Subject: NCC Newsletter – November 11, 2023


November 11, 2023

Bishop McKenzie Visits Lewiston, Maine,
Presents Donation from NCC

NCC President/General Secretary Bishop Vashti Murphy McKenzie attended a worship service at St. Luke's Cathedral in Portland, Maine last Sunday and presented NCC's donation to the Lewiston Deaf Access Fund. She also visited a memorial to the victims.

The Maine Council of Churches, in partnership with the Massachusetts Council of Churches, announced the creation of the “Lewiston Deaf Access Fund: Meeting the Need of Maine’s Deaf Community.”

The Maine and Massachusetts Councils of Churches are partnering to create the Lewiston Deaf Access Fund to meet the needs of Maine’s Deaf community at this tender time, so that all may fully gather to grieve, gather, pray, and mourn in their own language.


Endeavoring to give Maine’s Deaf community full access to the upcoming funerals following the Lewiston shootings, they began raising funds for ASL interpreters.


ASL interpreters have been working overtime to meet the needs of the Deaf Maine community and this fund will provide financial support for all access needs. Our wish is for all Deaf Mainers to have opportunities to be fully included in the funerals, memorials, and gatherings in the weeks ahead.


The Access Fund’s first donation was presented by NCC General Secretary Bishop Vashti Murphy McKenzie during a worship service at St. Luke's Cathedral in Portland last Sunday.

The Councils sent words of thanks to NCC directly and to their networks, noting: “MCC would like to express its deepest gratitude for the incredibly generous donation of $1,000 that was given by the National Council of Churches to the Lewiston Deaf Access Fund. The swift and empathetic response to the urgent need was truly inspiring and heartwarming. We would like to thank you for your kindness.”

To read more and donate, click here, and please share widely. 

Congress Must Pass a Short-term Extension of the Farm Bill and Quickly Move Forward with a Five-year Reauthorization

Now that the House of Representatives has a speaker and legislative business has resumed, it is imperative that Congress turn its focus to the farm bill, which funds the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), the nation’s largest food and nutrition program. The federal program provides nutrition benefits to low-income individuals and families, allowing them to purchase food in stores.


In fiscal year 2023, more than 22 million households and 42 million people participated in SNAP. The average monthly benefit received is $218 for individuals and $400 for families. These benefits are critical for SNAP participants in an economy experiencing high inflation and rising food costs, especially among those in marginalized communities.


The 2018 farm bill reauthorization expired on September 30, and Congress has just over a month (December 30) to extend or reauthorize the farm bill before funding is exhausted. To ensure the basic needs of millions of Americans are met, Congress must fund SNAP at sufficient levels. NCC urges Congress to pass a short-term extension of the farm bill now to continue providing food and nutrition assistance to individuals and families.


Recently, NCC Advocacy Consultant Rev. Adwoa Rey participated in a meeting with U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow’s office and a small group of faith advocates. Senator Stabenow is Chair of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry, which has jurisdiction over the farm bill. During the meeting, the group advocated for SNAP in the farm bill and for other food security programs, including funding for WIC. Senator Stabenow has long advocated for SNAP in the farm bill and wrote a compelling statement urging immediate action on the farm bill


This week, NCC issued an action alert asking member communions, partners, and supporters to tell Congress to extend the farm bill. Join NCC’s advocacy effort by calling your member of Congress (find their contact information here), and telling them to pass a short-term extension of the farm bill without delay and then work together to produce a bipartisan five-year reauthorization that funds the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) for the long-term.

Become a One Home One Future Partner

The National Council of Churches is a partner in One Home One Future (OHOF), a multi-faith climate campaign that educates, activates, and supports clergy, congregants, youth, and all spiritual people in meaningful and just solutions locally, regionally, and nationally in ways that are accessible and positive. 


OHOF is seeking new partners. The first 1,000 congregations to join will receive a free banner and resource kit to hang in front of your house of worship. New partners will also gain free access to training and guides, a library of worship and educational resources, action sheets, webinars, retreat resources, programming opportunities, events, and an online community of practice to connect and collaborate within and across faith traditions.

All congregations affiliated with NCC member communions are encouraged to join today.

One Home One Future Partners

Health Note—Week of November 12, 2023

The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” (Psalm 34:18) 


More than 1 in 4 adults has experienced depression, an anxiety disorder, or another diagnosable mental health disorder at some point during their lifetimes. 

Churches and other faith-based organizations can play a critical role in destigmatizing mental health disorders, promoting the use of mental and behavioral health services, and supporting individuals and families affected by mental health challenges. 

