Subject: NCC Newsletter – September 23, 2023


September 23, 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!

Extremists in Congress Chose Politics Over People to the Detriment of Millions of Americans

A government shutdown looms as House Republican leadership fails to unite the extreme members of their conference around legislation that would provide temporary funding for critical government services set to expire on September 30.


Without stopgap funding, which often occurs in the form of continuing resolutions, non-essential government functions will halt, negatively impacting the millions of people who provide and rely on these services.


The impact of the shutdown would be that federal employees and military personnel would not receive paychecks, but also would delay the processing of some government services and send a message of government instability throughout financial markets.


Extremists in Congress backed away from their commitment to fund key government programs agreed upon in budget negotiations and delayed the appropriations process, practically forcing a government shutdown. They continue to choose politics over people, without regard for the far-reaching implications of their actions.


NCC calls on Congress to put partisan politics aside and work in good faith to provide for the needs of the American people, particularly those in marginalized communities. On Tuesday, September 26, NCC urges member communions, partners, and people of good faith everywhere to call their members of Congress, remind them of their duty to serve their constituents with integrity and tell them to work together to pass legislation to avert the government shutdown.

NCC Action Alert: House Considers Short-term Governing Funding Proposals

Leadership in the House of Representatives is considering short-term governing funding proposals (CR or continuing resolution) that would make draconian cuts to the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) program which provides healthy foods to pregnant women, breastfeeding, and post-partum women and children under 5 years old.


The proposed cuts to the Women, Infant, and Children (WIC) program are cruel. This program provides healthy foods to pregnant, breastfeeding, and postpartum women, and children under 5 years old.

If allowed, cuts mean that millions of women and children will either have less food or lose access to food entirely. Contact Congress and tell them to protect the nutrition of women and children: no WIC cuts in short-term funding proposals.

Sign up here for more NCC Action Alerts.

A Journey to Jubilee: Faith Leaders Charting the Path to Beloved Community

Journey to Jubilee participants with NCC Advocacy Consultant Rev. Adwoa Rey (front row, far right), NCC Chief Operating Officer Rev. Dr. Leslie Copeland-Tune (front row, third from right), and NCC Civic Engagement and Outreach Consultant Rev. Stephen Green (second row, second from right)

During the heart of the Congressional Black Caucus ALC Week, a momentous event unfolded on September 21 — the "Journey to Jubilee Faith Leader Roundtable Discussion." This gathering brought together 25 faith leaders, activists, and policy advocates united by a fervent commitment to justice.


Democracy in Focus: At the forefront of discussions was the defense of democracy, a sacred right under threat. Faith leaders pledged to protect voting rights and ensure every voice is heard.


Racial and Reproductive Justice: The dialogue extended to the urgent issues of racial and reproductive justice. Participants resolved to confront systemic racism and champion policies that safeguard reproductive rights.


A Vision for 2024: The gathering didn't stop at identifying problems; it looked to the future with the "Summer of Jubilee" in 2024. This initiative promises a season of activism and transformation.


The Jubilee Agenda: Faith leaders jointly created the "Jubilee Agenda," a roadmap for a Beloved Community. It outlines key issue priorities to guide their efforts.


Reflecting on this pivotal moment is a reminder that change begins with unity and commitment. The “Journey to Jubilee” is a beacon of hope, lighting the path to a more just and equitable society. The journey continues, with faith leaders, activists, and advocates leading the way, guided by their unwavering belief that a Beloved Community is within reach. Stay tuned for more updates, and commit to joining this inspiring journey!

Reparatory Justice Webinar

Wednesday, September 27, 2:30pm ET

Join a collective of faith-based partners on Wednesday at 2:30 p.m. ET for a Movement update on the work toward reparatory justice and reparations. Members of the Interfaith Reparatory Justice Table convening by NCC will provide updates about their work and how interested persons can get involved in this important movement.


Register for the webinar here

NCC Highlights Parliament of the World’s Religions'

Call to Be Vigilant

Civil rights activist Rev. James Lawson was honored at the 2023 Parliament of the World’s Religions with a keynote delivered by Dr. Veena Howard as part of the Conscience Plenary on Wednesday, August 16. Photo: Parliament of the World's Religions

Dr. Veena Howard wrote the following piece, titled, "A Call to be Vigilant: The Reverend James Lawson’s Message for Defending Human Rights and Freedom," which was published on the Parliament of the World's Religions' website on September 13.

The late Congressman John Lewis offered the highest praise to the Reverend James M. Lawson, Jr. when he called him the “architect of nonviolent movement of the United States of America.” In a recent conversation with me, the Reverend Lawson reflected on the focus of the 2023 Parliament, “A Call to Conscience: Defending Freedom and Human Rights.” Lawson praised the Parliament for this theme, which calls on people of faith [and no faith] traditions to defend precious freedom and human rights.

He told me that in the United States, securing freedom and basic human rights required hard work, sacrifice, and millions of Americans’ defiance of the racist Jim Crow laws and other xenophobic and sexist systems. He reminds people to remain alert of the insidious structures of violence, what he calls, “racism, sexism, militarism, and plantation capitalism,” which hold the power to deprive fellow humans of their rights, dignity, and freedom.

As a Civil Rights Leader, Lawson recalls that in the late 1950s and 1960s, he held workshops in Nashville, Tennessee, for students from colleges in the surrounding area. He taught them strategic nonviolence to fight segregation and violence through “soul-force,” or “love force.”

