, President and Senior Lecturer of Repairers of the Breach, and Co-chair of the Poor Peoples Campaign. Washington Interfaith Staff Community (WISC) organizations and several others were in attendance and showed support.

While hundreds of activists from across the country gathered on the steps of the Supreme Court to show support for the unhoused community, arguments were being heard about whether Grants Pass, a small town in Oregon, could prosecute its homeless population for sleeping in public places even though there are not enough shelters in the city and a lack of affordable housing in the town. The rally called for an increase in social services to those unhoused in the United States, as well as an increase in affordable housing. 


The ruling of Johnson v. Grants Pass could prove to be a monumental case in how the United States views homelessness. NCC prays that the Supreme Court protects the rights of unhoused individuals across the nation. 

Rev. Dr. Leslie Copeland-Tune Receives Judson Press Ministry Award

A video still of Dr. Copeland-Tune being interviewed during the Space for Grace Conference by American Baptist Home Mission Societies' Marketing Coordinator, Dr. Chantá Barrett. Source: American Baptist Home Mission Societies

Rev. Dr. Leslie Copeland-Tune, NCC’s Senior Associate General Secretary and Advocacy Director, was awarded the Judson Press Ministry Award for 2024, during the publishers’ 200th anniversary celebration earlier this month where she was the luncheon speaker. The award recognizes individuals who share and promote Judson’s publishing ministry in a significant way and “with a ready and willing Christian Spirit and for the joy of serving God.”

Award recipients receive a Judson Press Ministry Award certificate and their names are inscribed on a permanent plaque in the American Baptist Mission Home Center in King of Prussia, PA.

The milestone celebration for Judson Press took place during the American Baptist Home Mission Societies’ Space for Grace conference, April 9–11. Dr. Copeland-Tune also led a workshop on writing during the conference. Judson Press published Dr. Copeland-Tune’s first book, 24/7 Embodying Christ-like Leadership, released in the fall of 2022.

Judson Press is the publishing ministry of American Baptist Churches USA, a member denomination of the NCC.

Get Involved: National Council of Churches Announces “NCC Freedom Summer 2024”

Don't Miss the Spring Governing Board Meeting, May 15–17

Join NCC and Bishop Michael Curry for
Dinner and a Movie, May 16

Rev. Teresa Hord Owens, NCC Governing Board Member, to Speak at EAD Spring Summit

Ecumenical Advocacy Days (EAD) 2024 Spring Summit will be held in person in Washington, DC, May 17–19. The theme for this year’s gathering is, “Faith in Action: Advancing Human Rights and Peace for All," and will push for promoting and protecting human rights domestically and worldwide.

Rev. Teresa “Terri” Hord Owens, NCC Governing Board Treasurer, and General Minister and President of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States and Canada, and Bishop Vashti Murphy McKenzie, NCC President and General Secretary, are among the list of guest speakers who will offer remarks during the EAD 2024 Spring Summit. Sessions will include plenaries, worship, workshops, and state networking and organizing opportunities.

Don't miss this opportunity! Learn more about EAD 2024 Spring Summit, share it with your network, and register today!

Rev. Cecil Williams, Esteemed Pastor of San Francisco's Glide Memorial Church, Dies at 94

The Rev. Cecil Williams monitored outside activity during the annual grocery bag giveaway for those in need at Glide Memorial Church in San Francisco during the 2007 Christmas season. Each of the 6,000 bags contained either a turkey or a chicken, potatoes, bread, pasta, and vegetables. Photo: Paul Chinn/The San Francisco Chronicle via Getty Images

Rev. Cecil Williams, a beloved social justice activist and longtime pastor of San Francisco’s Glide Memorial Church, passed away on Monday, April 22, at age 94.

Williams is best known for his stewardship of the Tenderloin neighborhood church that he began leading in 1963 and helped develop into a world-renowned congregation and social service nonprofit. As its senior minister, Williams built and oversaw multiple community outreach programs that have offered crucial support to hundreds of thousands of impoverished residents in the city over the last six decades.

