Subject: NCC Newsletter – February 9, 2024

NCC Newsletter

February 9, 2024

Black History Names to Note: Selma to Montgomery Marchers

NCC Joins Interfaith 'Pilgrimage for Peace' February 14–21

The National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA (NCC) will participate in a significant multi-faith initiative alongside faith leaders, activists, and artists as part of a “Pilgrimage for Peace.” This initiative aims to advocate for an immediate release of the hostages, an urgent ceasefire in Gaza, and unrestricted humanitarian aid, spanning from Philadelphia, PA to Washington, DC, from February 14- 21, 2024. The announcement of the pilgrimage comes on the heels of news of recent failed negotiations for a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas.

NCC mourns the more than 1,200 Israeli lives lost on October 7, and the more than 27,000 lives lost in Gaza in this war. The danger is that violence has only led to more violence and may spread throughout the region. As participants in this pilgrimage, NCC affirms its commitment to continue the call for the release of all hostages, unhindered humanitarian aid, and a pathway to peace.

The pilgrimage will begin on Ash Wednesday, the beginning of the Lenten Season, a 40-day period of prayer, fasting, and sacrifice, leading up to Easter, the holiest time of the liturgical calendar for Christians, to share the principles of peace, love, and justice, and amplify the urgent need for a peaceful solution to the war in Gaza.

“We grieve alongside the families in Israel and Gaza, and we urgently call for a cessation of hostilities. It is our hope that this pilgrimage will amplify our collective voice for peace and the sacredness of all life,” said Bishop Vashti McKenzie, NCC President and General Secretary.

The Pilgrimage for Peace is scheduled to commence on Wednesday, February 14, starting with a press conference at 10 a.m. at Mother Bethel AME Church, 619 Lombard St., Philadelphia, Pa. This event marks the beginning of a week-long journey dedicated to fostering dialogue, raising awareness, and advocating for a lasting resolution to the conflicts in the region.

The Pilgrimage for Peace will conclude on Wednesday, February 21, with a rally at the White House (Lafayette Park).

For more information about the Pilgrimage for Peace, visit or contact

Support the Movement: Register for Pilgrimage for Peace

Join Faith for Black Lives, National Council of Churches USA, Rabbis for Ceasefire, Hindus for Human Rights, The Pennsylvania Chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-Philadelphia), Rainbow/PUSH Coalition, Black Church Center for Justice and Equality, Kairos Center, Freedom Church of the Poor, Until Freedom, and many others on a Pilgrimage for Peace to demand a Ceasefire in Gaza.

From February 14 to February 21, faith leaders, activists, and artists will journey on a pilgrimage from Independence Hall in Philadelphia, PA to the White House to urge President Biden to call for an end to the war in Palestine.

Moved by our conscience, we stand united to address the ongoing tragedy in Gaza, where the death toll has reached over 24,000, the deadliest conflict in the 21st century. As we continue to mourn the loss of innocent Israeli lives on October 7, we firmly believe that responding to violence with more violence is not the solution.

We urge President Biden and Congress to halt weapons funding to Israel and, instead, channel efforts toward increasing humanitarian aid to Palestine. It is our collective responsibility to advocate for a peaceful resolution and uphold the principles of justice and compassion. 

We will either sow seeds of nonviolence today or reap nonexistence tomorrow. For more information, visit and contact 

Pilgrimage for Peace Route

February 14, 2024 - Philadelphia, PA to Chester, PA

February 15, 2024 - Chester, PA to Wilmington, DE

February 16, 2024 - Wilmington, DE to Newark, DE

February 17, 2024 - Newark, DE to Perryville, MD

February 18, 2024 - Havre de Grace, MD to Joppa, MD

February 19, 2024 - Joppa, MD to Baltimore, MD

February 20, 2024 - Baltimore, MD to Laurel, MD

February 21, 2024 - Laurel, MD to Washington, DC

Multifaith Coalition Leads Pilgrimage
for Peace

Faith for Black Lives, National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA, Rabbis for Ceasefire, the Council on American-Islamic Relations Philadelphia Chapter (CAIR-Pennsylvania), Fellowship of Reconciliation, Hindus for Human Rights, and more than forty partners will embark on a Pilgrimage for Peace calling for a ceasefire in Gaza to save lives. From February 14 to 21, more than 200 faith leaders, activists, and artists will march from Philadelphia, Pa., to Washington, D.C. to urge President Biden and Congress to act.

