Subject: NCC Newsletter – June 29, 2024

NCC Newsletter

June 29, 2024

Join NCC at Moral March in Washington D.C.

Join NCC for a mass mobilization led by the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival in Washington, D.C., on Saturday, June 29, at 10 a.m.

The purpose of the “Mass Poor People’s & Low-Wage Workers’ Assembly and Moral March on Washington D.C. & to the Polls” is to demand those in power to hear and center our country’s poor and low-wage workers.

If you can’t attend in person, you can still join us online. You can also watch a live stream that begins at 10 a.m. ET on the Poor People’s Campaign website.

Following the assembly and moral march, the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival will launch a season of outreach to reach 15 million poor and low-wage infrequent voters ahead of this year’s elections through intensive organizing and outreach efforts.

NCC Attends Faith Leaders to End Gun Violence Convening

L-R: Arianna Morrell, NCC Marketing and Communications Officer, and Rev. Dr. Leslie Copeland-Tune, NCC Senior Associate General Secretary, at the White House's Faith Leaders to End Gun Violence convening in Washington, DC on June 26.

NCC staff gathered with faith leaders and activists from across the country at the Faith Leaders to End Gun Violence convening at the White House on June 26. The gathering, which took place during Gun Violence Awareness Month, included major updates from the White House Office of Gun Violence Prevention.

The convening also included remarks from Rev. Jeffrey Brown, Co-founder of My City at Peace based in Boston, Massachusetts, who shared a historical perspective on gun violence while highlighting that as of June 2024, only four homicides have occurred in Boston this year.

Reflections were shared by members of LIVE FREE USA, including tragic narratives of members of their communities losing their lives due to gun violence. LIVE FREE also informed the group about their notable work, such as co-designing the University of Chicago’s new Crime Violence Intervention Leadership Academy.

Attendees participated in a roundtable discussion that included the issue of rural violence, the need for faith communities to address gun violence, and more.

Interreligious Connections: NCC Attends ISNA's Annual Interfaith Forum

L-R: Matthew Markay, NCC Project Coordinator; Arshan Khalid, Islamic Society of North America's Office for Interfaith and Community Alliances Program Manager; and Dr. Leslie Copeland-Tune, NCC Senior Associate General Secretary, attend the Annual Interfaith Forum hosted by the Islamic Society of North America in Washington, D.C., on Saturday, June 22.

Rev. Dr. Leslie Copeland-Tune, the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA (NCC) Senior Associate General Secretary, and Matt Markay, NCC Project Coordinator, attended the Annual Interfaith Forum hosted by Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) in Washington D.C., on Saturday, June 22.

The gathering featured speakers from different faith traditions and representatives from ISNA. The organization continues its dedication to fostering collaboration and community-building within the Muslim community, as well as advancing strong relationships across American civic society and interfaith communities.

National Jewish-Christian Dialogue Meets, Discusses Hopes and Concerns Related to the October 7 Terrorist Attack in Israel and the Ongoing Military Response in Gaza

The National Jewish-Christian Dialogue, co-sponsored by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA and the National Council of Synagogues in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania from June 18–19.

The National Jewish-Christian Dialogue, co-sponsored by the National Council of Churches and the National Council of Synagogues, met June 18-19 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. This session of the dialogue, which generally meets in person and/or remotely two-to-four times per year, was hosted at Main Line Reform Temple on the first day, and the second day at St. Asaph Episcopal Church. The dialogue, which has been meeting for decades, is one of several interfaith dialogues respectively co-convened by the NCC and NCS with their various interfaith partners.

Due to Middle East tensions in recent decades, this dialogue has focused on pastoral matters that affect both communities. However, given the heart-wrenching violence of the October 7 terrorist attack by Hamas and of the Israeli military response, and enabled by the growth in recent years of friendship among dialogue participants and our communities, the dialogue was able to address the concerns inherent to this most difficult of situations.

On day one, the first discussion topic of the dialogue was a “text study,” wherein Dr. Phil Cunningham and Dr. Adam Gregerman, Co-directors of the Institute for Jewish-Catholic Relations at St Joseph’s University, led an exploration of texts produced by various organizations commenting on the October 7 attack and post-attack response, and on war, peace, and justice generally, especially in the context of the Middle East. Moderated by Dr. Tony Kireopoulos, Associate General Secretary at the NCC, the conversation aimed to reflect on the violence, listen to others with diverse views and the assumptions (theological and otherwise) they bring to their work, and discuss what needs to be done to preserve and enhance our relationships during this fraught time.

Following this was a discussion on “What Is Liberal/Progressive Zionism?”, and thus on the meaning and lived experience of those who identify with liberal/progressive Zionism, led by Rabbi Josh Weinberg, Vice President for Israel and Reform Zionism at the Union for Reform Judaism and Executive Director of the Association of Reform Zionists of America, and Rabbah Rori Picker Neiss, Senior Vice President for Community Relations at the Jewish Council for Public Affairs and former Executive Director of the Jewish Community Relations Council of St. Louis. This conversation, moderated by Rabbi Abbi Sharofsky, Director of Intergroup Relations and Rabbi in Residence at the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Washington, focused on the intersections between religion and nationalism, and between reality and aspirations when it comes to the meaning of the “land of Israel.” Topics covered included religious identity and anti-Semitism, the history of Zionism, political critique of the State of Israel, and the meaning of “homeland” to both Jews in Israel and Jews in diaspora.

