Subject: NCC Newsletter – June 3, 2023

June 3, 2023


June 12–Juneteenth, 2023

NCC Impact Week—Journey to Jubilee Reparative Justice
Bible Study Begins June 13

The Journey to Jubilee six-week Reparative Justice Bible Study will launch Tuesday, June 13, 2023, as part of NCC's Impact Week and will continue every Tuesday thereafter at 7 p.m. EDT virtually on NCC’s YouTube Channel.

Harvard Kennedy School’s Partnership with the National Council of Churches produced this effective resource to aid congregations in learning about reparative justice.

Download the Reparative Justice Bible Study toolkit to use in your congregation.

Download the Toolkit Here.

NCC IMPACT WEEK—National Council of Churches Announces Juneteenth Reparations March

The National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA will join faith leaders, students, and activists for the Justice on Juneteenth March in Washington, DC on June 19, 2023, to Protect Democracy, end gun violence, and advocate for reparations.


The Justice on Juneteenth March is a continuation of the National Council of Churches Journey to Jubilee Campaign to encourage President Biden to issue an Executive Order to establish a Commission to Study Reparations.


“Reparations is the gateway to racial equity and a true multiracial democracy in America,” said Bishop Vashti M. McKenzie, President and General Secretary, National Council of Churches USA, “We are gathering in Washington, DC on this historic holiday to encourage President Biden to issue an Executive Order on Reparations since Congress refuses to act.”


The March will gather at 10:00 a.m. at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial in Washington, D.C.


Participants are encouraged to register here to attend the march.

Bishop Vashti McKenzie Shares Thoughts on Leading NCC with Religion News Service

Bishop Vashti McKenzie greets community members in Buffalo, N.Y., at Bethel AME Church after worship the Sunday following the shooting at a Tops supermarket in May 2022. Courtesy of Bishop McKenzie
By Adelle M. Banks, Religion News Service

‘I think that the difference, at this point, is that I am adding activism to advocacy,’ Bishop said as she became NCC President and General Secretary after serving as interim.

Bishop Vashti McKenzie retired two years ago as the first woman bishop of the African Methodist Episcopal Church. But she didn’t stay still for long. Last year, she was named interim president of the National Council of Churches.

McKenzie was originally appointed to a two-year stint, but the NCC general board decided at its Spring Meeting in early May to elect her as the organization’s President and General Secretary as it prepares to mark its 75th year in 2025. 

“She has been a blessing to the council and a blessing to the ecumenical world,” said Christian Methodist Episcopal Bishop Teresa Jefferson-Snorton, NCC chair, announcing the development at the May 15 worship service in Washington, D.C., that launched the upcoming anniversary celebration.

Bishop McKenzie talked with Religion News Service about why she’s continuing with the ecumenical group, how she responds to its critics, and what lies ahead for its future.

Click here for the full interview.

Bishop McKenzie at a memorial in front of Tops supermarket in Buffalo, N.Y., to remember those killed in a mass shooting at the market in 2022. Courtesy of Bishop McKenzie.

Debt Ceiling Legislation Awaits President's Signature

This week, the House and Senate passed the debt ceiling deal reached by President Biden and House Republicans by broad bipartisan margins. While the agreement prevents a financial disaster, it fails to provide food security for older recipients of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).


Under the agreement, SNAP beneficiaries must adhere to unfair time limits and other unreasonable requirements. After the debt ceiling vote in the House, NCC issued a statement, The Debt Ceiling Compromise Does Not Go Far Enough to Protect Vulnerable People, lamenting the hundreds of thousands of Americans who will no longer receive food assistance through SNAP, and the lack of culpability for wealthy people who defraud the tax system.

President Biden will sign the bill into law tomorrow. During a special address to the nation Friday night, the President touted the bipartisan support for the agreement, saying, “No one got everything they wanted, but Americans got what they needed.”


NCC condemns the display of political maneuvering and toxic polarization that led to a bill that does not reflect our best efforts to lift people out of poverty. NCC will continue to monitor future legislation and hold Congress accountable for any future cuts to social safety net programs. 

Peace Pilgrim Agnes Abuom Dies at 73

Dr. Agnes Abuom opening the first thematic plenary of the WCC 11th Assembly, in Karlsruhe, Germany on September 1, 2022. Photo: Albin Hillert/WCC

An Anglican layperson, in 2013, Abuom became the first woman and the first African to serve as moderator of the World Council of Churches (WCC) central committee when she was elected by acclamation at the WCC 10th Assembly in Busan, Republic of Korea. She served until the WCC 11th Assembly in September 2022, held in Karlsruhe, Germany. 

Abuom served as president of the WCC from 1999 to 2006.

Abuom was succeeded as WCC moderator by Bishop Heinrich Bedford-Strohm, who commented, “After getting this sad news, I just watched her last video on the WCC homepage, which is something like her legacy for us as the new leadership. It was very moving for me to hear her speak. She says: ‘It is not winter but summer with green and fruit, although threatened. On the journey, someone was called home, but that is part of the pilgrimage. We lose people, others get named and continue…”

Said Rev. Prof. Dr. Jerry Pillay, whose term as WCC general secretary began in January of this year, "The WCC mourns the loss of its immediate past moderator, Dr. Agnes Abuom, who passed away on 31 May after a brief illness. She was a woman of humble spirit, great compassion, and steadfast faith. Though small in frame, she possessed the energy, strength, and vision for leadership far beyond the reach of many people her age."

