Subject: NCC Newsletter: NCC Laments Salman Rushdie Attack

View this email online if it doesn't display correctly
NCC Laments the Attack on Salman Rushdie
NCC Newsletter
August 19, 2022
NCC Laments the Salman Rushdie Attack
The National Council of Churches is shocked and saddened by last Friday’s assault on author Salman Rushdie. That the attack took place at the Chautauqua Institution, a national treasure dedicated to the exchange of ideas and engagement in the arts, is particularly distressing.

Originally having a connection to the United Methodist Church, the institution now has multiple Christian and interfaith presences on its grounds. Each summer, its programs are attended by thousands of people eager to immerse themselves in this bucolic and intellectually exciting environment.

The NCC has had a long association with the Chautauqua Institution. The NCC’s former General Secretary, Rev. Dr. Joan Brown Campbell, upon leaving the NCC in the early 2000s, took a position there as director of the religion program. In that role she brought invigorating lectures and programs to the campus for many years. The NCC’s current Interim General Secretary and President, Bishop Vashti Murphy McKenzie, served as the institution’s morning preacher for several summers. Reflecting on this tragic incident, she stated: “Chautauqua is a beautiful, serene place where you have an opportunity to experience a vibrant mix of ideas, both competing and stimulating. It is shameful that its serenity has been violated in this way.”
Present at the lecture on Friday was Rev. Dr. Terri Hord Owens, General Minister and President of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and Treasurer of the NCC’s governing board. Serving as one of this summer’s resident ministers, Owens was distraught from witnessing the attack. She immediately lamented that “evil is everywhere.”

Associate General Secretary Dr. Tony Kireopoulos, who twice took part in Chautauqua’s programming, in turn reflected, “It is heartbreaking to hear that Salman Rushdie, who became known to much of the world so many years ago after a fatwa was issued against him by the Iranian regime, was the victim of such evil. It is hard to believe that violence was visited upon him in a place that so profoundly bears witness to peace.”
Also hurt in the attack was Henry Reese, planned moderator of the discussion, which was to be about the US as a refuge for writers and artists in exile. Mr. Reese, co-founder of City of Asylum, a residency program for writers living in exile under threat of persecution, suffered a head injury in the attack.

The NCC, together with the Friday morning lecture attendees who witnessed the tragedy, we pray for Mr. Rushdie’s and Mr. Reese’s restoration to good health, for the mental, emotional, and spiritual recovery of those who witnessed this horrific event, and for the peace of the entire community.
NCC Statement on the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 Signing
"Speak out; judge righteously; defend the rights of the poor and needy.” 
Proverbs 31:9, NRSVue

The National Council of Churches of Christ in the USA (NCC) applauds the signing of the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 (IRA) into law by President Joe Biden on August 16, 2022. The legislation includes important provisions on tax reform, climate, and healthcare. While the NCC celebrates that Congress reached an agreement on this measure, we remain concerned that the Medicaid coverage gap, an issue that the NCC and many groups championed, did not make it into the final bill.
The inclusion of the Medicare coverage gap would have provided necessary medical coverage to 2.2 million people who live below the poverty line, primarily those living in Southern states and people of color. While the provision was included in an earlier version of the legislation and in an amendment to be added to the IRA, it ultimately did not make the final bill that was signed into law. By not closing the Medicare coverage gap, Congress missed an opportunity to correct an injustice in our healthcare system and help our sisters and brothers living in poverty.

Despite its shortcomings, the IRA does include important provisions that the NCC supports. We understand that the bill will help millions of people keep their premium subsidies under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and aid seniors and others by lowering Medicare prescription drug costs. It also will address the issue of climate change and work toward a more equitable tax system.
The NCC is not finished. We are encouraged by the passage of the IRA and will continue to fight for Medicaid expansion in every state. We will heed the call of scripture to help the sick and impoverished in our nation.


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. On Check-Up Sunday, people can use a QR code to 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. 

NCC Newsletter Statement on the “United We Stand” White House Summit
“How very good and pleasant it is when kindred live together in unity!”
(Psalm 133:1)

On September 15, 2022, the Biden-Harris Administration will host a White House Summit titled, “United We Stand: Countering Hate-Fueled Violence Together.” The goal of this gathering is to “counter the corrosive effects of hate-fueled violence on our democracy and public safety, highlight the response of the Administration and communities nationwide to these dangers, and put forward a shared, bipartisan vision for a more united America.”

We see the summit as a key step to having a national dialogue toward action. The United States must move quickly and intentionally to stop the suffering that has been caused by the epidemic of terroristic gun violence. An epidemic caused by such factors as radicalized gun wielders and by political polarization. Our nation has felt this terror—in places of worship, on national holidays, in elementary schools, and in urban areas across the nation.

Gathering and working together is how we as communities, as believers, and as a nation must end rampant gun violence in our country.

ELCA's Churchwide Assembly
Interim President General Secretary Bishop Vashti McKenzie (3rd from l) and an ecumenical delegation were the guests of Bishop Elizabeth Eaton, Presiding Bishop, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (7th from right) for the ELCA's for lunch at the ELCA's Churchwide Assembly recently in Columbus Ohio.
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.