Subject: NCC Newsletter: NCC Condemns Killings, Hopes for Justice

View this email online if it doesn't display correctly
NCC Condemns Killings, Hopes for Justice
NCC Newsletter
August 12, 2022
National Council of Churches Condemn Killings of Muslim Men in Albuquerque, NM
The National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA (NCC) condemns the hate killings of four Muslim men over the past few months in Albuquerque, NM. These attacks are not only heinous for the taking of four lives, but also for the terroristic threat it sends to the Muslim community in Albuquerque and beyond. Our prayers are with our Muslim siblings as they deal with the fear and sense of insecurity that come from these attacks. The NCC calls for a thorough investigation of these killings. We join with the Shoulder to Shoulder Campaign and others in calling for federal resources to assist with local efforts in resolving this situation.

Albuquerque is a welcoming community that has responded to an influx of refugees from majority-Muslim countries, such as Pakistan and Afghanistan. Indeed, one of the persons killed was found outside of the Lutheran Family Services Rocky Mountains office that serves as a hub for refugee resettlement. In addition to this vital work by a Lutheran-related ministry, we lift the work of our many member communions that work with refugee communities, as well as our partner ecumenical organization Church World Service, which works in countless communities across the United States to provide welcome to persons fleeing war, poverty, environmental disaster, and other forms of insecurity in their home countries.

We pray that the Muslim community of Albuquerque continues to find willing partners in the Christian communities that they live alongside as neighbors. May the peace of God be present and continue to provide comfort to the grieving, justice to the oppressed, and love to all.

New Hope for Justice in Past Killings
"Justice, and only justice, you shall pursue..."
Deuteronomy 16:20, NRSVue

The National Council of Churches (NCC) is hopeful after legal actions that brought the light of justice to shine on two cases involving the killing of unarmed Black people. On March 13, 2020, Breonna Taylor was killed by police officers during a “no knock” warrant raid of her home while she slept. The NCC demanded a federal investigation following a six-month investigation which held no one accountable for her murder. While justice was delayed, it is no longer denied. This month, four current and former Louisville, KY police officers were charged with federal crimes related to her death. While this is a key step, the NCC encourages our communions and communities to monitor the case until a final ruling is rendered.

This week, we continue to see the answer to continued advocacy, prayer and pursuit of justice. On August 8, 2022, Travis and Greg McMichael, the white father and son found guilty of killing Ahmaud Arbery as he jogged in a Georgia neighborhood, each received a second life prison sentence for committing federal hate crimes. The NCC will continue its collaborative work with at the local, state and federal level to dismantle systemic racism in America and continue to demand a system of justice that is applied to all fairly.

CUG Registration Now Open
Registration is now open for the 2022 Christian Unity Gathering of the National Council of Churches (NCC). The gathering will take place October 10-11. Our virtual platform affords us the opportunity to tap into powerful voices from around the world. The virtual event also will facilitate increased attendance, provide scheduling flexibility, eliminate travel barriers, reduce the event’s carbon-footprint, and be more inclusive.

The purpose of the Christian Unity Gathering is to give witness to the Good News of Jesus Christ, to demonstrate the churches’ visible unity, and to engage today’s church-dividing issues. Since 2014, this annual event has presented conversations on such topics as Christian leadership in unchartered waters, the impact of trauma, responding to humanitarian crises, the future of faith formation, how to uproot racism/Christian nationalism/White supremacy, and how to deal with domestic unrest and dramatic change.
For 2022, NCC has set for plans for an inspiring collection of presenters and speakers during this two-day event. A special message will be given by NCC Interim President and General Secretary Bishop Vashti McKenzie. Additionally, NCC’s Governing Board, Convening Tables, Christian leaders, scholars, activists, and ecumenists from across the United States will come together for education, inspiration and advocacy surrounding NCC’s priorities.

Communions and leaders have weathered lots of change, and winds of change appear to be growing even stronger. People of faith are better equipped to navigate change when we join together—in faith, in prayer, in discernment, and in determination to stand in the face of shifting tides.

The fee to attend on the Whova platform will be $25 per attendee. The recorded sessions will be available via Whova for future viewing.

Registration is accessible at any time by using the QR code or visit and make plans now to join us for engaging dialogue, impactful and relevant speeches, and conversations from leading scholars, preachers, educators, and thought leaders!

Visit the 2022 Gathering’s landing page often for frequent updates on speakers and events. 