Pillay concluded "May the presence and power of the Holy Spirit bring comfort, counsel, peace, love, strength, and hope to Agnes’ family, friends, church, and all those who knew and loved her in the WCC and beyond. May God’s grace be sufficient for you all."

All who wish to share a message in memory of Dr. Agnes Abuom are invited to send their thoughts by email to Tributes have been issued to Dr Agnes Abuom and a memorial service will be held in the Ecumenical Centre in June 2023.

Read the full article on Dr. Abuom here.

See a WCC Special Photo Gallery "Dr. Agnes Abuom: Peace Pilgrim"

FIACONA Press Release: Violence Grips Indian Churches
under Modi's Rule

  • A New Model of "Religious Cleansing" Pioneered in Manipur, India

  • At least 317 churches and 70 church administrative/school buildings were burnt.

  • At least 75 Christians killed. More than 30,000 displaced in the worst anti-Christian violence India has ever seen.


The violence in the Northeast Indian State of Manipur against Christians in May has been one of the deadliest and most violent attacks against Christians in India. Verified facts defy the government-sponsored narrative that the conflict is not religious but tribal over land rights. Every piece of detail collected contradicts the claims made by the Modi-led Hindu nationalist government.


The BJP government used a decades-old underlying ethnic tension between two ethnic groups to bring down the deadliest violence against Christians.


This wave of destruction was instigated by Hindutva nationalists from a particular indigenous community. Most destruction was done in the first three days of conflict from May 3–6. The destruction continues to this day in the state capital of Imphal and the surrounding Valley with target killings by government forces.


Under the guise of inter-community conflict between the majority Manipuris (Meiteis) and the minority tribal people (collectively known as Kuki/Zomi tribes), almost all churches in the extended Imphal Valley have been burnt, vandalized, or desecrated by BJP government-supported militia.


Though Meiteis are primarily considered Hindu or of Sanamahi faith, a small percentage of them have lately converted to the Christian faith. In FIACONA's last counting, 145 churches that belong to Meitei Christians and 172 tribal nationalists in places like Godhra and Kandhamal have followed, confirming their involvement in this violence.


As per a report released by the Indigenous Tribal Leaders' Forum (ITLF), 75 people are confirmed dead. 55 unconfirmed with more than 200 injured. Besides these, more than 6,137 houses that belonged to Christians were attacked. (The confirmed list of the names and addresses of the churches that have been destroyed is listed at These numbers are updated regularly as the violence is still continuing)


The disproportionate destruction of Meitei churches in Imphal Valley indicates that Meitei Christians are under more severe economic and social pressure than ever before. Eyewitnesses have confirmed to FIACONA that non-state actors acting on behalf of the government and Meitei Hindutva leaders are responsible for the violence.


In one instance, FIACONA learned that a mob left a church untouched after learning that the church belonged to a different tribe other than Kuki or Meitei. (Details of the church location and the names are withheld for security reasons).


The BJP governments, both in Delhi and in Manipur, are trying to paint Kuki tribes in a bad light. They are branded as illegal immigrants and poppy farmers. FIACONA believes that this is an effort to malign Manipur Christians indirectly because almost 100% of the Kuki tribes are Christians. FIACONA cautions that the public should not be misled by the BJP government's efforts to show the Christian population in a bad light.


For further inquiries, contact

The Racial Healing of America Revival and Bus Tour

The ACU Carl Spain Center on Race Studies and Spiritual Action invites everyone to join them for the Racial Healing of America Revival and Bus Tour, July 9–17, 2023.


The American Evangelical Church has been compromised and weakened through its constant consumption of the doctrine of violent Christian Nationalism. This has weakened America’s spiritual immune system. If this spiritual malady continues untreated it will lead to America’s political and social disintegration.


The uncompromised church must become more vocal and visible as the moral unifying healing agent that constrains toxic faith leaders who currently influence and encourage their followers to violently destabilize America’s already fragile multiethnic society.


The Racial Healing of America Revival and Bus Tour will serve as one form of direct spiritual action. It will publicly demonstrate that we are against violence and racial division by visually demonstrating that we are for racial healing.


The Racial Healing of America Revival and Bus Tour will bring together people of faith and goodwill from various ethnic backgrounds to publicly promote racial healing and biblical justice, and to advance social peace across America.

The revival and bus tour will start in Dallas (TX), with stops in Memphis (TN), Birmingham (AL), Charleston (SC), and ending in Washington (DC). The revival services will include featured speakers and congregational singing in each city. Tour participants will visit the International African American Museum in Charleston and the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington.


Click here for event information and registration.

Friendship Press Releases Classic Titles

Shop the Friendship Press Sale and Take an Extra 20% Off with code fp2023 


Print copies can be ordered from the Friendship Press website or readers using Kindle can order on Amazon

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. 

For more information please contact Ms. Trudy Grant at or (843) 830-7118 or Rev. Nelson B. Rivers at (843) 412-2249 or via email at

The Episcopal Church Office of Government Relations
Hiring Domestic Policy Advisor

Represents The Episcopal Church’s public policy positions to Congressional offices, U.S. government departments and agencies, and the broader policy community in Washington. Builds and maintains relationships with government officials to further the policy goals of The Episcopal Church. Serves as a resource for OGR and Episcopalians on a wide range of U.S.  public policy issues, including developing a deep understanding of U.S. political context, and detailed knowledge of legislative and policy initiatives. Maintains flexibility to respond to emerging and priority needs and to develop new areas of legislative and policy expertise.


If you or someone you know would like to apply, please click here for more information.

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