Subject: NCC Newsletter – March 31, 2023


March 31, 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.

NCC Issues Statement on Nashville Shooting

The National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA (NCC) joins the nation in grieving the senseless loss of life of six people—three 9-year-olds and three adults—in a mass shooting at Covenant Presbyterian School in Nashville on Monday, March 27.


We lament and are horrified by what seems to be a never-ending, cyclical nightmare. Gun violence is now the leading cause of death among children and teens in the United States, and it is long past time for us to take decisive and urgent action to bring an end to this scourge on our society. Our children deserve better from us.


Tragically, as a nation we find ourselves in an all-too-familiar position. The dates and places and faces change, but it is the same story, one that leaves us exhausted, frustrated, and distraught. Families are left shattered, and communities are devastated, as they search for answers and work to pick up the pieces of their lives.


Appallingly, we continue to respond with thoughts and prayers to circumstances that require collective and immediate action to end the gun violence wreaking havoc in our communities. The sacredness of prayer is diminished when we ask God to miraculously intervene in what is within our power to change, yet we refuse.


Comprehensive, common sense gun reform, including a ban on assault weapons, is the least we can do to change the trajectory of destruction that has visited innocent lives of all ages and ethnicities.


We don’t have to live like this. Children should never be afraid to go to school for fear they will be killed. Seniors should not fear grocery shopping for fear they will be shot. Parishioners should not be afraid to go to houses of worship in fear of imminent death.


We pray that this is the last statement we must write about a mass shooting. But it is up to us. Let’s get to work!

Tornadoes Affect Church Communities in the South, More Violent Weather Forecasted for Today

One week ago tornadoes affected many parts of the South, including one storm that spawned tornadoes for 100 miles that destroyed homes and communities in Mississippi. In Rolling Fork, Miss., one of the hardest hit towns, the sanctuary of The Chapel of the Cross (an Episcopal Church congregation) was heavily damaged. Rolling Fork United Methodist Church also suffered damage. Both are assessing needs in the community and reaching out to provide support along with numerous other churches in the region.

Today, March 31, another large severe weather outbreak is forecast. Threats are predicted to include large, long track, destructive tornadoes, and extreme wind and hail. The areas affected include a broad swath of the Midwest and South including Iowa, Illinois, Missouri, Indiana, Kentucky, and Tennessee, as well as in areas still recovering from last week's storms, Mississippi, Arkansas, and Alabama. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships has resources available for those impacted by adverse weather conditions, including an emergency preparedness plan, which can be found here.

We pray for those in these areas that they may be spared the devastation of these storms. We also lift up emergency personnel and all those who will provide assistance to those in need.

Links to support relief efforts:

United Methodist Committee on Relief

Episcopal Diocese of Mississippi

Presbyterian Disaster Assistance

United Church of Christ

Evangelical Lutheran Church in America Southeastern Synod

National Baptist Convention, USA, Inc.

African Methodist Episcopal Church Connectional Lay Organization

NCC Greets Students from North Park University

NCC greeted a delegation of students from Park North University who participated in a visit to Washington, D.C., hosted by the Daniel Initiative. During the visit, students explored the various ways they could work in the fields of public policy, advocacy, and politics. They toured the U.S. Capitol, met with congressional offices, toured executive agencies, and spoke with nonprofit and advocacy leaders. The students met with NCC’s advocacy consultant, Adwoa Rey, who shared the work of NCC and her personal and professional experience working at the intersection of faith and politics.

Gun Violence Continues to Plague America

According to data released by the Gun Violence Archive, mass shootings are steadily on the rise in the United States, nearly doubling over the past decade. In 2023 alone, to date there have been 131 mass shootings. This week, the tragic events at the Covenant School in Nashville, TN rocked the nation to its core. Unsurprisingly, the perpetrator used legally purchased assault weapons to carry out the heinous attack. Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Representative David Cicilline (D-NJ) introduced the Assault Weapons Ban of 2023 (S.25/H.R.698), to regulate semi-automatic assault weapons. If the legislation passes, it will be unlawful for a person to import, sell, manufacture, transfer, or possess, in or affecting interstate or foreign commerce, a semiautomatic assault weapon, except under certain circumstances, including use by federal and state law enforcement.

NCC has long advocated for gun control and reaffirms its belief in the God-given “right to life” as fundamental and sacred. We believe that regulating firearms is critical to protecting life and maintaining public order and we support the Assault Weapons Ban of 2023.

Bishops Appeal for Peace in Ukraine

Bishops of the Eastern Catholic Association of the Ukrainian Catholic Church issued an appeal for peace in Ukraine during their recent meeting in St. Louis, Mo. In the letter, the Bishops call the war "senseless" and "sacrilegious." They additionally state that two priests were arrested in November 2022 and allegedly tortured. Their whereabouts are still unknown.

Despite the dire situation, the Bishops still expressed hope as the Easter season approaches.

Along with the intrepid citizens of Ukraine, we renew our confidence in the Lord’s paschal sacrifice. In Christ, the Passion always leads to new life. God’s justice and God’s truth will prevail. As we approach the salvific days of Holy Week, let us be with Jesus crucified in Ukraine. With faith, hope, and charity let us stand at the foot of the Cross. Let us stand with the people of Ukraine.

Make Plans Now to Join the NCC's
Spring Governing Board Events and
75th Anniversary Celebration Launch in May

Prepare now to participate in the NCC's Spring Governing Board events, beginning on Monday, May 15, 2023, with a special, sponsored luncheon for the Governing Board and the new Health and Wellness Task Force, and ending at noon on Tuesday, May 16. 


All events will be held at the National City Christian Church, Thomas Circle. Hotel reservations can be made at: 


The Madison Hotel

1177 15th Street NW

Washington, DC 20005 


Book your reservations by April 24, 2023, using the following link.


Schedule of Events


Monday, May 15, 2023

10:00a–11:15a Health and Wellness Task Force Meeting - Members Only

11:00a–12:45a Sponsored Luncheon for  Governing Board & Health and Wellness Taskforce - Members Only

1:00a–5:00p Governing Board Business Session - Members Only

5:30p–6:45p Dinner - Members Only

7:00p–Anniversary Launch Worship Service - Open to the Public


Tuesday, May 16, 2023 

8:00a–12:00p Governing Board Business Session - Members Only 

12:30p  Box Lunch - Members Only

1:00p–3:00p Policy Roundtable - Members Only

Faith Leaders Implore President, Congressional Leaders to Protect Anti-Poverty Programs

Leaders of the Circle of Protection Coordinating Committee, including NCC Interim President and General Secretary Bishop Vashti McKenzie, released a letter today to President Biden and Congressional Leaders strongly opposing any cuts to food assistance programs. Recent reports have suggested there may be numerous proposals to cut funding or impose onerous new barriers for programs like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and international food aid.

In the letter, the faith leaders say "that our government has a moral responsibility to help overcome poverty and foster opportunity for people living in it. These convictions are rooted not in political ideology but in religious faith."

Other signers of the letter included Bishop Elizabeth Eaton of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and Bishop A.J. Richardson of the African Methodist Episcopal Church,

Click here to read the full letter

Syria and Turkey Still Need Our Help!

Aerial photo of collapsed buildings and destruction in Hatay, Turkey

The National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA (NCC) continues to mourn 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, the death toll has reached more than 53,000 people.

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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