Subject: NCC Newsletter – October 29, 2023


October 29, 2023

NCC Calls the Nation to Week of Prayer,
Hosts Virtual Service on Nov. 1

Considering the recent devastating events taking place in the conflict between Hamas and Israel, it is crucial that we come together as a global community to acknowledge the suffering and loss experienced by innocent civilians, on both sides, caught in the crossfire. Our hearts ache for those affected, as the violence has caused immense human suffering, the taking of hostages, and the restriction of vital resources, such as water, electricity, and fuel creating a dire situation.


Traditional avenues for resolution may fall short. It is in these moments that we, as believers and faith leaders, must unite and turn to prayer as a powerful instrument for peace. As the saying goes, “Our silence is not an option,” and it is equally true that merely engaging in spiritual disciplines, such as prayer, without acting is incomplete. Our faith calls us to express our convictions through both prayer and tangible efforts to promote peace, justice, and reconciliation.


Therefore, we urge individuals, communions, congregations, and communities across the globe to join us in a focused week of collective prayer beginning Monday, October 30, 2023, through Sunday, November 5, 2023. Throughout the week, whenever people are gathered for Bible Study, mid-week service, prayer service, outreach ministries, rehearsals, or other meetings or events, we ask that they pray collectively and individually for peace on earth. 

Specifically, we are calling for prayers for peace, the most vulnerable in the conflict, leaders, and decision-makers, humanitarian aid, the safe return of hostages, those who have been displaced, and wisdom for a sustainable solution that ends the conflict.


On Wednesday, Nov. 1, at noon ET, NCC will host a virtual Prayer Service for faith leaders and others to pray together. Register here for the call. We ask those not able to be on the call to join us in prayer wherever they are at noon on Wednesday, Nov. 1.


“Let us humbly approach the throne room of God, with faith, we will be co-creators with God to bring about healing, justice, and peace. May our prayers transcend geopolitical boundaries and touch the hearts and minds of those involved in the conflict, stirring within them a desire to work for new pathways of understanding,” said Bishop Vashti Murphy McKenzie, NCC President and General Secretary.


It is our hope that this week of focused prayer will fuel our resolve to stand against injustice, violence, and the devastating impact on innocent lives. Together, let us stand firm in prayer, guided by the belief in a just God who hears our cries and empowers us to make a difference in the lives of others.


May our collective prayers pave the way for reconciliation, healing, and the establishment of lasting peace in the region.

Register for the Call to Prayer virtual gathering by using the link below.

House, Senate Advance Appropriations Bill,
Republicans Elect Speaker

After nearly four weeks without a leader, House Republicans elected Congressman Mike Johnson from Louisiana as Speaker of the House of Representatives. In a social media post, former president Donald Trump lauded Johnson as a loyal and longstanding supporter of his campaign and presidency.


Prior to his election, Speaker Johnson issued a Dear Colleague missive to the members of the Republican Conference that proposed an ambitious legislative schedule that includes the passage of appropriations bills by the end of November, the farm bill reauthorization, and the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) by the end of December.


This week, Senate leadership announced a bipartisan agreement to pass an appropriation “minibus”—a legislative vehicle that combines some of the appropriations bills — which includes the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs, Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Transportation, and Housing and Urban Development appropriations bills.


“After many discussions with members on both sides of the aisle about ensuring a robust amendment process and a final vote on this strong, bipartisan package of appropriation bills, I am pleased to say we have reached an agreement to finally get voting on the amendments and passage of this minibus,” said Senate Appropriations Chairwoman Patty Murray (D-WA).


The Senate began voting on the minibus amendment on Thursday, with voting continuing into the next week. The National Council of Churches of Christ in the USA has long advocated for food security measures, especially for marginalized people. While NCC applauds the Senate’s bipartisan effort to pass these appropriations bills, Senators are urged to increase funding levels for critical programs such as the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) that provides food assistance for millions of women and young children who depend on the program for survival.

WCC Observes World Mental Health Day

World Mental Health Day, commemorated on October 10, is dedicated to drawing attention to the importance of mental well being and to highlight areas of need and bottlenecks.

The theme for this year was “Mental Health Is a Universal Human Right.” This meeting promoted collaboration between churches and professional organizations on mental health.

Since May 2020, the WCC Health and Healing Program has been convening meetings of ecumenical partners that are working in the area of health to share knowledge and experiences, to fellowship and to explore together the possibilities of joint actions on the COVID-19 pandemic. While the pandemic evolved, the meetings proved useful for strengthening our fellowship and enriching our work and common calling, and have thus continued, and are evolving into a formal network.

Click the link below to access the Zoom recording of the proceedings as well as slides of the presentations.

