Subject: NCC Newsletter – March 15, 2024

NCC Newsletter

March 15, 2024

Hidden Figures: Celebrating Anna Arnold Hedgeman

Left to right: Dr. Anna A. Hedgeman, Dr. Robert Spike & Bishop B. Julian Smith examine a photographic exhibit presented to the NCC General Board. Photo: C&R - Commission Report made New York, New York, October 17, 1963

As we reach the midpoint of Women's History Month, the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA (NCC) casts light on another hidden figure in NCC history, political activist, writer, and educator Dr. Anna Arnold Hedgeman.

A native of Marshalltown, Iowa, Dr. Hedgeman was the first African American to matriculate at Hamline University, earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in English.

Dr. Hedgman taught at a historically Black institution, Rust College, for two years. She later went on to work at a number of prestigious organizations, including the YWCA in varying capacities. Hedgeman served as executive director at the National Council for a Permanent Fair Employment Practices Committee (FEPC), was appointed to the cabinet of Mayor Robert F. Wagner, Jr., was a columnist for the New York Age newspaper. She served as the associate dean at historically Black Howard University and lectured at various U.S. universities. Dr. Hedgeman co-founded the National Organization for Women (NOW).

Dr. Hedgeman served on the staff of the Commission on Religion and Race at NCC, assisting with garnering Protestant and Orthodox resources to work in opposition to racial injustice. She was NCC's Coordinator of Special Events for the Commission of Religion and Race. In that role, she recruited more than 40,000 members for the historic March on Washington in 1964.

NCC expresses gratitude for Dr. Anna Arnold Hedgeman's invaluable legacy of justice, perseverance, and service.

Read more about her notable achievements here.

Women's History Month: The Alliance of Temperance and Suffrage

Save the Date: Spring Governing Board May 2024 Meeting

Uniform Series Committee Annual Meeting Highlights

The Committee on the Uniform Series (CUS) held its annual meeting in Louisville, KY, returning to the denominational offices of the PCUSA for a second gathering. There were close to 40 registered participants representing more than 15 communions and publishing partners. The keynote speaker, Dr. Rebecca Davis, challenged CUS participants to adopt a fresh approach to developing their toolkit for curriculum writers. Dr. Davis is a Christian education specialist serving on faculty at Union Theological Seminary’s Charlotte campus.

The Rev. Dr. Tammy Wiens, the NCC’s staff person who directs the work of CUS with the support of the CUS Executive Committee, invited participants to approach the meeting with an open heart and a curious mind. In her opening remarks to meeting participants, Wiens suggested “This is a year of experimenting with some fresh approaches,” and “our age-level writing teams should approach the assignments as a playground for testing curriculum development ideas under Dr. Davis’ leadership and with her expert guidance.”

There was a great response to and affirmation of Dr. Davis' innovative approach. The CUS Executive Committee is now committed to further testing a proposed new template, gathering feedback from a sample of writers who represent a variety of CUS publishing partners.

In the final session of the four-day event, participants set aside their writing tasks to bring their collective imagination and prayerful vision to bear on the future of CUS. The current Scope and Sequence committee has now completed Cycle 25 (2026–2032), which means CUS would typically elect a new committee to begin work on the next six-year cycle. At this juncture, however, the CUS Executive Committee agreed to take a year to explore where the Spirit might be leading CUS in making some changes that could better address the needs of the congregations that use materials based on the CUS Lesson Outlines. This is an exciting opportunity to forge a new path in our ecumenical partnership, and Dr. Davis has agreed to facilitate the conversation in a “year of visioning.”

During the commissioning service for new officers, the Rev. Dr. Garland F. Pierce (AME) was honored for his four-year term as CUS Chair. Though Rev. Pierce is taking a break from serving on the Executive Committee, he will continue to influence the direction of CUS by serving on the year-long visioning team. Rev. Tajuan Kyles (AME-Z) was elected Chair of the visioning team. A full list of newly elected officers and appointees to the visioning team will be announced following the regular meeting of the NCC Governing Board in mid-May.

Take Courage this Lenten Season

Lent Event on Faith-based Responses to Homelessness and Hunger

Join Bread for the World and Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the United States of America for "Homelessness & Hunger: Faith-based Responses" for an interactive panel discussion on March 20 from 11:30 a.m.–1:00 p.m. EDT.

This engaging online event will be moderated by Rev. Dr. Angelique Walker-Smith, North American President of the World Council of Churches and NCC Governing Board Member. Panelists include Spyridoula Fotinis, Director of Inter-Parish Associations at Assembly of Bishops, Charles P. Williams III, Senior Domestic Policy Analyst at Bread for the World, Isabel Vandermolen, Climate-Hunger Fellow at Bread for the World, and Dr. James Carras, Lecturer at Harvard University Kennedy School of Government.

