Subject: NCC Newsletter – March 8, 2024

NCC Newsletter

March 8, 2024

Hidden Figures: Celebrating Former NCC President, Kathryn Mary Lohre

In honor of Women's History Month, the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA (NCC) continues its journey of uncovering hidden figures in NCC history by highlighting the leadership of Kathryn Mary Lohre, past NCC President (2012–2013).

Lohre was the second youngest NCC President, having been elected at age 32, and the first woman to succeed a woman president, following Rev. Peg Chemberlin's tenure.

Lohre earned a Bachelor of Arts in religion, psychology & women's studies from St. Olaf College in 1999 and matriculated to Harvard's Divinity School where she obtained a Master of Divinity in religion/religious studies in 2003. From 2000 to 2011, Lohre served as Assistant Director for Harvard University's Pluralism Project, overseeing research on religious diversity in the United States.

During her presidency, Lohre successfully guided NCC through major organizational restructuring to prioritize unity, theology, and education, core areas that remain critical to NCC's work today.

Lohre continues her work as a Central Member of the World Council of Churches and serves as Executive for Ecumenical and Inter-Religious Relations & Theological Discernment for the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

NCC extends our gratitude for Kathryn Lohre's innovative and strategic leadership, which has led to advancements that are central to the work of NCC.

Women's History Month:

Nannie Helen Burroughs

Remembering the Life and Legacy of Civil Rights Activist Naomi Barber King

Martin Luther King III (right), son of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., walks with his daughter, Yolanda, and Naomi King, wife of Rev. King's brother, A.D., through an exhibition devoted to the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to Dr. King at the Martin Luther King Jr. Historical Site, Wednesday, Dec. 10, 2014, in Atlanta. Civil rights activist Naomi Barber King died Thursday, March 7, 2024, in Atlanta, according to family members. She was 92. Photo: AP Photo/David Goldman, File

ATLANTA (AP) — Naomi Barber King, a civil rights activist who was married to the younger brother of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., has died at age 92.

She passed away in Atlanta on Thursday, according to family members who issued a statement through the A.D. King Foundation. Naomi King established the organization in May 2008 with a mission of empowering youth and women and advancing strategies for nonviolent social change.

“She was a woman of quiet dignity, overcoming strength, and steadfast support to her husband, family, and circles of influence within and beyond Atlanta,” the statement said.

Continue reading this story here.

NCC Attends WISC Retreat Focused on 'Marching Forth Together'

On March 4, the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA (NCC) attended the Washington Interfaith Staff Committee (WISC) 2024 retreat themed, 'Marching Forth Together.' This retreat provided a hybrid experience for attendees, enabling the gathering to attend either at Washington DC Church of the Brethren or engage online. Participants enjoyed a full day of team-building activities, presentations, panel discussions, reflection, and brainstorming.

Susan Finkle Sourlis equipped the WISC community with knowledge about proper election decorum as 501(c)(3)s during the presentation on "Election Year: How 501(c)(3)s Can Educate and Advocate During Election Season." Dr. Leslie Copeland-Tune, NCC Chief Operating Officer, participated in an insightful panel, “Marching Forward Together with Holy Imagination: Ways WISC Members are to Engage to Build the Future.” Additional panelists included Dr. Barbara Williams-Skinner, CEO and co-founder of Skinner Leadership Institute, and Rabbi Michael Namath, Director of National Campaigns and Programs at the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism. The program also included a conversation with Congressman Jamie Raskin, U.S. Representative of Maryland’s 8th Congressional District.

NCC engaged with several multi-faith leaders of the WISC community during this retreat. New interfaith connections were formed while seasoned relationships were strengthened. The retreat ended with a sacred and contemplative space that left attendees refreshed and ready for the collaborative work ahead.

Learn more about the work of WISC here.

Dr. Leslie Copeland-Tune, NCC Chief Operating Officer, left, and Congressman Jamie Raskin, U.S. Representative of Maryland’s 8th Congressional District, right, at the WISC retreat on March 4, 2024.

Zipporah and Her Sisterhood: A Story of Deliverance for Women’s History Month 2024


"Now the priest of Midian had seven daughters: and they came and drew water and filled the troughs to water their father’s flock. And the shepherds came and drove them away: but Moses stood up and helped them and watered their flock.” Exodus 2:16-17

This month is Women’s History Month and last month was Black History Month. The Bible offers opportunities to see alignment of these observances for today. One illustration of this is the story of Zipporah, her sisters, and Moses in Exodus 2:16-17.

More specifically, Exodus 2:16-17 is one of several illustrations of the leadership women played in Moses’s life. While the stories of Moses’s leadership are often visible, the leadership of the women, and especially African women, related to Moses are most often marginalized, less visible, and erased—but are still important.

Continue reading here.

