Subject: NCC Newsletter – October 21, 2023


October 21, 2023

President Biden Visits Israel, Requests International Aid

and National Security Funding from Congress

President Joe Biden traveled to Israel on Wednesday to express U.S. support for Israel after the recent deadly attack by Hamas. During his visit, the President assured Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel, “I want you to know you’re not alone…we will continue to have Israel’s back as you work to defend your people.  We’ll continue to work with you and partners across the region to prevent more tragedy to innocent civilians.”


The President pledged to provide $100 million in humanitarian aid for the Palestinian people in Gaza and the West Bank. According to a statement released by the White House, “This funding will help support over a million displaced and conflict-affected people with clean water, food, hygiene support, medical care, and other essential needs.” The aid will be provided through partnerships with international agencies and non-governmental organizations.


During a presidential address to the nation Thursday evening, President Biden said, “We are facing a global inflection point, and making sure Israel and Ukraine succeed is vital for our national security, as well as helping address the humanitarian needs in Ukraine and Gaza.”

On Friday, the President requested supplemental funding from Congress for national security. The package includes more than $100 billion for aid to Ukraine and Israel, humanitarian aid to the Palestinian people, and funds to address threats in Taiwan and the Indo-Pacific region and strengthen security at the US-Mexico border.


As NCC previously reported, the House of Representatives is without a speaker for the first time in our nation’s history. For nearly three weeks, the important work of Congress has been at a standstill. Without a Speaker of the House, Congress cannot consider critical legislation including the President’s national security package, appropriations bills, and the farm bill reauthorization. The NCC continues to call on Congress to put politics aside and get back to governing in the interests of the American people.


“We stand firmly against any political strategy that puts the well being and stability of the United States government at risk. Americans are caught in the cross hairs of the negative consequences of political gridlock that threatens the very fabric of democracy,” said Bishop Teresa Snorton, NCC Governing Board Chair.


“We urge representatives in Congress to prioritize passing legislation that ensures uninterrupted government functioning, provides essential services to citizens, and strengthens our nation’s stability before the midnight hour,” said Bishop Vashti McKenzie, NCC President/General Secretary.

More than 100 Jewish Groups Unequivocally
Reject Islamophobia and Anti-Arab Hate

At a Moment of Rising Hate and Bigotry, a Statement Organized by JCPA Underscores the Urgency of Fighting Hate Against Muslim, Arab, and Jewish Americans: “All of Our Communities’ Safety and Futures are Inextricably Linked”

In the wake of the attack in which a six-year-old Muslim boy was murdered and his mother critically injured by a man who targeted them because of their faith and the Israel/Hamas war, more than 100 Jewish groups released a statement condemning the attack and rejecting any effort to exploit the situation in Israel and Gaza to spread hate and bigotry.
The statement, which was organized by the Jewish Council for Public Affairs and signed by 118 national and local groups, explicitly rejects “Islamophobia, anti-Arab hate, antisemitism, and all forms of bigotry”:
“We stand in solidarity with all our neighbors under threat, and urge our elected and civic leaders, law enforcement, schools and universities, and employers to make clear there will be zero tolerance for any act of hate.”
“As Jewish leaders, we want to be very clear: we unequivocally reject those targeting our Muslim, Arab, and Palestinian American neighbors with bigotry, threats, and violence,” said Amy Spitalnick, CEO of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs (JCPA).

“This is a moment of profound pain for our community — and we refuse to allow some to exploit that pain as an excuse to spread bigotry or extremism of any kind. Our communities’ safety is inextricably linked, and only by coming together and calling it out can we defeat the forces of hate and violence.”
Read the full text of the statement and its signatories here.

Swedenborgian Church Hosts Virtual
Candlelight Vigil October 22 at 8:00 p.m. ET

In a gesture of solidarity during a time of international sorrow and violence, the  Swedenborgian Church of North America is hosting a candlelight vigil on Sunday, October 22, at 8:00 p.m. ET / 7:00 p.m. CT / 6:00 p.m. MT / 5:00 p.m. PT via Zoom.

Join the vigil using this link.

Feeding America Urges Passage of a Strong Farm Bill

DID YOU KNOW? Since the pandemic, food insecurity has increased among families with children and communities of color, who already faced hunger at much higher rates before the pandemic.