REGISTER NOW! National Council of Churches Promotes Check-up Sunday Every Sunday

“We were all made in God’s image and likeness. Voter suppression on the basis of skin color is a throwing away of Imago Dei,”

Jim Wallis
Chair in Faith and Justice and the founding Director of the Georgetown University Center on Faith and Justice

“The right to full participation of the person in political and civic life, including the opportunity: to vote by secret ballot…the right to vote is a basic human right.”

from the 1963 NCC Human Rights Policy Statement

The National Council of Churches issues a Call to Action to energize and empower voters to exercise their right to vote in upcoming elections and in every election. The right to vote with unfettered access to the ballot box is one of America’s sacred trust. It was a hard-fought right and is a present hard-fought fight right now in our country.

NCC Voter Empowerment imitative partners with our communions and others to provide a Voter Resource Guide and the Voter Toolkit, from Faiths United to Save Democracy that contains information for a church-based plan of action. Check-Up Sunday is every Sunday where people using a QR code can check their voter status, verify ID requirements, poll locations, poll rules and regulations, voter registration deadlines, early voting and election dates and more. There are ideas to stimulate conversations at church and at home.

Register your communion, church and organization today to receive the Voter Empowerment Resource Guide. It’s free. Click here to register: Go to Use the hashtag #Vote Ready #NCC on your social media platforms. 

New York State Council of Churches Takes a Stand Against Reawaken America Tour 
From our partners at the New York State Council of Churches:

We thank the 81 faith leaders to date who have signed our letter in support of local clergy to counter the Reawaken America Tour coming to Batavia on August 12 and 13th. We will publish all the signatures tomorrow. If you are a Batavia or Western New York faith leader and would like to read the letter and still lend your signature, for publication, please click here.

The New York State Council of Churches is supporting local clergy who are countering the Reawaken America Tour coming to Batavia, New York this weekend. Rev. Dr. Roula Alkhouri, pastor of First Presbyterian Church has led the community in taking a stand against the tour being held. A press conference is being held Friday, August 12, 2022 at the First Baptist Church in Batavia at 11: 30 am.

This tour, which has been going on in communities around the country this summer, cultivates a climate of violence and permission for racism. It features speakers, according to the Council, who have contributed to the current climate of toxic political and cultural climate.

“Many might be unaware of the type of negative stereotypes and radicalization that are being brewed by the Reawaken America tour. In a time already full of division, this has the potential for significant impact on our communities ability to talk with one another,” said Rev. Laurel Nelson, speaking on behalf of the Racial Justice Working Group of the Presbytery of Genesee Valley.

“Although few of the tour’s speakers expose themselves to prosecution by explicitly calling for violence, they allow their audience to connect the dots by downplaying past political violence committed in God’s name, associating themselves with extremist groups, demonizing their political opponents and urging supporters to win the battle for God against their fellow Americans. This kind of division builds hate, hurts communities and make our democracy vulnerable to violence.”

The New York State Council of Churches is committed to continue to speak out against religious nationalism and racism in all of its forms since these ideologies distort the Gospel. For more information go to their website at

Anti-Racism Resources from NCC’s Communions
American Baptist Churches-USA
ABCUSA Anti-Racism Task Force: 
Presbyterian Church (USA)
Presbyterian Mission Social Justice: issues/
Genesee Valley: 
Reformed Church in America
Religious Society of Friends
United Church of Christ
Racial Justice Ministries:

United Methodist Church
New York Conference:
Upper NY Commission on Religion and Race:

Other Anti-Racism Resources
NYU Center on Race, Inequality, and the Law:

A Prayer Call for Brittney Griner and Those Unfairly Sentenced
Brittney Griner has been unjustly detained for nearly 180 days (about 6 months) and sentenced to serve nine years in a Russian penal colony. President Biden stated last week that Russia is “wrongfully detaining” and various government branches have voiced concern. President Biden and his administration are working tirelessly for her release. Congress has also signaled support for Ms. Griner. The House of Representatives passed House Resolution, H. Res 1132,  which calls for Ms. Griner’s immediate release from Russian captivity. Last month, the Senate introduced a similar bipartisan resolution, S. Res. 716.

The National Council of Churches (NCC) will join Faith for Black Lives in an Interfaith Prayer
Vigil for Brittney Griner on Tuesday, August 16th, 2022, at 12:00pm (ET). Join us in prayer for Brittney Griner, the Griner family, her teammates and all those who face unjust sentencing and are victims of mass incarceration.

