Subject: NCC Newsletter – September 16, 2023


September 16, 2023

Registration is now open!

Click HERE for more information.

The Christian Unity Gathering is just a few weeks away, and we have an exciting program and speakers who will be joining us. 

Confirmed speakers and presenters include:

  • Dr. Shijy Alex, Vice President of Operations, Ascension Holy Family Hospital

  • Dr. Aly Benitez. Assistant Professor of Practice of Religion, Psychology, and Culture, Vanderbilt Divinity School

  • Bishop Ann Henning Byfield, Bishop, 13th Episcopal District, African Methodist Episcopal Church

  • Bishop Elizabeth Eaton, Presiding Bishop, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

  • Dr. Obery Hendricks Jr. Visiting Scholar, Departments of Religion & African and African Diaspora Studies, Columbia University

  • Rep. Gloria Johnson, Tennessee House of Representatives, District 90

  • Dr. Nicolas Kazarian, Ecumenical Officer, Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America

  • Jennifer Lackard, Deputy Police Commissioner, Mt. Vernon, NY

  • Rev. Harold Love, Pastor, Lee Chapel AME Church, State Rep., Tennessee House of Representatives, District 58

  • Rev. Ingrid McIntyre, Pastor in Residence for Community Engagement, Belmont University Methodist Church

  • Rev. Garland Pierce, Executive Director of Christian Education, African Methodist Episcopal Church

  • Rev. Dr. Rob Schenck, Visiting Faculty of Christianity and Religious Leadership, Hebrew College

  • Dr. Phillis Sheppard, E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Chair, Professor of Religion, Psychology, and Culture, and Womanist Thought, Vanderbilt Divinity School

  • Bishop Teresa E. Snorton, Chair of the College of Bishops, Christian Methodist Episcopal Church

  • Rev. Dr. Renita Weems, Ordained minister, Hebrew Bible Scholar, and Author 

Join NCC at the Embassy Suites by Hilton Nashville Airport for engaging dialogue, impactful and relevant speeches, and conversations with leading scholars, preachers, educators, and thought leaders! The registration fee for 2023 is $199.

Seminary students are eligible for a $100 discount by using the code "seminary."

For more information or to register, click the link here or above!

New Census Data Underscores Need for Increased WIC Funding and Permanent Child Tax Credit

Last week, funding for the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) program stalled after the Senate failed to pass a procedural vote to bring three appropriations bills up for consideration, including an agriculture appropriations bill. As previously reported by the NCC, the Senate version of the agriculture bill does not include additional funding for the WIC program, a cause for concern for participants of the program and advocates.


A recent report from the Center on Budget and Priorities (CBPP) estimated that 600,000 eligible new parents and young children would be unable to participate in the WIC program without funding well above the current level appropriated by the Senate.


On Tuesday, the U.S. Census Bureau released "Poverty in the United States: 2022." According to the report, the Supplemental Poverty Measure (SPM) rate, developed by the Census Bureau in partnership with the Bureau of Labor Statistics, increased dramatically in 2022, rising by 4.6 percent. Even more alarming is the child poverty rate, which more than doubled, from 5.2 percent in 2021 to 12.4 percent in 2022. These dire statistics underscore the importance of government programs that support the most vulnerable in society. Research shows the expanded and improved child tax credit included in the American Rescue Plan that expired in 2021 raised more than 61 million children out of poverty. Making the child tax credit permanent could have averted this unfortunate circumstance by providing financial security to more families in need.


NCC will continue to advocate for making the child tax credit permanent and increasing funding for the WIC program and other federal programs that help people escape poverty. But NCC cannot do this alone. The NCC urges member communions, partners, and fellow advocates to join this effort by calling their Senators (Senate contact information here) and telling them to uphold the legacy of bipartisan support and provide food and nutrition for pregnant, breastfeeding, and postpartum women and young children through the WIC program.

NCC Joins Feeding America 

September is Hunger Action Month, and NCC is pleased to partner with Feeding America in urging Congress to pass a strong Farm Bill and to continue anti-hunger advocacy.