On day two, attention was turned to “Liberation Theology and Its Impact on Palestinian Theology and the American Church,” a discussion facilitated by Rev. Dr. Edward (Ted) Thompson, Rector of Trinity Episcopal Church in Swarthmore and conflict resolution expert, and presented by Dr. Peter Makari, Global Relations Minister for the Middle East and Europe at the United Church of Christ and Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). The discussion included the origins and foundational principles of liberation theology; its influence in various global contexts and historical time periods; its significance for Palestinian Christians (which trace their roots to the first-century church); and the goals of those for whom it is central to their faith identity. This has implications for understanding the “promised land” as a place of peace, reconciliation, and justice for all who live there. It was noted that the principles of liberation theology inform US churches' overall belief and practice.

The proceedings were paused at this point to prayerfully commemorate the Juneteenth holiday. This remembrance was led by Rev. Mark Pettis, Ecumenical and Interfaith Relations Minister at the United Church of Christ, who shared a video of a sermon on Juneteenth delivered by Rev. Dr. Karen Georgia Thompson, General Minister and President of the United Church of Christ.

The final topic of discussion was “How Do We Talk to Each Other, and What Have We Learned?”, led by Mr Zach Shaeffer, Co-founder and Vice President of Community Engagement at Project Shema. This merged into a discussion of “What Can We Affirm Together?”, moderated by Rabbi Leonard Gordon, Chair of the NCS.

Affirmations of the following were voiced in these overlapping discussions: the need to lift up shared values and attempt shared actions consistent with them; the importance of repentance in both traditions; the mutual need to address fear and respond to trauma; solidarity; and the affirmation of the humanity of all and therefore the need to stand against the dehumanization of others.

The National Jewish-Christian Dialogue met for a post-October 7 dialogue session at the Carter Center in Atlanta, Georgia, December 4–5, 2023.

As the dialogue session closed, it was noted that this gathering followed and built upon the initial post-October 7 dialogue session held December 4–5, 2023, at the Carter Center in Atlanta. There, presentations by Dr. Gary Mason, Founder and Director of Rethinking Conflict (in Northern Ireland), and Dr. Paul Wolpe, Director of the Center for Ethics at Emory University, complemented participant discussions on the conflict and its reverberations in the US that were facilitated by Ms. Stacia George, director of the Conflict Resolution Program at the Carter Center at that time.

Participants in the dialogue represent member and non-member churches of the National Council of Churches, as well as religious and community organizations in the Reform, Reconstructionist, and Conservative movements affiliated with the National Council of Synagogues. Participants agreed to meet in November of this year.

Invest in Impact: NCC Freedom Summer $60 for 60 Campaign

Don't Miss NCC Freedom Summer Upcoming Events

Minnesota Council of Churches Announces New CEO, Elder Suzanne P. Kelly

Photo credit: Philip Hussong

The Minnesota Council of Churches has named Elder Suzanne P. Kelly as its new Chief Executive Officer (CEO). Following a nationwide search to fill the leadership position, the MCC Board selected Elder Kelly who recently served as Chief of Staff at the Center for Economic Inclusion. She is an Elder at Christ Temple Apostolic Church in Roseville and holds an M.A. in Educational Leadership from Minnesota State University – Mankato.

Elder Kelly's term as CEO begins July 29. The current Co-CEOs, Rev. Dr. Curtiss Paul DeYoung and Presiding Elder Stacey Smith, will continue as transition consultants until the end of August.

Registration Still Open for
Poll Chaplain/Peacekeeper Training
with Faiths United to Save Democracy

Registration is still open for Poll Chaplain/Peace Keeper training with Faiths United to Save Democracy (FUSD). Help prospective voters have access to free, fair, and safe elections!

Training Days (Mondays: 7:00–8:30 p.m. ET)

  • July 15, 22

  • August 12, 26

  • September 9, 16, 30

Poll Chaplains / Peacekeepers will be placed in priority polling sites located in: AL, AZ, FL, GA, MI, NC, OH, PA, TX, and WI.

Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism Releases Toolkit on Reparations

The Commission on Social Action (CSA) of Reform Judaism released a reparations toolkit to commemorate Juneteenth and inspire congregations and communities across the nation to act upon the Resolution on the Study and Development of Reparations for Slavery and Systemic Racism in the U.S.

The toolkit highlights the history of reparations in the U.S., the positive effects of reparations on the historically marginalized, and examples of organizations and groups that have established reparations initiatives.

Join NCC and Others at the Abolitionist Action Committee's Starvin' for Justice 2024

The Annual Fast & Vigil at the U.S. Supreme Court occurs every June 29 to July 2 to commemorate two landmark Court rulings: Furman v. Georgia, in which the Supreme Court found that the death penalty was unconstitutional under the Eighth Amendment, and Gregg v. Georgia, which reinstated the death penalty under revised guidelines.

The four-day event is taking place on the sidewalk in front of the U.S. Supreme Court. Join the dozens of anti-death penalty activists who come regularly from across the U.S. and Canadafrom Florida to Alaska and everywhere in-betweento join together for public education and outreach at the steps of the Supreme Court.

Tens of thousands of tourists from around the world pass by our vigil and tables, engaging in dialogue and discussion at a grass-roots level. In addition to the strong public witness, this is an excellent opportunity to meet other abolitionists and to "recharge your batteries" while engaging in public outreach and maintaining a physical presence at the Court.

Find out more about this annual abolitionist event by visiting From there you can find the registration form, the sponsorship form, the full schedule, details on lodging, travel information and other logistics.

Employment Opportunities

Washington City Church of the Brethren

Washington City Church of the Brethren is now hiring! Learn more information about open positions here.

Hiring Moravian Church, Northern Province

Moravian Church, Northern Province is now hiring! Click the link below for more information about the open position and how to apply:

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MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger Openings

Mazon is seeking to fill an open position! Click the link below for more information about the open position and how to apply:

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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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