You can register for the prayer vigil at:

Rev. Matt Bridges is a United Methodist Pastor serving St. John’s United Methodist Church in Santa Fe, New Mexico. His video highlights a reimagining of hymns and sacred songs, offering a spiritual practice that enables us to listen deeply to other voices in our communities. This way of listening invites us to be vulnerable and upend our assumptions which so often take the lead when it comes to interpreting music. It helps us become vulnerable also in responding with something that comes from our own hearts. It’s not a way to repurpose the original voices and message of a piece, to re-appropriate, but rather a tool to try and bring more voices to the conversation in understanding, and then communicating, acknowledging, and celebrating the original voices. Music can be a language of its own in conveying emotions and messages that can be difficult to articulate with naked words.
NCC’s Thursday in Black Reminder: World Council of Churches Campaign Against Gender-based violence 
The National Council of Churches joins the World Council of Churches to issue a reminder to Wear Black on Thursdays to speak out against violence against women, men, boys and girls. Too many people have faced the tragic reality of gender-based violence in homes, schools, work and public spaces.

This campaign is a timely emphasis to bring attention to attitudes and practices that permit rape and violence. It is a visible way to show support that can lift the social stigma from those who have suffered in silence afraid to speak up about the trauma.

The WCC notes that “Often black has been used with negative racial connotations. In this campaign, black is used as a color of resistance and resilience.”

Show your support this Thursday and every Thursday by wearing black. Invite others to join you. Show your support of Thursdays in Black on your social media platforms using hashtags #ThursdaysinBlack #WCC and also include #NCC.
Encouraging Faith Communities to Vote – Sermons on the Importance of Voting
Interfaith Power and Light, an organization that seeks to offer a religious response to global warming, presented a webinar on “Encouraging Faith Communities to Vote – Sermons on the Importance of Voting.”

Panelist comments focused on the fact that all religions share imperatives for constructive civic engagement that seeks justice. Therefore, there is a shared conviction among religious communities to bring about sound climate policy, and to proclaim this belief as nothing less than an ethical calling. To live out this calling and make a difference in terms of climate change, it requires that we vote accordingly so that sound policy can be formulated.

This message of environmental healing offers hope for our common future. This in turn means that there is a moral imperative to enable eligible voters to vote. This is especially the case in situations where obstacles to voting are being set up to keep people from doing so. Indeed, voter empowerment is integrally linked to faithful engagement in civic life.

Webinar links and resources:
IPL's resource for offering sermons, divrei Torah, and khutbahs on the importance of voting
Let us know you'll offer a sermon on the importance of voting
• Encourage your faith community to vote by sending them to where they can check their registration status or register to vote
• Encourage someone in your faith community to be a Congregation Captain in IPL's campaign
• Invite your family, friends, and faith community to pledge to be a Faith Climate Justice Voter
• Bolder Advocacy’s Election Checklist for Houses of Worship: How Churches, Synagogues, and Mosques Can Remain Nonpartisan
Learn more about the Campaign at IPL's campaign website 
National Faith Leaders Roundtable on Climate Change
Blessed Tomorrow, the faith program of ecoAmerica, along with the host committee, is convening a roundtable of 20-25 national faith leaders in person to discuss and plan denominational, organizational and collective efforts to catalyze public engagement and political action on climate solutions. The event will be on Monday, November 14, 2022 at Auburn Seminary in New York City, NY from 12:30 pm - 5:30 pm ET with a dinner to follow.

The host committee is comprised of:
  • Bishop Vashti McKenzie, Interim President and General Secretary, National Council of Churches
  • Rev. Dr. John Dorhauer, General Minister and President, United Church of Christ
  • Rev. Teresa Hord Owens, General Minister and President, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
  • Bishop Anne Henning-Byfield, President of the Council of Bishops, African Methodist Episcopal Church
  • Imam Mohamed Magid, Executive Religious Director of All Dulles Area Muslim Society Center
  • Basharat Saleem, Executive Director, Islamic Society of North America
  • Rabbi Jonah Pesner, Director, Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism
  • Rev. Dr. Emma Jordan-Simpson, President, Auburn Seminary
Starting next year, there will be seven years to make significant progress toward climate solutions to meet the IPCC 2030 climate goals. This presents a momentous opportunity and responsibility for faith leaders to champion climate justice and work toward climate solutions. The significance of the number seven across faith traditions offers a profound framework. 
COVID-19 Pandemic Response: Share Reminders that Vaccines are Free
Churches should be aware that 10-13% of the population of the United States has not received even one COVID-19 vaccination. Research has shown that people who are not vaccinated often live in rural communities and/or live in poverty. For those who are not vaccinated, the current surge is just as dangerous. Churches can share reminders that the COVID-19 vaccines are safe, effective, and FREE for all. Answers to frequently asked questions and myth busters about vaccines can be found on the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. 


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

To receive the newsletter, sign up here.

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

110 Maryland Ave NE, Suite 108, Washington, DC 20002, United States
You may unsubscribe or change your contact details at any time.