– Feeding America

A government shutdown will further exacerbate the food crisis faced by the more than 200 food banks in the Feeding America network serving every county in the country. During a prolonged shutdown, food banks will be the first, and potentially only, option for assistance for millions of people whose paychecks or federal food assistance benefits could be disrupted. On top of that, a shutdown would further delay Congress’ consideration of our country’s most meaningful food and agriculture legislation, the farm bill, which impacts nearly every federal program that helps ease the strain and stress of hunger in communities across the country.


As a faith community, Feeding America is committed to addressing the issues that prevent individuals and families from being able to thrive, including access to nutritious food. Please join us in taking action TODAY to ask Congress to take urgent action to ensure that the government is funded, and a bipartisan farm bill is considered—keeping federal food assistance programs strong during both deliberations. Help Feeding America keep working together to help all members of our community access the food they need to thrive! 

PC(USA) Delegation Rights
Historic Wrong in Juneau, Alaska

A PC(USA) contingent comprised of both national and mid-council officials visited Juneau for several days following an action last summer by the 225th General Assembly to “issue apologies and reparations for the racist closure of Memorial Presbyterian Church” in 1963.

JUNEAU, Alaska — In March 2011, when a pastor called a long-serving community member shortly before his death, only God knew that conversation would be the beginning of a journey and a living example of restorative justice.


The Rev. Dr. Walter Soboleff spent more than 70 years serving God, the community of Southeast Alaska, and the Presbyterian Church. One of the first native Alaskans to be ordained in the Presbyterian Church, Soboleff shared a story from his journey that would change the trajectory of a faith community and become a model of how Presbyterians strive to heal from harm and right the wrongs that some have come to benefit from today.


The Rev. Dr. Phil Campbell, the former pastor of Ḵunéix̱ Hídi Northern Light United Church, was the recipient of that story and began to help piece together the story that is layered with institutional racism and was perpetuated out of greed and imperialism. It’s only one such story that the church — and not just the PC(USA) — is now reckoning with.


A PC(USA) contingent comprised of both national and mid-council officials visited Juneau for a few days following last summer’s action by the 225th General Assembly to “issue apologies and reparations for the racist closure of Memorial Presbyterian Church” in 1963.

Commissioners to that most recent assembly also urged presbyteries and congregations of the PC(USA) to “donate in the name of Memorial Presbyterian Church or present or past churches of other Native Americans and other people of color important to them.”


Read the story in its entirety here.

Rev. Bronwen Boswell, third from left, the Acting Stated Clerk of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), was among those to unveil a plaque outside a firehouse in Juneau, Alaska, at the former site of Memorial Presbyterian Church. (Photo by Rich Copley)

Church of the Holy City Hosts Hybrid Training
on Trauma Transformation

The Church of the Holy City, National Swendenborgian Church at 1611 16th St. NW, Washington DC, is hosting a hybrid training session on trauma transformation on October 25, from 6:00–8:00 p.m. ET., with certified trauma professional Dr. Laverne Adams.


This free community training and discussion around trauma will help participants learn to recognize and manage trauma in themselves and others.


The training agenda includes: 

  • Who is Traumatized?

  • What is Trauma?

  • When does Trauma happen?

  • Why does Trauma occur?

  • How to manage Trauma

Registration is mandatory to attend either virtually or in person. Click on one of the buttons below to get a free ticket.


Registration Link (for joining in person)
Registration Link (for joining online)

White House Faith and Neighborhood Partnerships Team Issues Resources on Israel and on Student Debt Relief

U.S. Department of State

U.S Department of Homeland Security

White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

U.S. Department of Education

 Student Loan Debt Information and Resources

ACLA Awards 2024 Nominees Sought

The American Climate Leadership Awards 2024 (#ACLA24) is in its fifth year. The program recognizes leading local, state, and national climate leadership programs with $175,000 in prizes. Please submit an application and spread the word. Apply today and nominate your favorite climate leadersNominations accepted until December 1. 


There is now also a separate awards program for high school students, the American Climate Leadership Awards for High School Students, with $125,000 in additional awards to showcase the leadership of the next generation. High school students and their advisors can find that separate application form, or make a nomination here. We are accepting nominations until December 1. 


The fifth annual American Climate Leadership Awards seeks models of effective climate advocates and changemakers. If you know a climate champion or organization making a serious impact to mobilize Americans to curb climate change in a just equitable and inclusive way, please invite them to apply! We are seeking frontline communities, faith leaders, community organizers, teachers, high school students, youth, conservation efforts, and many others. Find FAQs here.  