Access the NEW Medicaid Unwinding Resources

Special Populations One Pagers

Other Resources

Ready to Talk Faith and Mental Health?

Join Bishop T.D. Jakes and others on Tuesday, November 14, at 8:00 p.m. ET for "Let’s Talk: Faith & Mental Health," a transformative virtual conversation with the inspirational Values Partnerships Chairman Bishop T.D. Jakes!

This Is the Moment: It's time to bridge the worlds of faith and mental well-being. Featured during the conversation will be inspirational leaders, candid conversations, and the announcement of a major new resource for people of faith. Also included will be an inspirational performance from award-winning gospel artist Jonathan McReynolds!

Prepare to be inspired, enlightened, and uplifted!

Tuesday, November 14, 2023
8pm ET / 5pm PT

Circle of Protection Issues Letter to President/Congress on Rapidly Increasing Poverty in the US

The Circle of Protection released a letter to the President and every member of Congress on Tuesday, November 7, flagging the fact that poverty has surged in the U.S. and urging Congress to give priority to poverty-important programs.

As a government shutdown again draws near, now with the United States engaged in two wars, the church bodies and ministries in the Circle of Protection issued a new letter to the President and Congress. It highlights increased poverty in America and in countries in conflict around the world.

“Churches and charities across the country are struggling with a surge in hunger and poverty,” the church leaders report. Poverty in America increased more sharply than ever before between 2021 and 2022 and remains high in 2023. 

The Circle of Protection highlights likely shortfalls in funding for WIC (nutrition assistance for mothers and babies) and aid to families in conflict situations (Ukraine, some of the world’s poorest countries, and now Israel-Gaza).

To read the letter and a summary of it, including signatories, click click here or visit

Church of the Brethren Children’s Disaster Services Deploys to Lewiston, Maine

By Carolyn Neher

On Oct. 28, Children’s Disaster Services (CDS) deployed a team of five Critical Response Childcare volunteers to Lewiston, Maine, in partnership with the Red Cross. This deployment was made in response to the mass shootings at two locations in Lewiston where 18 people were killed and 13 others were injured.

The Critical Response Childcare team arrived with a calm presence for children and families affected by this disaster, and a CDS Kit of Comfort—a suitcase with toys and activities chosen specially for children to play with to help their emotional recovery after such a traumatic event.

Critical Response Childcare teams are made up of certified CDS volunteers who have received additional specialized training to respond to mass casualty events. The team is providing children from affected families with a safe and secure environment to play while their families receive assistance. The team is working to minimize the impact of the traumatic stress experienced by the children.

Prior to this response in Maine, the most recent deployment of a Critical Response Childcare team was to Uvalde, Texas, in May and June 2022 to support children and families after a mass shooting at a school there. Other deployments in recent years were to a building collapse in Surfside, Fla., in 2021, and to mass shootings in El Paso, Texas (2019), Gilroy, Calif. (2019), Pittsburg, Pa. (2018), Las Vegas, Nev. (2017), and Orlando, Fla. (2016).

Carolyn Neher is associate director of Children’s Disaster Services, a ministry of the Church of the Brethren within Brethren Disaster Ministries. Find out more at

Churches for Middle East Peace Update

Israel-Palestine: Recent Developments and Difficulties Ahead

Join the second annual Fr. Drew Lecture Series. This webinar features a panel of speakers on the topic, “Israel-Palestine: Recent Developments, Difficulties Ahead.” Joining the panel will be Rev. Elias D. Mallon, Nabeela Barbari, and Rev. Dr. Mae Elise Cannon.


This event will be live-streamed on Zoom on November 15, but in-person at the University of Scranton (Nov. 13), and at Notre Dame (Nov. 16). Participate in the series online or in person! 

Click here to learn more and register for the series.

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The Bombing of Gaza: Stories of Palestinian Partners on the Ground

Join CMEP at noon Eastern on Thursday, November 16 for "The Bombing of Gaza: Stories of Palestinian Partners on the Ground" webinar. Hear from CMEP connections in Palestine and learn about ways you can respond.

Click here to learn more and register.

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Hear the Voices of Palestinian Women

On November 2, CMEP hosted a kickoff webinar for their women's empowerment initiative 'And Still We Rise' (ASWR), featuring Executive Director Rev. Dr. Mae Elise Cannon, ASWR Coordinator Tamar Haddad, and ASWR Leadership Team Member Shireen Awwad Hilal.

The three panelists discussed the urgency of CMEP's work in the midst of the ongoing violence against Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank, and shared beautiful and vulnerable personal accounts of how these current circumstances have affected them and their loved ones.

The webinar called upon attendees in the U.S. to take action for a ceasefire and be unafraid to speak out against injustice. 