NCC Grateful for Key Issues Raised in SOTU Speech, Calling for Further Action

National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA (NCC) is grateful for President Biden addressing key issues during his State of the Union speech on Thursday, March 7.

One of the major areas highlighted by the President was the longstanding necessity for voter rights. President Biden acknowledged the landmark Voting Rights Act of 1965, and specifically mentioned the need for the John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act:

“Voter suppression. Election subversion. Unlimited dark money. Extreme gerrymandering. John Lewis was a great friend to many of us here. But if you truly want to honor him and all the heroes who marched with him, then it’s time for more than just talk. Pass and send me the Freedom to Vote Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Act! And stop denying another core value of America our diversity across American life.”

NCC expresses appreciation for President Biden’s discussion of the importance of voter rights in today’s climate of division and misinformation.

Additionally, gun violence and mass shootings continue to plague our nation and stain its history. NCC remains steadfast in its stance against these crimes as noted in the NCC Resolution on Rampant Gun Violence and Mass Shootings, which details NCC’s commitment to utilizing its resources to put an end to these widespread egregious acts.

NCC applauds the establishment of the first Office of Gun Violence Prevention in the White House and the President’s demand for gun control through his call for the banning on assault weapons.

The American Families and Workers Tax Relief Act of 2024 is a vital bill that enhances the existing child tax credit, eliminates penalties for larger families, provides inflation relief and include a one-year income lookback. NCC has historically advocated to make the child tax credit permanent. If enacted into law, the American Families and Workers Tax Relief Act of 2024 will lift more than 400,000 children above the poverty line and provide relief to more than 80 percent of the roughly 19 million children under age 17 in families with low incomes who don’t currently get the full credit.

During his speech, President Biden called for the restoration of the child tax credit, which significantly reduced poverty and hunger during the height of the pandemic. This plea came during a critical hour, with the Senate preparing to vote over the American Families and Workers Tax Relief Act of 2024.

While there were key points raised that align with the needs of the people, tangible steps must be taken with urgency to manifest viable solutions. NCC calls for Congress to uphold justice and integrity by passing the John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act and the American Families and Workers Tax Relief Act of 2024. The President and Congress must also introduce and pass legislation that will put an end to the viscous cycle of gun violence and massacres that have taken too many lives across our communities. NCC will continue to hold government leaders accountable until the promises for necessary changes are fulfilled.

Be on the lookout for more information on President Biden's State of the Union speech in the upcoming NCC Legislative Update on Monday, March 11.

Interfaith Statement of Solidarity with Annunciation House

Faith leaders and organizations express their support for the crucial work of Annunciation House in El Paso, Texas, and decry the criminalization of their services. The undersigned 268 faith leaders and 165 faith-based organizations write to express our unwavering solidarity with Annunciation House, a Catholic organization that accompanies

migrants in El Paso, Texas, and to decry Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s actions targeting it. We are deeply troubled by efforts that appear to target this kind of humanitarian work, which is a significant part of how many people live out their faith. AG Paxton’s decision to

target Annunciation House through legal actions - with the ultimate goal of shutting it down - is designed to intimidate other faith-based and secular organizations that provide essential humanitarian services to people seeking safety in Texas.

For more than 45 years, Annunciation House has provided hospitality to people seeking safety at the U.S.-Mexico border. AG Paxton’s recent actions are an alarming attempt to deter and criminalize the sacred act of providing care for people in need. Annunciation House provides essential hospitality to hundreds of people each day by sharing food, clothing, shelter, and moments of dignity on an inhumane journey. Most of Annunciation House’s guests are fleeing violence and political repression in their home countries. Many are families with young children. Without Annunciation House’s services, many of its guests would have nowhere else to go.

Read more about the statement and see the signatories here.

Continue to Persevere Through Costly Love and Hard Places This Lenten Season

Upcoming Book Release from Jim Wallis

Join Freedom Church of the Poor for the Upcoming Struggle & Lament Lenten Series Sunday Service

Join Freedom Church of the Poor online this Sunday at 6pm ET / 3pm PT via Zoom and social media platforms for the next Struggle & Lament Lenten Series Sunday Service.

Also, every Wednesday at 6pm ET / 3pm PT Black Christians For Palestine will be facilitating Bible Study.

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

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

The Conference of European Churches to Hold Conference on Public Theology

The Conference of European Churches (CEC) is hosting an international political conference with the theme "Politics as an area for expressing Christian values in everyday life" from March 14-15, 2024. The focus of this conference is political theology and is co-organized by CEC, the Interparliamentary Assembly on Orthodoxy (IAO), the Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of the European Union (COMECE), the Holy Metropolis of Thessaloniki and the School of Theology of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (AUTh).

Find more information on this event here. 

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

Employment Opportunities

ELCA Positon 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 hiring for a few positions and is looking for candidates who would be a good fit. Click on the links below for more information:


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