Subject: NCC Newsletter – September 9, 2023


September 9, 2023

Registration is now open!

Click HERE for more information.

NCC Urges Immediate Action to

Protect Endangered WIC Program

Prior to the August recess, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy postponed the critical vote on H.R. 4368, the FY 2024 appropriations bill for agriculture and the Food and Drug Administration, which makes harmful cuts to the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) program which provides healthy foods to pregnant, breastfeeding, and post-partum women, and to children under 5 years old. The NCC strongly opposes H.R. 4368. The bill would inflict harm upon, and dramatically change the lives of, more than 5.3 million people.


Early next week, the Senate is expected to take up a procedural vote to advance S.213, the Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act of 2024, which unfortunately for the millions of women and children that rely on food and nutrition assistance, will not include additional funding for the WIC program. The critical program is underfunded for fiscal year 2024 and if more funds are not allocated, not all eligible applicants will be able to participate in the program. Unlike other government programs, WIC has enjoyed bipartisan support over the years. During the August District Work Period, NCC focused our advocacy efforts on ensuring the WIC program is sufficiently funded.


On Tuesday of next week, NCC urges you to call your Senators (you can find their contact information here) and tell them to uphold the legacy of bipartisan support for providing adequate funding for food—the most basic of human needs—for pregnant women, breastfeeding, and postpartum women and young children.

Funding for AIDS Relief Program in Jeopardy

Partisan fiscal battles in Congress this summer have put a popular, effective, and bi-partisan program at risk of defunding. The President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) expires this year. The program was proposed by former President George W. Bush in 2003. Later that year, Congress passed, and President Bush signed, the U.S. Leadership Against AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria Act of 2003, which created the Office of the Global Aids Coordinator and authorized $15 billion over five years for global efforts to address HIV/AIDS.


Since 2003, $110 billion has been invested in the program, with the FY23 budget funding totaling $6.9 billion. PEPFAR has provided antiretroviral treatment to 20.1 million people, prevented more than five million babies from being born with HIV, provided HIV testing to 64.7 million people, and much more.


PEPFAR must be reauthorized every five years, and 2023 is the last year of its current authorization. In June, NCC joined 44 national and international faith-based organizations to call on Congress to reauthorize PEPFAR by the end of FY23, which comes at the end of September. That letter highlighted the disproportionate impact of HIV/AIDS on the continent of Africa and the vital need for this funding to continue to maintain control of the HIV/AIDS pandemic. Click here for the link to that letter.


You can support these leaders’ voices by sending your own message to your member of Congress and senators. Click here to take action 

Friends Committee on National Legislation Releases

The People’s Unfunded Priorities List for FY 2024

The Friends Committee on National Legislation is a national nonpartisan Quaker organization that lobbies Congress and the administration to advance peace, justice, and environmental stewardship.


The People’s Unfunded Priorities List for Fiscal Year 2024

Each year, Congress requires the Pentagon to draft a wish list of weapons that the administration didn’t ask for, known as the “Unfunded Priorities List.” This year, the Pentagon is requesting more than $16.4 billion above the President’s $886 billion defense budget request for FY 2024.

These lists offer a backdoor for boosting already excessive defense spending, a practice that has received bipartisan criticism. Even the Pentagon is on record opposing the Unfunded Priorities List and urging Congress to “reconsider this approach.”

President Dwight D. Eisenhower famously said, “Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed.”

Instead of giving the Pentagon and weapons contractors an additional $16.4 billion to fund their wish list for weapons and war, the American people deserve to get their own unfunded needs met. This year, FCNL’s People’s Unfunded Priorities List highlights four key areas where these additional funds could be better spent supporting human needs.

Community Violence Intervention

The Need: Invest in Effective Community Violence Intervention Programs, like Violence Interrupters

Cost: For $945 million, Congress could significantly boost community violence intervention programs, reducing gun violence nationwide.


Gun violence is a public health crisis that disproportionately affects low-income Black and Brown communities. Justice reform experts estimate that investing in CVI programs at a rate of $45,000 per homicide that has occurred in a city would result in a “sizeable reduction in violence.”

Housing Assistance

The Need: Significantly Increase Housing Choice Vouchers to Reduce Homelessness 
Cost: For $16.4 billion, Congress could provide an additional 1.3 million Housing Choice Vouchers.

This country is experiencing a housing crisis made worse by systemic racism. Black Americans experience homelessness at a rate of 3:1 compared to the general population. Programs like Housing Choice Vouchers seek to ensure low-income individuals and families can access housing through rental assistance.

Vouchers reduce homelessness and lift more than a million people above the poverty line. An additional $16.4 billion would fund about 1.3 million more vouchers, providing many more households with vital housing assistance.

Refugee Resettlement

The Need: Fund Refugee Resettlement

Cost: For $1.875 billion, Congress could fund the resettlement of 125,000 refugees.


The U.S. refugee resettlement system is a core pillar of the nation’s commitment to provide protection and refuge to persecuted communities. Refugee settlement services include assistance for necessities like housing, food, clothing, job training, and case management.

Studies show that the average yearly resettlement cost for a refugee is approximately $15,000. $1.875 billion would fund the resettlement of 125,000 refugees. 

Nutrition Assistance

The Need: Fully Fund the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC)
Cost: For $7.3 billion, Congress could fully fund the WIC program.

The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) provides food assistance, counseling on healthy eating, breastfeeding support, and other critical services to low-income pregnant and postpartum parents, infants, and young children.


Current spending bills in the House and Senate would deny or cut WIC benefits for 700,000 to 5.3 million parents and young children.

Congress needs to provide an estimated $7.3 billion to fully fund WIC so it serves all eligible families while maintaining the current healthy food benefit level. $16.4 billion is enough to more than double that funding need.


Maryland AME Church Named Fastest Growing in US

Last week Kingdom Fellowship AME Church in Beltsville, Maryland, was named the fastest growing church in America by Outreach Magazine. They also interviewed Pastor Matthew Watley about how the church's growth continued through service during a pandemic.

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

Catholic Charities USA Hiring Policy Analysis Director

Enhance Catholic Charities USA’s mission and goals through policy analysis, with special emphasis on federal and state regulations.

Primary Responsibilities:

  • Follow, track and analyze relevant legislative activity in Congress with special attention to regulatory actions by Federal and State Public Agencies relevant to the Catholic Charities ministries.

  • Fact checking development, communications, and research materials for legislative and regulatory accuracy.

  • Coordinate and work with Government Relations team in submitting regulatory comments.

  • Helping Catholic Charities agencies understand and develop policy initiatives and regulatory responses on a wide variety of issues.

  • Work with Government Relations team to develop legislative, regulatory, and advocacy strategies.

  • Foster communication, cooperative planning, and integration among the divisions and departments of CCUSA and the member organizations regarding regulatory policy and advocacy.

For more information, click here.


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