Subject: NCC Newsletter – March 10, 2023


March 10, 2023

This Lenten Season, Let's Commit to Do, Love, Walk

Each week during the Lenten season, the National Council of Churches will highlight focal areas for prayer, contemplation, and service based on Micah 6:8 (NRSVue):  

He has told you, O mortal, what is good,

    and what does the Lord require of you

but to do justice and to love kindness

    and to walk humbly with your God?


Focal topics include poverty, reparations, democracy, community advocacy, and more. Follow the topics on all of our social media accounts and share your story using the hashtags #DoLoveWalk and #Micah6v8.

Afghan School for Girls Finds New Home in an Unexpected Place

Women’s History Month is dedicated to acknowledging, celebrating, and learning about the countless contributions women have made to history and culture worldwide while examining the challenges women have faced and the work that remains for women to achieve full equality in society. It is a time to remember the moments of struggle and to lift up the moments of accomplishment and hope. 


This observance causes the millions of people in the churches that make up the National Council of Churches to turn their eyes to the stories of women who have shaped the past, who are shaping the present, and who will shape the future of the global community. This week, the NCC highlights the inspiring story of the girls attending the School of Leadership, Afghanistan (SOLA), and the sacrifices they have made to become leaders in the future of their country. 


The school was located in Kabul, but when the US withdrew its forces from Afghanistan and the Taliban re-emerged as the government’s leaders, all education for girls and young women ended. The head of the school, along with its teachers, students, and the students’ families were suddenly faced with a heart-wrenching decision to flee their native land. Their flight led them to an unlikely home in Rwanda where they have received a “remarkable” welcome.

According to SOLA’s founder and leader, Shabana Basij-Rasikh, they received a warm welcome with many Rwandans saying to her, “Please don’t forget, we were also once refugees,” a reference to the hundreds of thousands of Rwandans who left the country following the 1994 genocide. “‘Here we are back in Rwanda. You will go back home, but for the time being, Welcome home to Rwanda,’” explains Basij-Rasikh of what she’s been told by those in her new home. 


In this 60 Minutes video, see the story of what led to their decision to flee, of their harrowing escape, and of how they are thriving far from home, motivated by the desire to one day return to their country to be leaders of a transformed Afghanistan.  LINK:

White House Meeting Focuses on Cybersecurity
and the Black Community

NCC’s Chief Operating Officer, Rev. Dr. Leslie Copeland-Tune, participated in a roundtable discussion on Feb. 28 hosted by the Office of the National Cyber Director (ONCD) at the White House on the topic, “The State of Cybersecurity in the Black Community.” The event, held on the last day of Black History Month, amplified the need for equity, digital literacy, and safety skills, as well as exposure to opportunities for careers in cybersecurity for African Americans.  


A 2021 report "Cyber Threats to the Black Community," released by Recorded Future, a firm with security experts from various fields, showed that over the last six years, the Black community has been disproportionately and intentionally targeted by cybercriminals, state-sponsored groups, or nation-affiliated threat actors. Fraud, malware campaigns, and disinformation operations are some of the ways the Black community has been targeted and exploited with alarming results. For example, disinformation campaigns specifically targeting the Black community are shown to have been effective voter suppression tactics during the 2016 and 2020 elections. The Black community is also more vulnerable and adversely impacted by fraud campaigns and scams because of disparities in financial literacy and wealth that make it harder to recover from resulting financial losses.


Churches are well-positioned to be a part of the solution to neutralize cyber threats in the Black community by providing space for digital literacy skills training, disseminating information, and equipping parishioners and those in the community about cybersecurity, and including information about digital safety in church announcements and through other communications tools. Churches could also expose youth, young adults, and those considering career changes to information about the growing field of cybersecurity.


To read the cyber threat analysis report, click here. For more information about the Biden Administration’s plan, click here.

Join the Journey to Jubilee, Ask President Biden to Act on Reparations

The US cannot mend its political, economic, and social brokenness until it addresses its own transgressions against people of African descent. Only an honest and complete assessment of the harms done by the horrors of slavery, Jim Crow segregation, and racial discrimination that provides for the restoration of those harmed will right the wrongs of the past that still haunt us today. 

Add your name to the numerous other faith leaders that have already signed on!

White House Releases President Biden’s FY2024 Budget

On Thursday, March 9, the White House released President Biden’s anticipated FY2024 budget proposal to Congress. According to the White House, the President’s $6.9 trillion budget pays for itself and reduces the deficit by nearly $3 trillion over the next decade through several tax reforms, including raising taxes on the wealthiest Americans and eliminating tax breaks and closing tax loopholes for the top income earners and large corporations.


The President’s budget lowers taxes for families with children by restoring the full Child Tax Credit and strengthens Medicaid, Medicare, and Social Security entitlement programs. The proposed budget makes historic investments in healthcare, education, and the environment. In addition, the budget provides funding to protect our democracy, bolster US global competition, reduce gender-based violence, and promote peace and security abroad.


While the budget makes several good investments supported by the NCC, it also includes funding for additional law enforcement officers. The NCC is concerned about this increase because numerous studies have shown that more police funding does not translate into safer communities. Instead, we urge the Biden administration to invest in community-based violence intervention and prevention programs, re-entry services, mental health services, and other programs proven to help reduce crime. We reiterate our call for reforms that are critical to making communities safer, building trust with law enforcement, and reducing the likelihood of police harming the innocent and defenseless.


The NCC considers the budget to be an ethical document, which reflects the moral fabric and hopeful potential of our great nation. We will continue to follow President Biden’s budget proposal as it works its way through the Congressional appropriations process and advocate for NCC’s priorities on Capitol Hill.  Read the White House Budget Fact Sheet

Friendship Press Book Sale!

Friendship Press is hosting its Spring Book Sale from March 6 – 17! Shop now and get great deals on copies of United Against Racism, books from the Faith & Order Commission, and more!

CUS Invites Ecumenical Partners to Worship
March 16 in Louisville

The Committee on the Uniform Lessons Series (CUS) will hold its annual meeting March 15–17 in Louisville, KY. It is a time-honored tradition to invite denominational partners to join CUS for a worship service during which we commission new officers and bless the completion of this year’s Guide to Lessons and Home Daily Bible Readings.

CUS materials support Christian education for thousands of children, youth, and adults across and beyond the United States. Bishop Vashti McKenzie, NCCs Interim President and General Secretary, will bring the message at this year’s event, which will take place in the Presbyterian Center Chapel, 100 Witherspoon Street. We joyfully welcome all in the Louisville area to join us in person, but virtual participation is also available.

Please register to attend:

Responding to Earthquake in Syria and Turkey

The National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA (NCC) is mourning the loss of thousands of lives in Turkey and Syria following a massive 7.8 magnitude earthquake that hit the region in the early hours of Monday, February 6. To date, more than 41,000 people have died. NCC is urging congregations in the US to join the global community in praying for and supporting those impacted. You can view many opportunities to give on NCC's website.

Ecumenical Advocacy Days Registration Open

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