“We grieve alongside the families in Gaza, and we urgently call for a cessation of hostilities. It is our hope that this pilgrimage will amplify our collective voice for peace and justice,” said Bishop Vashti McKenzie, NCC President and General Secretary.

“We mourn the over 27,000 Palestinian lives lost in this war and affirm our commitment to the release of all hostages and a pathway to peace”, said Rev. Stephen A. Green, Chair of Faith for Black Lives. “This pilgrimage emerges from a rich tradition of nonviolent moral action and is committed to sharing the principles of peace, love, and justice as we seek to awaken the conscience of the nation.”

Rabbi Alissa Wise, Lead Organizer of Rabbis for Ceasefire, said “Our interfaith coalition shares a commitment to the sacred obligation to protect human life. That is the root of our call for a permanent ceasefire in Gaza. As rabbis, we are grateful to link arms with Muslim, Christian, Hindu, Native American, and other spiritual leaders with whom we share a vision of a redeemed world. Jews, Palestinians, and all of our communities will find safety not in isolation, but through solidarity rooted in our commitment of life, justice, and dignity for everyone.” 

Dr. Ahmet Selim Tekelioglu, Executive Director of CAIR-Philadelphia, said, “As a Muslim-American, I am proud to support and join in this Pilgrimage for Peace where we come together as people of conscience and faith to follow in the footsteps of the giants of our communities who stood up of for human dignity for all during the Civil Rights Movement and beyond. Through the pilgrimage, we will stand against the dehumanization of Palestinians and against our tax dollars being used to fuel more civilian deaths.”

“Hindus for Human Rights grieves with the families and individuals in Gaza and call for an urgent and immediate ceasefire. The Hindu values of “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam,” meaning the world is one family, is more relevant today than ever. This pilgrimage represents the Hindu values of Ahimsa (nonviolence), Shanti (peace), and Nyay (Justice), which the people in Gaza need from us, and may this effort reach the right ears,” said Vijayendra Kadalabal, Board Member of Hindus for Human Rights. 

The Pilgrimage for Peace will launch on Wednesday, February 14, with a press conference at 10:00 a.m. at Mother Bethel AME Church, located at 419 S 6th St., Philadelphia, PA. Afterward, the pilgrims will journey to Independence Hall to start the 150-mile pilgrimage.

The Pilgrimage for Peace will conclude on Wednesday, February 21, with a rally at the White House. 

Pilgrimage for Peace Co-sponsors

Progressive National Baptist Convention, Rainbow/PUSH Coalition, Black Church Center for Justice and Equality, Until Freedom, First Unitarian Church of Philadelphia, Make It Plain, Kol Tzedek Synagogue, Germantown Mennonite Church, Israel/Palestine Mission Network of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), FOSNA, IfNotNow, Cultural Survival Quarterly, Tikkun Olam Chavurah, Jewish Voice for Peace - Philadelphia, CRS, National African American Clergy Network, If Not Now Philly, Fellowship of Reconciliation, Hinenu: the Baltimore Justice Shtiebl, Kairos Center for Religions, Rights, and Social Justice + Freedom Church of the Poor,  US Campaign for Palestinian Rights (USCPR), Global Gaza Ceasefire Pilgrimage, and American Friends Service Committee, Delawareans for Palestinian Human Rights, Jewish Voice for Peace, Batrice and Associates, Arab American Institute Foundation, Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns, Pax Christi USA, WILPF-Greater Philadelphia Branch (Women's International League for Peace and Freedom), Synagogues Rising, Freedom Road Community Peacemaker Teams, Peace, Justice, Sustainability NOW!, Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ), Christian-Jewish Allies for a Just Peace in Israel/Palestine Jewish Voice for Peace Baltimore, CAIR Maryland Association des Dynamiques des Jeunes Marocains, Nonviolence International, New Synagogue Project, Middle Church, Unitarian Universalists for Justice in the Middle East, Dream Defenders, Friends Committee on National Legislation, Faith Strategies African Methodist Episcopal Church, Judson Memorial Church, Rabbis for Ceasefire, American Baptist Home Mission Societies, and others.