Additional Resources

Health-Promoting Churches: Reflections on Health and Healing for Churches on Commemorative World Health Days 

Use this LINK

Health-Promoting Churches Volume II: A handbook to accompany churches in establishing and running sustainable health promotion ministries 

Use this LINK

Health-Promoting Churches Volume III: Contextual Bible Studies on Health and Healing

Use this LINK

  • • • • • •

Health Note

“Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well.” (3 John 1:2) 


More than 1 in 10 adults worldwide has diabetes, and almost half of those individuals are unaware that their blood sugar levels are too high.  The theme for this year’s World Diabetes Day (November 14) is “Know your risk, know your response.”  People with type 2 diabetes can delay or prevent complications by controlling their blood sugar levels with medication, healthy nutrition, and active lifestyles. Psychosocial and spiritual support from churches can help members improve their diabetes self-management.   

Creation Justice Ministries Celebrates 40 Years of
Eco-Justice Work in the Ecumenical Community

Dr. Benjamin Chavis, keynote speaker, addressing the crowd gathered at the CJM celebratory event.

NCC joined Creation Justice Ministries (CJM) in celebrating 40 years of eco-justice work on Thursday, Oct. 26, at Foundry United Methodist Church in Washington, D.C. The momentous occasion, themed “We’ve Come this Far by Faith: A 40th Anniversary Service of Celebration,” included past and present NCC board members and staff and was attended by hundreds of participants both at the church and online.


The event celebrated 30 years of the NCC Eco-Justice Program, which was established in 1983, and 10 years of the continuation of the work through Creation Justice Ministries, which is now led by Co-executive Directors Karyn Bigelow and Avery Davis Lamb.


Dr. Benjamin Chavous, Jr., president of the National Newspaper Publishers Association, a decades-long environmental justice champion, and an ordained United Church of Christ minister, gave the keynote address. “We have a powerful Creator who puts things together to benefit all of creation,” he said, noting that the event theme implies that faith itself is a journey.


In his address, Dr. Chavis emphasized that we must be better stewards of God’s creation, and as better stewards, we have to be better at caring for one another. He also said we must be our brothers and sisters’ keepers and rededicate ourselves to the work of environmental stewardship.


“We’re all part of one human family,” said Dr. Chavis. “Let us prepare for onward on this journey.”


Renowned composer Ken Medema offered original selections focused on creation care for the event and gave a stirring extemporaneous response to the sermon that lifted Dr. Chavis’ work and the 66 times he went to jail for civil rights as a statewide coordinator in North Carolina for Martin Luther King Jr. and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. Cathy Chamblee wrote the lyrics to two of the songs, anthems composed by Medema, “Elegy for a Glacier” and “Sacred Earth.” Another original musical selection, titled, “Creation is Waiting for Us,” was written and composed by Medema, John and Alyssa Creasy, Bryan Sirchio, Andra Moran, and Beverly VanderMolen.


NCC Board Members Rev. Dr. Angelique Walker-Smith (National Baptist Convention USA, Inc.), and Pdn. Sergei Kapral (Orthodox Church in America), and Dr. Nathan Hosler (Church of the Brethren), both of whom serve on the Creation Justice Ministries board, were in attendance as well as NCC Chief Operating Officer Rev. Dr. Leslie Copeland-Tune. Dr. Copeland-Tune offered congratulatory remarks at the reception and stressed the importance of working together on environmental stewardship.


“The road ahead is bumpy and filled with many obstacles, but working together we can and will make a difference,” she said.


NCC had a strong presence in attendance at the celebration. Former NCC staff members who led the eco-justice work for NCC and Creation Justice Ministries, Cassandra Carmichael and Shantha Ready Alonso, also participated in the celebration, as well as former NCC Board member and a past president of the Progressive National Baptist Convention Bishop Carroll Baltimore, who now serves as the chair of the Board of Creation Justice Ministries.


Creation Justice Ministries Board Members in attendance who also have been active in the broader work of NCC included: Rev. Melanie Mullen, Director of Reconciliation, Justice and Creation Care for The Episcopal Church; Rev. Fr. Nicholas Anton, Director of Operations for the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the USA, Greek Orthodox Diocese in America, who once served on NCC’s Racial Justice Task Force; and Rev. Kip Banks, past Progressive National Baptist Convention General Secretary and a former member of the Justice and Advocacy Commission, also participated in the celebration.