The Farm Bill is the country’s primary policy vehicle for addressing hunger in America. It includes all federal funding for local food banks and pantries, the SNAP program, and programs that feed low-income senior citizens age 60 and over. The Farm Bill is traditionally a bipartisan piece of legislation and is up for reauthorization this year.

In partnership with our friends at Feeding America, we are helping to organize leaders in the faith community to help lift their voices in support of the Farm Bill.

If you wish to join us and help advocate for the 2023 Farm Bill, tell Congress to pass a strong Farm Bill here!

Celebrate Democracy with NCC on September 19

Join the National Council of Churches (NCC) on September 19, 2023, as we come together to mark National Voter Registration Day. This special day emphasizes the critical link between faith and civic duty.

Faith leaders, NCC invites you to take the lead in registering your congregants to vote and encouraging your communities to exercise their right to vote as well. Together, we can make a difference and advocate for justice and compassion in our society!

OPINION: US Census Figures Show Harm Done by Letting Poverty Programs Expire

 A child joins his father as Bronx residents receive food at the St. Helena Pantry in the Bronx in New York City. The weekly pantry serves hundreds of individuals and families experiencing food insecurity. The pantry was started by Father David Powers during the COVID pandemic. While the pandemic has eased, the need for food hasn't. (Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Following is an excerpt from an editorial by Rev. David Beckmann, coordinator of the Circle of Protection, an advocacy coalition of church bodies and ministries that include 100 million people. He is both an economist and a pastor. His opinion piece appeared in Religion News Service.


The Census Bureau just released the results of its annual survey of poverty in America. Together with the results for the past three years, these new numbers tell a surprising story — effective action by Congress during the pandemic, followed by a hasty retreat from helping struggling families, made for a clear demonstration that dramatically reducing poverty is feasible if we choose to do it.

The expanded child tax credit, alongside the other relief measures, had a dramatic impact on child poverty. Child poverty dropped from 10% of all children to just 5%, the lowest level in U.S. history. Evaluative studies found that parents who received support from the expanded child tax credit generally continued working and used the extra money for family needs

But in December 2021, the Senate decided — again by one vote — to end the expanded child tax credit. Child poverty surged the next month.

During 2022 and early 2023, Congress also ended other pandemic assistance programs, such as rental assistance, expanded food assistance, and expanded Medicaid. The effect of ending the pandemic relief measures could not be clearer in the newly released census numbers. Despite unusually strong job growth, the percentage of people in poverty bounced back up in 2022 to roughly what it was in 2019 before the pandemic began. This has been the biggest year-to-year increase in poverty in more than 50 years.


Read the full article here.

Fr. Joe Nangle: 2023 Pax Christi USA Teacher of Peace

Pax Christi USA celebrates Fr. Joe Nangle OFM as the 2023 Pax Christi USA Teacher of Peace with a gathering on Friday, September 29 in Arlington, VA.


This award began in 1978 as a recognition of women and men whose lives and work exemplify the theme of Pope Paul VI’s World Day of Peace message, “To reach peace, teach peace.” 


To join the celebration, click the link below to RSVP or to receive a link to watch the ceremony via livestream.


Religions for Peace Hosts "How Can a Community Become Stronger than Hate?"

Join Religions for Peace in a conversation with Ms. Liz Vogel as she talks about the new film, Repairing the World: Stories from the Tree of Life. Thursday, September 28, 2:00 p.m.– 3:00 p.m.

DC Poor People's Campaign Fall Meet Up September 23

Join the DC Poor People's Campaign (rain or shine) on Saturday, September 23, from 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

The event will include free food and fellowship, along with information about how they are working to build power to address the interlocking injustices of systemic racism, poverty, ecological devastation, militarism, and the distorted moral narrative of religious nationalism, all while enjoying the first day of fall! Follow hashtag #itsfallya'll on social media.

They will hear from attendees regarding the issues that are closest to their hearts and receive a preview of the coordinated actions at various state capitals in February 2024 and a Moral March on Washington in June 2024! 

Register now to attend. If you plan to attend, bring a lawn chair or blanket.