Black History Highlight: Former NCC Governing Board Chair, Bishop Darin Moore

The National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA celebrates Bishop Darin Moore, former Chairman of NCC's Governing Board.

During his time of leadership at the NCC, Bishop Moore served as Chair of the Finance Committee with acuity and dedication, leading to the restoration of the fiscal health and wellness of NCC that continues to bear fruit today. Bishop Moore later served two terms as the NCC vice-chair, continuing to make an internal and external impact. This was evident in his leading a delegation of NCC denominational leaders to Egypt.

His commitment to amplifying the mission of NCC with excellence and grace has left an imprint on the lives of many far and wide.

Watch the video below to see Bishop Moore's valiant call to racial equity at the A.C.T. Now! to End Racism Rally in 2018.

Mass Poor People's and Low-Wage Workers' State House Assembly in Annapolis

Save the Date!

Saturday, March 2, Annapolis, Maryland

March at 11 a.m., Assembly at 12 p.m.

Sign up to be part of a powerful presence with the Maryland Poor People's Campaign as Mass Poor People's & Low-Wage Workers' State House Assemblies are held in 38 state capitals in a Day of Nationally-Coordinated, Simultaneous direct action all across the country!

Join thousands of people across the nation to bring the demands of 140 million poor and low-wealth people directly to lawmakers! Everybody in, nobody out!

We call on all who believe in and demand: living wages, healthcare, voting rights & stopping voter suppression, equal rights for all, worker/labor rights, environmental justice, access to housing, fully-funded public education, abolishing poverty…

… and all who believe IN THE UNITY OF LOVE, not the division of hate!

Explore Nurturing Justice February Events

On February 15, 2024, at 7 p.m. ET, to commemorate Black History Month, Nurturing Justice (NJ) is hosting an amazing scholar, author, and artist, Dr. Renee K. Harrison, to discuss her book, Black Hands, White House: Slave Labor and the Making of America, and her work, The Requiem. Check out her website: Dr. Renee K. Harrison - Teacher, Author, & Scholar (

Join NJ at 7 p.m. on February 15 here:

On February 24 at 7:00 p.m. ET, Nurturing Justice is hosting an online panel discussion about the Spirituality of Reproductive Justice with Dr. Lucinda Canty, founder of Lucinda’s house, Rev. Kyndra Frazier of Kynd Consulting  (, Kaylan Frazier, leader of Nurturing Justice’s Southern Reproductive Justice initiative, and thought leaders Erin Livenspager of the Wild Gifting Project, and Tasha Blanco of the Black Girls Health Collective.

This online panel will delve into the critical issue about women’s agency of their own bodies. They will explore the historical narrative and the current restrictions on personal agency for women. Further, they will explore how spirituality influences personal choices and their ability to advocate effectively for personal bodily rights.  Keep an eye on NJ's social media platforms for more information.

More information on NJ events can be accessed here.

Employment Opportunities

NCC Position Openings

Receptionist (Part-time)

The National Council of Churches is seeking a part-time Secretary/Receptionist to join our office team. This position requires working at least two in the office, and up to three days a week, providing essential support in various administrative tasks. The ideal candidate will be highly organized, detail-oriented, and possess excellent communication skills.  

Application Process: 

To apply for this position, please submit a resume, cover letter, and a list of three professional references. In your cover letter, please highlight your relevant experience, interest in ecumenical/ advocacy work, and knowledge of the DMV area. 

How to Apply: Submit a cover letter and resume to 

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Interfaith Alliance Position Openings

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

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Faith in Public Life Position Openings

Faith in Public Life is hiring for a few positions and is looking for candidates who would be a good fit. Click on the links below for more information:


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