Pdn. Sergei Kapral, Rev. Dr. Angelique Walker Smith, Rev. Dr. Lesle Copeland Tune, and Rev. Fr. Nicholas Anton at CJM reception

Churches for Middles East Peace Issues Action Alert, Hosts Weekly Prayer Gathering

We are deeply saddened by the continued violence, bloodshed, and unfathomable level of grief felt by the many Israelis and Palestinians who have lost friends and loved ones. A protracted Israeli military offensive, including a possible ground invasion, could result in considerably more deaths and a broader regional war. CMEP calls for the U.S. government to pursue an immediate ceasefire in order to help prevent any further deaths.

Rep. Bush and her colleagues currently supporting this resolution, call on the Biden administration to “urgently end the current violence” and open up corridors to Gaza for “humanitarian assistance.” Each day without a ceasefire will just bring more suffering, pain, and death to civilians in Israel/Palestine.

Thank you for your continued support. Now more than ever it is critical Congressional offices hear from constituents who stand for peace and justice for all in Israel/Palestine. 

Note: If you are unable to take action, it is likely because your Representative has already co-sponsored the legislation. 

• • • • • • •

Join Pray for Peace Every Wednesday

12:30 pm - 1:00 pm Eastern

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.

CMEP expresses great sorrow for the lives lost in unprecedented violence in Israel/Palestine. CMEP has released several statements condemning all acts of violence committed against civilians and calling upon the U.S. to support the safety and dignity of all people impacted - Israeli and Palestinian. 


See all of CMEP's Public Statements at:

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.

Feeding America Update

DID YOU KNOW? Every community in the country is home to families who face hunger. But rural communities are especially hard hit by hunger.

– Feeding America

Nearly four in 10 people say they don’t have enough cash to cover a $400 emergency and missing one paycheck could mean they cannot cover the cost of food and household expenses without going into debt. Many of our places of worship do their best to help these families in times of need through food pantries, but that’s often not enough. Congress must avoid a government shutdown, which could jeopardize many people’s access to food through potential disruptions to federal employee paychecks and food assistance programs. 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. If Congress does not act, it will create uncertainty for many people, including families, the elderly, and people with disabilities, who depend on federal programs to supplement their groceries. We know that 100% of U.S. counties are home to people experiencing food insecurity, and we must continue the movement to end hunger in this country. 

Philadelphia Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends Issues Statement on Middle East Crisis

Quakers from around the world are in anguish and deeply concerned with the violence in Gaza and Israel. As a historic peace church, we join in the call for peace in the world. After the statements shared below, you’ll find resources if you are looking for ways to support relief in the Middle East and care for others in community.

As members of the Religious Society of Friends, we believe there is that of God in everyone, be they Muslim or Jewish, Palestinian, or Israeli. 


As we witness continued violence in Israel and Palestine, our hearts are heavy with sorrow and a yearning for peace. The willingness to commit violence across lands and homes is a destructive and evil force that echoes throughout human history with ramifications in every faith, home, and heart. The land where the Abrahamic faiths were born is scarred again. The lives of families are ripped apart again.


The violence and death in Gaza and Israel in recent days has been acutely horrifying, even in the context of decades of conflict and oppression.  We call for the soldiers and governments in Israel and Palestine to stop violence now.


The underlying realities of conflict, injustice, and violence must change so that the realities of unity, justice, and peace can transcend war. We are all called to turn our hearts and labor to this change. These are not problems that can be addressed with one approach or with attention to one side or one truth or one thread of history. We are required by our faith to work for justice and peace. We must do this together with our neighbors. Resolution won’t be immediate, but participation in the resolution must start now.  


As stated in the 1660 Declaration, this is our testimony to the whole world.

Melissa Rycroft, Presiding Clerk 
Christie Duncan-Tessmer, General Secretary

National Partnership for Women and Families Head Addresses Senate Committee on Paid Leave

On Wednesday, October 25, National Partnership for Women and Families President Jocelyn Frye joined the Senate Finance committee to share her expertise on why paid leave (#PaidLeave) is a must for workers, for businesses, and for our economy.

The National Partnership believes that no one should have to choose between caring for their family or sacrificing their financial security.


To learn more, click on the link below.

"Manna Matters: Liberty, Justice, and Food Security for All” Virtual Seminar on November 1

In preparation for Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week and the bustling holiday seasons where families and friends will gather around a shared meal, the Colorado Council of Churches, the Louisiana Interchurch Conference, the North Carolina Council of Churches, and the South Carolina Christian Action Council invite you to join a one-hour, faith-based conversation about the legislative work of the Farm Bill 2023, the challenging injustices of food insecurity and food deserts in marginalized communities across the United States, and practical ways faith communities and houses of worship can advocate and champion healthy relationships with food and local farmers with sustainable resources through the holidays and beyond.

To participate in the event, click the registration link below.

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.

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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