Read the article in its entirety here.

CEFFLD to Discuss Eco-justice

Join the CEFFLD Convening Table in Nashville, October 9, 1-4 p.m.
Plan now to join a follow-up Zoom conversation, October 24 @ 4pm 

Christian Education, Faith Formation, and Leadership Development co-conveners Janné Grover and Reshma Phillips, with NCC CEFF Director Tammy Wiens and Cassandra Carmichael (NRPE), will guide the convening table conversation in Nashville with a view toward crafting an updated statement and call to action around environmental justice. 

The convening table will read this brief NCC statement (2004) as context for the conversation on a fresh statement for the present moment.

WCC Delegation Visits Armenia, Sees Humanitarian Aid Blocked in Lachin Area

WCC general secretary Rev. Prof. Dr Jerry Pillay near the bridge connecting the Lachin corridor to Nagorno-Karabakh (Artsakh). Photo: WCC

A World Council of Churches (WCC) delegation nearly reached the Lachin corridor on September 19, the same day Azerbaijan launched attacks against Armenian forces in the Nagorno-Karabakh (Artsakh) region.


In a video message, WCC general secretary Rev. Prof. Dr Jerry Pillay stood near the bridge connecting the Lachin corridor to Nagorno-Karabakh (Artsakh). 

“Just a few hours ago, there have been some shootings that have taken place, and we are told that some soldiers have actually been killed, so we are being prevented from going further,” said Pillay. “We have taken a decision not to proceed because it is a risk, and so we at least are here, and we can partly see certain things, and we know this entire place is blocked.”

Pillay said he could clearly see that, with regard to the Lachin corridor, the roads are not open or free to anyone, and there is definitely no passage for goods to be transported unless permission is granted. “So it is a sad situation, but we are here,” said Pillay.

“We have come as far as we possibly can go. We can’t go any further, and we appreciate that the soldiers and the church consider it highly risky for us to proceed, so we will not proceed,” he added. 

The delegation is visiting Armenia to express solidarity of the global fellowship, study the situation, establish facts, and consider with the local leaders and people what the WCC can do to address the situation. 

“There is total restriction in terms of movement, and this obviously describes the situation of the people,” said Pillay. “We are quite sure that not many goods have reached them and therefore they would be denied access to humanitarian support unless permitted, so we are concerned—and we do want to share this situation with everybody out there in terms of what we are experiencing in the Lachin corridor.”

The corridor has been blocked for more than nine months, seriously affecting the lives and living conditions of 120,000 people, including children. 

His Eminence Archbishop Vicken Aykazian, Vice Moderator of the WCC Central Committee and on the scene with Pillay, said that war is taking place. “While we have seen many difficulties in our history, we have had one of the worst genocides,” he said. “My message to the world leaders and to human beings is: don’t oversee another genocide. I am calling the presidents, the prime ministers of major countries: Do not oversee a genocide that is taking place right now.”

He also thanked the World Council of Churches, the Protestant Church of Switzerland, and other churches and organizations for their solidarity with the Armenian people. 

More information available here:

Jubilee USA Network Hosting Jubilee Weekend 2023

October 14–15

Developing countries continue to struggle with the havoc wreaked by the COVID-19 pandemic. This amid a polycrisis, where people everywhere are struggling to pay for food and electricity, are experiencing war or the domino effects of it, increased climate disasters, and more.

There's so much more that needs to be done to help redo the decades of progress that were undone, create a world where we all have enough, and ensure that our planet is healthy for our children and their children. Jubilee USA Network believes economic solutions are vital in surmounting these effects and enabling the most vulnerable to emerge from crises with resilience.


During the 2023 Jubilee Weekend, October 14–15, 2023 the Jubilee USA Network will begin to prepare the way for a momentous Jubilee Year in 2025. During Jubilee Weekend, the IMF, World Bank, and G20 will gather to make decisions that determine which direction the world will go to solve the polycrisis. As they continue trying to overcome the effects of COVID-19, their goal is to educate others about the debt crisis and call for increased Special Drawing Rights sharing from rich countries to poor countries, increased debt relief from all debt creditors, and a comprehensive, universal debt restructuring tool. 


Organizations can sign-up to participate using this link: Jubilee Weekend—Protecting the Vulnerable Amidst Multiple Crises: The Road to Jubilee 2025 or by contacting Anjoulie Woodhead, Communications and Outreach Director, by email at, or by phone at (202) 964-0134. 


They ask organizations to take one action during Jubilee Weekend and faith communities to offer one prayer. Review the Jubilee Weekend 2023 Guide here.

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.

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:

Invitation to Show Opposition to Anti-LBGTQ+ Amendments

Please join Keshet, the Interfaith Alliance, and the National LGBTQ+ Task Force in voicing strong opposition to the nearly 40 anti-LGBTQ+ amendments proposed to the 12 FY2024 House Appropriations bills.

People of faith and conscience are gravely concerned about these efforts to discriminate against the LGBTQ+ community. Amendments stripping LGBTQ+ individuals of life-saving healthcare, targeting Pride flags and drag shows, and discriminating against same-sex couples in programs across the federal government are antithetical to our nation’s founding principles of equality.

  • The letter can be found by using this link.

  • Sign on using this link.

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.

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.

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

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:

• • • • • •

 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 

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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