Subject: NCC Newsletter – August 12, 2023


August 12, 2023

The National Council of Churches, along with other faith-based and service organizations, including Rev. Al Sharpton, Founder and President of National Action Network; Arndrea Waters King, President, Drum Major Institute; and Martin Luther King, III, Chairman, Drum Major Institute, enlist your participation in the 60th Anniversary of the March on Washington on August 26, in Washington, DC to mobilize the faith community across America, for "March on Washington Not a Commemoration, a Continuation!"

Please use the link to register for the march and to confirm your participation and that of your congregation, peers, and colleagues. The link has information you can use to share with your contacts. 

Join NCC’s Advocacy Thursdays to Protect
Critical Nutrition Program for Women and Children

While the House is in recess and members of Congress are working from their district offices, NCC urges member communions to participate in NCC’s Advocacy Thursdays to oppose H.R. 4368, the FY 2024 appropriations bill for agriculture and the Food and Drug Administration, which makes harmful cuts to the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program (SNAP) for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) program that provides healthy foods to pregnant women, breastfeeding, and post-partum women and children under five years old. The House bill will affect more than  5.3 million women and young children.


The NCC strongly opposes H.R. 4368. We ask you to call your member of Congress in their district office on Thursday and tell them to vote “NO” on this detrimental legislation.

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NCC Strongly Condemns Florida’s Efforts to
Systematically Eradicate Key Parts of U.S. History

With Governor Ron DeSantis’ approval, the Florida state legislature passed CS/HB 7, a controversial bill that proponents tout as protecting individual freedom by banning African-American history from being taught in schools. According to HB 7, teaching African-American history, “constitutes discrimination based on race, color, sex, or national origin.”

Amongst other things, the law seeks to prevent white students from experiencing “guilt, anguish, or other forms of psychological distress,” from learning about the actions of whites who inflicted various forms of harm on Black people throughout history.

HB 7 achieves this goal by “requiring the department to prepare and offer certain standards and curriculum; authorizing the department to seek input from a specified organization for certain purposes; prohibits instructional materials reviewers from recommending instructional materials that contain any matter that contradicts certain principles; requires DOE to review school district professional development systems for compliance with certain provisions of law.”


Florida’s efforts to systematically eradicate a pivotal narrative of United States history are morally reprehensible. It is counter to racial healing and reconciliation, which calls for truth-telling, empathy, and repair.

The NCC strongly condemns Florida HB 7 and others like it emerging around the country, and looks forward to working with member communions to develop a coordinated response.

The NCC Concerned About Violence Against
Minority Communities in India

People in Bangalore gather, carrying placards and posters to protest against the alleged sexual assault of two tribal women in the eastern state of Manipur, in Bengaluru. The assault is allegedly among the most horrendous of many that have occurred in the region. (Photo by Indranil Aditya/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

NCC has received reports—most urgently from American Baptist Churches in the USA member communions and other partners worldwide—about acts of violence committed against minority communities. 

A statement released by Rev. Asir Ebenezer, General Secretary of the National Council of Churches in India, notes the following:

“We are deeply saddened by the sequence of events that have unfurled in the state, polarizing people into hostile camps. We recognize that there are long-term grievances within the communities that need to be addressed through dialogue at different levels. In this strained situation, we urge the Government and its administration to develop confidence between communities, taking strong and impartial action against those who indulge in violence and spreading of hate campaigns.

“Reports reveal the tragic nature of the devastation caused, especially the heavy loss of innocent lives in the clashes. Worship places and houses were attacked and burned, and heavy damages inflicted on public and private properties. In this context, we urge the communities to refrain from any violent acts as violence is not the answer to such issues. We also urge the communities to support the authorities in bringing peace and normalcy to the region.

“We urge the National Human Rights Commission and the National Minorities Commission, as well as the State Human Rights and Minority Commissions, to take suo moto cognisance of the matter and address the situation. The Government of Manipur must take responsibility for restoration of life and rebuilding communities, churches, and temples vandalized, and restarting destroyed establishments.

“Acknowledging the steps that have been taken, we appeal that this crisis situation will be used as an opportunity to bring a lasting solution to the long-vexed context.”

Click here to read the full NCCI statement.

NCC strongly condemns these horrific acts of violence against life and property and urges swift action to restore peace.

WISC Racial Justice Working Group Hosts Virtual Meeting

to Discuss Tax Credits and Programs for BIPOC and
Low-Income Communities.

On Wednesday, August 16, at 10:00 a.m. ET, the Racial Justice Working Group will host guest speakers from SEIA (Solar Energy Industries Association) to discuss IRA tax credits and programs with a focus on BIPOC and low-income communities.


SEIA wants to alert moral advocates with ties to such communities, such as WISC participants, to how they can support such groups in accessing benefits (i.e. the advocacy and education they can do). They will be joined by their VP of Equity & Workforce Development as well as the VP of Congressional Affairs.


While Interfaith Power & Light and others in WISC have been offering wonderful related content for congregations and the general public, this is an opportunity to learn more when applying the specific racial justice lens.


If you have colleagues in your organizations who are interested or work on related portfolios, please know they are wanted. 


Speaker Notes

Erin Duncan is SEIA’s Vice President of Congressional Affairs, where she leads SEIA’s congressional affairs team in their work to influence energy, tax, trade, appropriations, and other policies in support of the solar industry.


Erika Symmonds, Vice President of Equity and Workforce Development, leads various efforts to improve diversity, equity, and inclusion within SEIA's membership and industries and to build and maintain the workforce needed to meet demand ahead for deploying solar, storage, and related technologies.