Learn more about the DC Poor Peoples Campaign here:

Churches for Middle East Peace Hosts
Brown Bag Lunch on September 21 (w/Virtual Option)

Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) is pleased to host Rev. Dr. Elmarie Parker, the Presbyterian Church (USA) Regional Liaison to Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon for a brown bag lunch on Thursday, September 21, from 12-1p ET at the PCUSA Office of Public Witness Office in the 100 United Methodist Building. RSVPs directly to, are not required, but appreciated. 


A virtual option is available (upon request) for those unable to attend in person. Please contact Kyle Cristofalo ( if you would like to join via Zoom. 


Rev. Dr. Elmarie Parker, PC(USA) Regional Liaison to Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon, will share updates from the region. Come with your lunch, questions and curiosities to a time of conversation focused on this part of the world. Rev. Dr. Parker's bio is also attached. 

Office of the Surgeon General to Host Songs for Hope

The Office of the Surgeon General will host Songs for Hope: A Concert Celebration of the 2023 Surgeon General’s Medallion Awardees for Health, at The Kennedy Center on Monday, September 18 at 7pm.

The event will recognize heroic work to support mental health and well-being during the last years of the pandemic. In addition to awarding honorees with the Surgeon General’s Medallion, the evening will include performances from Aloe Blacc, Ariana DeBose, and more! To support this unforgettable evening, get tickets ($25 per person) here.

Progressive National Baptist Convention of Ohio Hosts
Summit for Civil Rights, September 28–29

Please join the Progressive National Baptist Convention (PNBC) of Ohio at the Summit for Civil Rights on September 28–29, at Cleveland State University in Cleveland Ohio.

The Summit was founded in 2017 as a forum to gather civil rights leaders from across the country who care about both racial justice and economic opportunity for all working people. Those leaders have included prominent elected officials, faith leaders, scholars, and labor leaders. 

The purpose of the Summit is to explore and advance a unifying non-partisan agenda for economic opportunity and racial justice backed by a multi-racial constituency. 

Please click the link here for information about the Summit, including an overview of the program, topics, and goals. The Summit will start at 1:00 PM (ET) on September 28, and end at 4:00 PM on September 29.


Click the links for more information, including registration, lodging, and sponsorships.

Click the following links for more information:

Register for the New York State Association of Protestant Chaplains Education Conference, October 3–5

Register Now! This link will take interested parties to a page to pay online or there is a link to a form to submit a check. The registration deadline is September 15, 2023. The theme for 2023: "Trauma Informed Care for Those We Care for, and the Caregiver" (Psalm 23:1–3).


The conference will be held at Holiday Inn Express Wolf Road, 16 Wolf Road, Albany, NY 12205.


The full registration cost this year is $185.00 (this includes two dinners and one lunch). Those who prefer to pay with a check or who plan to attend only a portion of the conference, please use the form available at this link.

Looking for a way to reflect on the timeless wisdom of Proverbs and Ecclesiastes? Two forthcoming volumes in the NRSVue Bible Journal series can help! 

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 of more than 96 pages. The compact 4.5" by 7" size fits perfectly in the hand and makes it easy to carry the volume with you on the go.

These journals are an excellent gift for yourself and others. Bulk discounts are available! Inquire by emailing

Employment Opportunities

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:

• • • • • •

 United Church of Christ Advocacy Positions


Policy Advocate for Domestic Issues (Full-Time) 

Application Close: October 13, 2023

Reports to Director of Washington, DC Office 

FLSA Status     Exempt 

Starting Salary $83,000 

The Policy Advocate for Domestic Issues shall participate in and have primary responsibility for leading the work of the domestic public policy advocacy. The person in this position will regularly work in cooperation with the national staff of the United Church of Christ. The majority of the work will be carried out with ecumenical and interfaith groups in Washington, various settings of the United Church of Christ, and in secular coalitions. The Policy Advocate is expected to reside in the Washington metropolitan area.


To apply click here.


Policy Advocate for International Issues

Application Close: October 13, 2023

Starting Salary: $83,000 

The Policy Advocate for International Issues shall participate in and have responsibility for leading the work of international public policy advocacy of the United Church of Christ, National Ministries. The Policy Advocate will regularly work in cooperation with other National staff. Much of the work will be done with ecumenical and interfaith groups in Washington, DC, and with larger secular coalitions. The Policy Advocate is expected to reside in the Washington metropolitan area.


To apply click here.


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