Subject: NCC Newsletter – May 5, 2023

May 5, 2023

NCC Supports Freedom to Learn National Campaign

May 3, 2023, Washington, DC— a crowd gathers in support of Freedom to Learn National Day of Action, held in conjunction with more than 150 events across the country.

On May 3, NCC joined the Freedom to Learn coalition in a National Day of Action in Washington, D.C. as more than 150 events were being held across the country. Chief Operating Officer, Rev. Dr. Leslie Copeland Tune, represented NCC at the rally, which included civil rights and faith leaders as well as dozens of college students from area HBCUs.


The Freedom to Learn campaign is a broad network of people, including faith leaders, who seek to strengthen American democracy and advance values of equity, inclusion, and social justice in light of the growing movement focused on banning thousands of books and placing restrictions on what history is deemed appropriate to teach our students. To learn more about books that have been banned, visit


NCC also released a statement on the danger of banning books to coincide with the National Day of Action. Stay tuned for updates about this campaign and why faith leaders should be concerned about efforts to ban books and manipulate history.

NCC Continues to Advocate for a Clean Debt Ceiling Bill

As the debt ceiling crisis looms, the NCC continues to urge Congress to pass legislation that raises the debt ceiling without attaching conditions that are harmful to the American people.

The Limits, Savings, and Growth Act of 2023 (H.R. 2811) passed by House Republicans includes detrimental cuts to programs that support low-income children and families, college students, seniors, and veterans. To avoid the impact of cuts on the most vulnerable among us, the NCC urges member communions to reach out to members of Congress and tell them to oppose debt ceiling legislation that would cut food safety, economic opportunity, and environmental stewardship.

This week, the NCC continued its high-level engagement with legislators on this critical issue, meeting with members of Congress from both the House and Senate leadership. In the coming weeks, NCC will sponsor a Call Your Legislators campaign that addresses the debt ceiling and other policy issues.

NCC Represented at African American Faith Leaders Project

NCC Chief Operating Officer Rev. Dr. Leslie Copeland Tune was invited to participate in the Rebuild Congress Initiative’s (RCI) African American Faith Leaders Project retreat at Princeton Theological Seminary, April 19–20, 2023.

RCI started in 2018 as an independent, nonpartisan initiative of the Harvard Negotiation Project and Issue One and has as its goal to "a strong, functional, and representative Congress that can fulfill its constitutional responsibilities.

The retreat focused on ways to strengthen and secure democracy by engaging African-American faith leaders who are too often left out of conversations about democracy despite the immense role the Black Church has played in its history. Twelve faith leaders from across the country, including pastors, scholars, faith advocates, and activists, took part in the day-and-a-half retreat.

There is growing concern that democracy is at risk in a socio-political climate of toxic polarization, eroding democratic norms, and diminishing trust in public institutions that can lead to greater vulnerability to political violence, autocratic government, and detrimental winner-take-all tactics.

RCI seeks to gather the outlook and perspective of African-American faith leaders about issues important to them and determine the intersection between those issues and RCI’s mission to strengthen America’s democratic system and institutions. The group also hopes to develop pathways for African-American faith leaders to be a part of reforming and rebuilding trust in American institutions to ensure democracy is able to survive and thrive in the U.S.

Reparative Justice Bible Study

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

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

Also, join the National Council of Churches in Washington, DC on June 19, 2023, to support Justice on Juneteenth.


Friendship Press Reissues Classic Titles

Friendship Press has reissued several previously published books that are now available for pre-order, including:

  • Seeking to Be Christian in Race Relations, by Benjamin E. Mays

  • The Indian Affair, by Vine Deloria, Jr.

  • Born of the Sun: A Namibian Novel, by Joseph Diescho

  • Ethics in the Present Tense, Leon Howell and Vivian Lindermayer, Eds.

  • Hope and Justice for All in the Americas, Oscar L. Bolioli, Ed.

U.S. Surgeon General Issues Advisory on

"Epidemic of Loneliness and Isolation"

The U.S. Surgeon General's Office has issued a report on the deleterious impact of loneliness and isolation in America.

"Loneliness and isolation represent profound threats to our health and well-being. But we have the power to respond. By taking small steps every day to strengthen our relationships, and by supporting community efforts to rebuild social connection, we can rise to meet this moment together. We can build lives and communities that are healthier and happier. And we can ensure our country and the world are better poised than ever to take on the challenges that lay ahead," according to Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, MD, MBA.

The advisory calls attention to the importance of social connection for individual health as well as on community-wide metrics of health and well-being, and conversely the significant consequences when social connection is lacking. While social connection is often considered an individual challenge, this advisory explores and explains the cultural, community, and societal dynamics that drive connection and disconnection. It also offers recommendations for increasing and strengthening social connections through a whole-of-society approach.

The full report can be viewed here.

Spring Governing Board Meeting

Schedule of Events


Monday, May 15, 2023

9:00a–11:00a Christian Education and Faith Formation

Convening Table (Members Only)

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)

You are invited to an action-oriented online seminar for children’s and future generations’ survival, in light of the latest facts shared by the world’s leading scientists on Tuesday, May 9, from 2-4 pm CET.

This event is designed to advance and inspire actions of faith-based actors and partners—halting the ongoing increase of CO2 emissions by stopping the financing of new fossil fuel projects.

The event will offer insights since the launch of the appeal in 2022 Climate-Responsible Finance: A Moral Imperative towards Children, and the Faith & Science appeal in 2021, which included the commitment “to move away from investments in fossil fuels and toward investments in renewable energy(...).”

Leaders and decision makers, child rights specialists, young people, finance specialists, faith-based actors, and secular partners are encouraged to participate.

Co-Organizers: World Council of ChurchesUNEPJoint Learning Initiative on Faith & Local CommunitiesLaudato Si Movement.

Please find the webinar agenda here.

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