Zoom Details

Meeting ID: 849 3902 7108
Passcode: 378222

Communions Sponsor Webinar Presentation on Afghan

Two years after the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, much remains to be done to provide permanent safety and security for our Afghan allies, refugees, and their families both in the United States and abroad. Despite large-scale efforts on behalf of resettlement agencies, faith communities, and others to welcome this community, Afghans in the United States lack a path to permanent residency and Afghans abroad remain at risk of persecution and harm.


Join the Episcopal Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America for “Two Years Later: Fulfilling Our Promise to Our Afghan Allies and Neighbors,” a webinar presentation on August 23 at 6p ET to learn about the status of Afghan resettlement, the situation of those who were left behind, updates on the Afghan Adjustment Act, and how people of faith can continue to support Afghans and advocate for policy to help them.  Register today!

Tennessee Faith Leaders Launch March on Tennessee

August 21

Faith Leaders call for the March on Tennessee for Gun Reform during the Special Session of the Tennessee Legislature. 

Governor Bill Lee has committed to convene the Tennessee Legislature in a Special Session to deal with the proliferation of gun valence in Tennessee in light of the Covenant School shooting. Demonstrations were held daily at the State Capitol to encourage the legislature to act.

Tennessee State Representative Justin Jones led his colleagues, Rep. Justin Pearson and Rep. Gloria Johnson, to engage in nonviolent direct action in the House Chamber. For their actions, Jones and Pearson, the youngest Black lawmakers in the Tennessee legislature, were expelled. Their expulsion highlighted the dire threat of authoritarianism and fascism in the United States tied to gun violence and racial justice. 

Faith leaders and community partners in Tennessee are inviting persons of faith and goodwill to Nashville to bear moral witness and hold the Tennessee State Legislature accountable. It is time to protect kids, not guns!

Please register to attend at

Former NCC President and United Methodist Bishop Dies 

Bishop Melvin George Talbert (June 14, 1934 - August 3, 2023)

Bishop Melvin George Talbert, a retired bishop of the United Methodist Church (UMC), died August 3.

Bishop Talbert is a past president of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA (1996-99), a leader in the World Council of Churches, and a UMC Bishop. He retired after years of service as a pastor and District Superintendent.

In 1973, he was elected General Secretary for the UMC General Board of Discipleship and served in that capacity until his election to the office of Bishop. During his tenure as Bishop he served as Secretary for the Council of Bishops and was the Chief Ecumenical Officer for eight years.

Bishop Talbert was elected to the episcopacy by the Western Jurisdictional Conference of the United Methodist Church in 1980 and assigned to the Seattle area. He was assigned to the San Francisco Area in 1988, where he retired on August 31, 2000.


He received a BA degree from Southern University, Baton Rouge, LA, and a Master of Divinity degree from Interdenominational Theological Center (ITC)/Gammon Theological Seminary, Atlanta.


He once spent time in jail with the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King personally, noting that they spent “three nights in jail with him after we were arrested in Atlanta at a sit-in demonstration in 1960. We shared the same jail cell. I got a chance to talk to him and really experience the kind of human being he was. I consider myself a disciple of King. I believe in his commitment to nonviolence and believe that is how we must work in the church. That's the truest expression of what it means to be Christian.”


Bishop Talbert was married to Ethelou Douglas for thirty-eight years until her death in February 1999. They had one daughter, Evangeline Violet, married to James H. Sifford, Sr., and three grandchildren: Kaetlin, James, Jr., and Melvin Douglas. Bishop Talbert married Marilyn W. Magee on April 1, 2000.

The NCC Governing Board, President and General Secretary, and staff extend their deepest condolences to the family of Bishop Talbert.

Access the complete story here.

Join Churches for Peace News to
Hear from Christians in the Middle East 

Hear directly from Christians in the Middle East 

Only one session left! On July 17 Churches for Middle East Peace, Embrace the Middle East, and the Episcopal Church began co-hosting the four-week series, "Conversations with Middle East Christians."


Rev. Colin Chapman has been joined by Rev. Sally Azar (ELCJHL), Jack Munayer (EAPPI), and Archimandrite Abuna Emanuel Youkhana (CAPNI) to discuss the realities facing Christians in Israel/Palestine and Iraq. 

Don't miss the final session in the series! Register now to join on August 14 from 2:30–4p ET to discuss Lebanon.

Monday | August 14
2:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. (EDT) | Via Zoom

Click here to learn more.

CMEP proudly co-hosts this webinar series with
Embrace the Middle East.

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The First Wednesday of Every Month

CMEP has been gathering on Zoom to Fast & Pray for Palestine, highlighting different issues each month. This month, they were joined by Ata Manasra from Wadi Fukin to discuss the settler violence facing his village. Join them each month on Wednesday to pray. Sign up below to join in September as they pray for praying for Mohammed El-Halabi of World Vision.

Creation Justice Ministries Celebrates 40 Years

Creation Justice Ministries (CJM) is planning a Service of Celebration commemorating their 40th anniversary on October 26, in Washington, DC at Metropolitan African Methodist Episcopal Church, 1518 M ST. NW, Washington, DC 20005. The keynote preacher is Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis, Jr.

The service will also be live-streamed. A link will be sent to registrants closer to the date. While there is no charge to attend, interested persons are asked to register in advance.


Learn more about the Service of Celebration and register to attend on CJM’s website.


Sponsorship opportunities are also available. More information, including the benefits of sponsorship, can be found on the CJM website.

Employment Opportunities

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The World Council of Churches Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel (WCC-EAPPI) is looking for a Local Programme Coordinator, 100 percent based in Jerusalem, who will be responsible, in coordination with the Jerusalem Liaison Office Coordinator and the Program Executive for the Middle East, for the development, planning, implementing, monitoring, evaluating and reporting on WCC-EAPPI’s work. More details are available online or apply here. DEADLINE FOR APPLICATIONS: August 13.

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