Twenty semi-finalists will be awarded $1,000; eight finalists will receive $10,000; one runner-up will receive $25,000; and the winner will receive $50,000! The high school student program has earmarked $25,000 for the winning application. Five applicants will take home $10,000 each and 10 high schoolers will be recognized with $5,000 awards. 


The deadline to apply is December 15, 2023. 


The 2024 ACLA Selection Committee is comprised of exemplary climate leaders. You can read more about those individuals here. 


Questions should be directed to Check out the 2023 awards ceremony here to learn about ACLA’s most recent group of finalists.

Free COVID Rapid Antigen Test Kits Available

Effective September 25, residential households in the U.S. can order one set of four (4) free at-home tests from the United States Postal Service again. Please keep in mind:

  • Limit of one order per residential address

  • One order includes four (4) individual rapid antigen COVID-19 tests ( has more details about at-home tests, including extended shelf life and updated expiration dates)

  • Orders begin shipping the week of October 2, 2023.

  • Click this link to order your free COVID test kits.

Need help placing an order for at-⁠home tests?
Call 1-800-232-0233 (TTY 1-888-720-7489).

The U.S. government will continue to make COVID-⁠19 tests available to uninsured individuals and underserved communities through existing outreach programs. Please contact a HRSA health centerTest to Treat site, or ICATT location near you to learn how to access low- or no-cost COVID-⁠19 tests provided by the federal government.

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 7, 14, and 28 at 7 pm ET.


Register here.

Dr. Benjamin Chavis Keynote Preacher for Creation Justice Ministries 40th Anniversary Celebration Service

Creation Justice Ministries (CJM) is planning a Service of Celebration commemorating their 40th anniversary on October 26, in Washington, DC at Metropolitan African Methodist Episcopal Church1518 M Street NW, Washington, DC 20005. The keynote preacher is Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis, Jr.

The service will also be live-streamed. A link will be sent to registrants closer to the date. While there is no charge to attend, interested persons are asked to register in advance.


Learn more about the Service of Celebration and register to attend on CJM’s website. Sponsorship opportunities are also available. More information, including the benefits of sponsorship, can be found on the CJM website.

Episcopal Church Office of Government Relations (OGR) to Hold Advocacy Training Sessions

International Climate Advocacy Day – November 10, 12:00–1:30 p.m. EDT. The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Conference of Parties (COP) 28 is rapidly approaching. During this conference, political leaders from around the world will gather to discuss the next steps in the global approach to climate change. One of the most crucial aspects of meeting the goals set in place by the COPs is advocating to the U.S. federal government. During this advocacy training, a progress overview will be given, as well as a report on what still needs to be done, tips for setting up and having meetings with elected officials, and more! Register here.

LBGTQIA2S+ Advocacy Days – November 7 (virtual), or 8–9 (in-person). Join the Office of Government Relations in one of two opportunities to advocate for federal protections for people of all sexual orientations and gender identities and expressions! Participants will first engage in a half-day of advocacy training to learn best practices, hear from Office of Government Relations staff, network with other Episcopalians, and connect with key coalition partners in the LGBTQIA2S+ advocacy space. Then, depending on the training attended, participants will be prepared for personal congressional office meetings. There are two ways to participate.

Join from 1:00-4:00 p.m. ET for a virtual advocacy training mirroring the in-person option. Participants will receive guidance on setting up virtual meetings with their members of Congress and/or in-district meetings with local staff. Advocacy meetings for this option do not need to take place on the same day and may extend into the following week.

The morning of November 8, will be the advocacy training, with that afternoon and the morning of November 9 reserved for potential congressional meetings. Participants should arrive in D.C. on November 7, and can begin leaving on November 9, after 3:00 p.m.

This Advent, journal your way to the birth of Jesus! Behold, What Wonder, the Advent volume in the NRSVue Bible Journal series, draws thirty key passages from Matthew, Luke, and elsewhere to inspire you to reflect on your own journey of faith. 

NRSVue Bible Journals are themed 30-day journals designed to inspire people in their life of faith and to encourage thoughtful engagement with the Bible through journaling.

Each journal is an elegant linen hardcover book containing more than 96 pages. The compact 4.5" x 7" size fits perfectly in the hand and makes it easy to carry on the go.

An excellent gift for yourself and others in this special season. Bulk discounts are available! Inquire by emailing

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 1 to 2 days in 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.

• • • • • •

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.

• • • • • •

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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