Chief among those initiatives is the Free Meals Program. Launched in 1980, the program provides three free hot meals a day to anyone in need, dishing out hundreds of thousands of meals each year.

Oakland resident Ernestine Nettles, who has volunteered at Glide for more than 50 years, noted that Williams “embodied the spirit of Christianity” in not passing judgment and loving people as they are. She said he treated everyone as equals, no matter their race, age, background, economic status, sexuality, past, or present.

Read more about Williams’ ministry and legacy here.

RSVP for Ecumenical Prayer Service for Gaza in Washington, D.C.

Religions for Peace to Hold National Interfaith Prayer Service

Earth Week News

The White House Announces the America the Beautiful Freshwater Challenge

The White House held the White House Water Summit on April 23, and announced a new nation-wide initiative and partnership to conserve and restore freshwater resources through the America the Beautiful Freshwater Challenge: A Partnership to Conserve and Restore America’s Rivers, Lakes, Streams, and Wetlands. This new initiative will target the conservation and restoration of 8 million acres of wetlands and 100,000 miles of the country's bodies of water, specifically, rivers and streams. Widespread support has poured in from across the country, evidenced through the more than 100 inaugural members signing on to support the restoration of freshwater in their communities.

The Biden-Harris Administration also announced efforts to combat climate change and ensure clean water for neighborhoods across the country.

Read more about the Freshwater Challenge here.

PC(USA) Issues Earth Day Statement on Climate Change

Rev. Bronwen Boswell, Acting Stated Clerk of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), issued a statement on Earth Day 2024, discussing how PC(USA) unites with 35 denominations in recognizing the alarming concern of climate change, calling for increased awareness and immediate action, and acknowledging its impact on vulnerable communities. The statement includes the coalition's recommitment to advocacy for policies and practices that acknowledge the source of climate change and ensure climate justice.

Read the statement addressing the urgent issue of climate change here.

Watch Episcopal Parish Network’s
Earth Day Webinar

Ashville, NC Churches Co-host Annual "Planet Party" Earth Day Celebration

"Planet Party" Earth Day Celebration hosted by Trinity Episcopal Church, Central United Methodist Church and First Presbyterian Church in Asheville, N.C., on April 21, 2024. Photo: WLOS staff

Trinity Episcopal Church, along with neighboring churches Central United Methodist Church, and First Presbyterian Church, hosted its annual "Planet Party" Earth Day celebration Sunday, April 21, for the Asheville, NC community. This year's Earth Day event was themed "Food for Thought, Seeds for Change," tying together faith, food, and climate.

The festivities included educational resources on recycling, climate advocacy, sustainable farming and food, plants, and more. The party also included engaging gardening activities for children. Vendors and local farms provided food throughout the event.

Read more about the "Planet Party" Earth Day celebration here.

Creation Justice Ministries: America's Wildlife Habitat Action Alert

The America's Wildlife Habitat Conservation Act would rescind $700 million of critically needed funds for coastal resilience at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) under the guise of habitat conservation. The bill's funding cut to NOAA will have severe ocean and environmental justice implications, with Indigenous communities facing acute impact, as $390 million in funding allocated to Tribes would be cut.

Employment Opportunities

BJC Position Opening

Pax Christi USA is currently seeking to their team. Click the link below for more information:

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BJC Position Openings

The Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty (BJC) is searching for successful candidates to join their team. Click on the links below for more information:

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ELCA Position Openings

Access the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America's (ELCA) list of United States and global service opportunities here.

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Interfaith Alliance Position Openings

Interfaith Alliance is seeking to expand its team with passionate and talented candidates! Click on the links below for more information:

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MAZON Seeks State Policy Deputy Director

MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger seeks a Deputy Director of State Policy to work with their team to develop and implement our state-level advocacy program. Click the link for more information.


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