20th Anniversary Celebration of the Return of the Tikhvin Icon

CHICAGO, IL [Diocese of the Midwest]

With the blessing of His Eminence Archbishop Daniel of Chicago and the Midwest, the Diocese of the Midwest is pleased to announce the commemorative celebration of the return of the Tikhvin Icon of the Mother of God on June 25 and June 26. This year marks the 20th anniversary of the return of the wonderworking icon from Chicago, IL to Tikhvin, Russia.

The celebration will take place at the historic Holy Trinity Cathedral, Chicago, IL, where the icon was protected during her time in America. On Holy Spirit Monday, June 24, the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy will be celebrated by Archbishop Daniel and visiting clergy at 9:30 a.m. Later that evening, there will be an outdoor viewing of the movie, The Return of the Icon, a film that documented the icon's last days in Chicago and her triumphant return to Russia. This will take place in the newly renovated courtyard of the Cathedral.

To read more, click here.

Tune into Hot Times in the Heartland Documentary

Hot Times in the Heartland, a documentary about climate change in the Midwest and produced by Prairie Hollow Productions, premiered at Grace Cathedral in Topeka, Kansas on February 25. Episcopal Bishop of Kansas Cathleen Chittenden Bascom, appeared in the film and hosted the premiere. The documentary will have its television debut on March 16 at 8:00 p.m. on Smoky Hills PBS and will continue airing across PBS stations during March and April. There will be additional public screenings across Kansas and Missouri.

Television Broadcasts

  • Saturday, March 16, 8:00 p.m. — Smoky Hills PBS

  • Sunday, March 24, 12:30 p.m. — Kansas City PBS

  • Sunday, March 24, 3:00 p.m. — Kansas City PBS2

  • Thursday, April 18, 7:30 p.m. — KTWU/Channel 11, Topeka

  • Sunday, April 21, 2:30 p.m. — KTWU /Channel 11, Topeka

Public Screenings

  • Sunday, February 25, 2:00 p.m. — Grace Cathedral, Topeka, KS

  • Saturday, March 23, 2:00 p.m. — Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, MO

  • Thursday, April 4, 7:00 p.m. — Liberty Hall (Ku Climate Teach-In), Lawrence, KS

  • Wednesday, April 10, 2:00 p.m. — Johnson County Community College, Overland Park, KS

  • Monday, April 22, 5:30 p.m. — Forum Hall, K-State Union, Manhattan, KS

  • Thursday, April 25, 6:00 p.m. — Science Hall, Room 72, Emporia State University

More information can be accessed through Prairie Hollow Productions' website here.

Freedom Church of the Poor Struggle and Lament Lenten Series Continues

Join Freedom Church of the Poor online Sunday March 17, at 6:00 p.m. ET / 3:00 p.m. PT via Zoom and social media platforms for the next Struggle & Lament Lenten Series Sunday service.

Also, every Wednesday at 6:00 p.m. ET / 3:00 p.m. PT, Black Christians for Palestine will be facilitating Bible study. Remember to mark your calendars for their Maundy Thursday and Good Friday gatherings.

Tune into the livestream or join the Zoom room by RSVPing at

Upcoming Celebrations and Opportunities in the African Methodist Episcopal Church

National Partnership for Women & Families Calls for Passage of Paycheck Fairness Act

National Partnerships for Women & Families is calling on Congress to prioritize passing the Paycheck and Fairness Act of 2024, addressing the gender pay gap through the effort of adding procedural protections to the Equal Pay Act of 1963 and Fair Labor Standards Act.

Find more information on how to support this advocacy effort here.

Register for Upcoming United Nations General Assembly Commemoration

Join the United Nations General Assembly on March 25, 2024, at 10:00 a.m. EDT in the General Assembly Hall in New York to commemorate the International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade either in person or online.

Call for Applications: Interfaith Alliance's New Interfaith Leadership Network Program

FACE and Carson, CA Mayor Host 
27th Annual Homeownership Fair

Employment Opportunities

ELCA Position Openings

Access the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America's (ELCA) list of United States and global service opportunities here.

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:

• • • • • •

Faith in Public Life Position Openings

Faith in Public Life is looking for a candidate who would be a good fit for an open position. Click on the link below for more information:

• • • • • •

United Church of Christ Position Openings

United Church of Christ is hiring to fill an open position within their team. Application submission closes on April 5. Click on the link below for more information:


Follow the National Council of Churches on Our Social Media Platforms to Receive Daily Bible Readings and Updates on the Work of NCC.

If you find our newsletter informative,
please forward it to friends and colleagues! 


To subscribe to our weekly newsletter, sign up here.

Your gifts help us build a more just and equitable community that chooses grace over greed, love over hate, and faith over fear.

Powered by: