Subject: NCC Newsletter – August 5, 2023


August 5, 2023

Bishop McKenzie Addresses
NAACP 114th National Convention

Bishop Vashti McKenzie (2nd, left), NCC President/General Secretary, with NAACP national leadership: (from left) Leon W.  Russell, Chair, board of directors, Karen Boykins-Towns, board of directors Vice Chair, and Derrick Johnson, President and CEO.

The National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA (NCC) participated in the NAACP's 114th National Convention, held recently in Boston, Massachusetts. Each year, the convention brings together what they describe as an “empowering and immersive experience held each year to celebrate our community's collective power.”


Faith, entrepreneurs, advocates, activists, scholars, and congressional and thought leaders gathered by the sea to look for ways to connect and reconnect, network, and exchange ideas on how to do the heavy lifting of justice work. For more than a century, the NAACP is an interracial movement to remove barriers of discrimination.


The convention focused on the theme "Thriving Together," and sought ways to address some of the nation’s most pressing issues. Major speakers during the event included Vice President Kamala Harris, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, United States Representative Ayanna Pressley, Scholar and Civil Rights Activist Kimberle Crenshaw, Shavon Arline-Brandley, President of the National Council of Negro Women, entertainer and host of The Talk, Sheryl Underwood, and NCC President/General Secretary Bishop Vashti Murphy McKenzie.


Bishop McKenzie preached during the Sunday morning memorial service from Judges 6:14, “Go in the strength that you have.” Later in the week, she participated in a panel discussion with Sheryl Underwood and Dr. Kimberle Crenshaw.


Bishop McKenzie reiterated that addressing systemic discrimination requires long-term commitment, collaboration between various stakeholders, and an ongoing effort to identify and tackle the root causes of racial injustice.

NCC Urges Member Communions to Tell Congress Vote NO on House Agriculture Appropriations Bill

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.


Advocacy Thursdays will take place every Thursday during the district work period until the House reconvenes on September 12. Last Friday, Speaker Kevin McCarthy postponed the vote on H.R. 4368, the FY 2024 appropriations bill for agriculture and the Food and Drug Administration until after the August recess.

The House appropriations bill makes harmful cuts to the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) program, which provides healthy foods to pregnant women, breastfeeding, and post-partum women and children under 5 years old. The NCC strongly opposes H.R. 4368.

We must not sit idly by while efforts are underway to take food out of the mouths of millions of women and young children and deny critical food and nutrition assistance to those who need the help most. The bill would inflict harm on, and dramatically change the lives of more than 5.3 million people. 

This Advocacy Thursday, and every Thursday in August, we ask you to call your member of Congress in their district office and tell them to vote “NO” on this detrimental legislation.

NCC Joins One Home One Future Multi-faith Campaign

The National Council of Churches is participating in One Home One Future, a multi-faith campaign to strengthen vitality, relevance, and community connection across generations in local congregations nationwide.

Join us, and join the informational webinar at 2:00 pm ET on August 9, to learn more about how your congregation can participate and receive your free congregation kit, banner, and resources.


Join congregations across the nation and faith traditions in strengthening your congregation, empowering youth and other leaders, and deepening your commitment to care for creation and our shared home. 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, the youngest Black lawmakers, Jones and Pearson, were subsequently 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

NCC Co-hosts Reparatory Justice Webinar

NCC and the Interfaith Reparatory Justice Table hosted a webinar on Wednesday, August 2, exploring efforts for reparations in local communities.

Wednesday’s webinar focused on Lansing, Michigan, and the work of the Justice League of Greater Lansing. The presenters gave a historical perspective on the need for reparations and shared what advocates in Lansing are doing to repair the breach created by racial injustice.


The webinar can be viewed in its entirety on NCC’s YouTube channel.

Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) Re-elects
Rev. Teresa Hord Owens

The General Assembly of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) convened in Louisville, Kentucky, from July 29 to August 1, and proudly announces the re-election of Rev. Teresa “Terri” Hord Owens to a second term as General Minister and President of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States and Canada. She is the first African American and second woman to lead the denomination — and the first African-American woman to lead a mainline Christian denomination.  

The Administrative Committee of the General Board, following the procedures and requirements outlined in the Design for the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and the Standing Rules of the General Board, officially nominated Rev. Teresa Hord Owens for re-election. Subsequently, the General Board voted to forward her name for consideration.

On Tuesday, August 1, Owens was installed and charged with continuing her ministry of visionary love, spiritual leadership, prophetic imagination, and ecumenical service. In her sermon during closing worship, she invited the General Assembly to “imagine new ways of being church and to stay at the table no matter what we face. Our commitment to staying at the table is grounded in our covenant relationship with God and with one another.”

Rev. Hord Owens' exhortation to the church is, “Let's be the church we say we are. It is in being who we say we are that we actively bear witness to God’s limitless love for all.”

In addition to collaborative service with the ministries that comprise Disciples Justice Ministries, she has been active in leadership in the Poor People’s Campaign. 


Read the full story here.

Churches for Peace News

Join Churches for Middle East Peace and Embrace the Middle East for a four-week series in conversation with Christians across the Middle East. Rev. Colin Chapman will speak with Christian leaders from Iraq, Lebanon, Israel/Palestine, and Egypt, discussing the intersection between political context and personal faith. Learn about the work Christians are doing to address various issues present in these countries, and how Christians outside of these countries may still have a role to play.

Delve into these rich ongoing conversations in August.

Mondays | August 7, 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.

Register for March on Washington 60th Anniversary Event

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 to be held August 26, 2023, 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. 

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

AFSC Office of Public Policy and Advocacy
Hiring Policy Fellow

The American Friends Service Committee (AFSC), Office of Public Policy and Advocacy is hiring a policy fellow that will be able to work on issues relating to migration, peace, and economic justice. Details are below with a link to apply. This is a hybrid position located in Washington D.C. that offers housing and is open to those willing to relocate.

Position: David Paul Policy Fellow

Status: Full-Time, Specific Term, 12-month appointment starting September 11

Location: Washington, D.C.

Application Deadline: August 9

For consideration, please attach a cover letter and resume to the online application in addition to answering the application questions.

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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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