Click here to view the webinar.

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Join Pray for Peace Every Wednesday

12:30 pm - 1:00 pm ET

Churches for Middle East Peace invites you to a virtual prayer gathering each Wednesday for peace in light of recent events in Gaza, Israel, and the occupied Palestinian territories. Click the link below to participate.


See all CMEP Public Statements at:

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Join CMEP’s weekly news briefing on Thursdays from 10 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. ET.  More info here.

Read some of the prayers offered and add your own at CMEP’s Prayers for Peace blog. Click here.

How American Democracy Reached the Breaking Point

The Center on Faith and Justice will host Harvard University political scientist Steven Levitsky for a discussion on his new book Tyranny of the Minority, the authoritarian backlash that threatens the foundations of our political system, and how the Constitution prevents the United States from becoming a true multi-racial democracy.

Levitsky is co-author of the New York Times bestseller How Democracies Die, and is the David Rockefeller Professor of Latin American Studies and Professor of Government at Harvard University.

This event will be a live taping of Rev. Jim Wallis’ podcast, The Soul of the Nation. Attendance will be in-person only, Tuesday November 14, 12:30-1:30 at Copley Formal Lounge.

*Registration is required but does not guarantee entrance. Seating is limited and will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis. Doors open at 12:00 pm. Once capacity is reached, no additional audience members will be permitted into the venue.

Click here to RSVP.

JustFaith Ministries Announces New Program for Standing with Native Communities

The Land Is Not Our Own: Seeking Repair Alongside Indigenous Communities is a nine-session, small-group program that inspires and equips congregations and communities to stand alongside Native communities in working for justice and repair. This small group process lays a foundation of trust and relationship so that together participants can acknowledge injustice, honor the interconnectedness of all Creation, and seek healing, repair, and hope.


Grounded in prayer, deep listening, community, and mutual respect, The Land Is Not Our Own explores challenging topics, including Native boarding schools, the movement to end the crisis of murdered and missing Indigenous women, and how we can stand with Native leaders in protecting the health or our planet. 


The Land Is Not Our Own, written by JustFaith Ministries (JFM) in collaboration with the Coalition to Dismantle the Doctrine of Discovery, is designed for ordinary people to facilitate in their in-person or virtual communities — JFM provides all the training, materials, and support you need. Learn more about the program and how you can bring it to your faith community by clicking here. Register for an upcoming information meeting by clicking here.

UCC Sponsors Sowing Justice: Cultivating a
Just World for All in the Farm Bill

Join the three-part webinar series, in collaboration with Franklinton Center on UCC advocacy priorities in the next Farm Bill. Farmers, policy experts, and impacted community leaders will highlight the need to advocate for economic, racial, and environmental justice for small farmers, the food insecure, and the earth.

Tuesdays, November 14, and 28, at 7 pm ET.


Register here.

Upcoming People's Book Releases…

Employment Opportunities

NCC Seeks Marketing and Communication Officer

The National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA (NCC) seeks a talented professional to drive the external and internal engagement of our ecumenical, advocacy, and activist agenda. This position offers an exciting opportunity to lead and implement strategic communications initiatives, from concept to reality, aimed at promoting NCC's vision, mission, and values. The Marketing and Communication Officer will manage the organization's overall communication and marketing strategy, including written and verbal communications, media relations, social media presence, and relationship building with key contacts in Washington D.C.

Joining NCC's team as a Marketing and Communication Officer offers a unique opportunity for a motivated and passionate individual to drive impactful external and internal communications strategies that advance our organization’s goals. If you are dedicated to utilizing your skills and experience to make a difference toward positive social change, NCC would love to hear from you.

Job Classification

Full-time exempt. Work is generally conducted Monday–Friday, 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. This is a hybrid position with at least one to two days in the office each week. Occasional evening and weekend availability may be required. Eligible for paid time off and retirement benefits. Salary range: $65,000 – $75,000.

To apply, click here.

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AETH Seeks Fundraiser and Development Associate

The Association for Hispanic Theological Education (AETH), a faith-based, not-for-profit organization, seeks a Fundraiser and Development Associate to build, manage, and engage prospects and donors in the United States and worldwide, especially in Spanish-speaking countries.

Salary is commensurate with experience in a similar position with the potential for an annual performance-based bonus. The salary for this part-time position is $35,000.00 annually and includes no benefits.


To apply, submit a resume, cover letter, and the names and contact of the three references to the Search Committee ( (AETH). Please explain in the cover letter your interest in the WETH and how your experience has prepared you for this position.


The priority application deadline is December 15, 2023.

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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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