Subject: NCC Newsletter: The Role of the Church Against White Supremacy

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The Role of the Church Against White Supremacy

NCC Newsletter
November 25, 2020
Today's Faith & Fire Conversation
During the “twin pandemics” of racism and Covid, and our country’s tumultuous political landscape, these conversations among prominent clergy, academics and activists/organizers are proving to be courageous, contextual, and spiritual/theological. The conversation topics for the series have been derived from MLK’s “Where do we go from here: Chaos or Community?” book chapters and are entitled, “Chaos or Community: Courageous Conversations During Chaos’.

Next week's Faith & Fire Conversation: "The Dilemma of Americans: Where Is Christ?" on December 2, 2020, with the Rev. Dr. Rob Schenck. Additional panelist information will be shared soon. Check our website for all the details about future Conversations and for recordings of past Conversations:
Denouncement of Cuba Remittance Restrictions
Last Friday, NCC joined with The Center for Democracy in the Americas, Cuba Educational Travel, Cuba Study Group, Engage Cuba, Latin America Working Group, Oxfam America, and the Washington Office on Latin America to denounce the Trump administration’s sanctions on Cuba remittances, which have resulted in Western Union, Cuba’s main remittance sender, announcing the closure of its Cuba operations.

“We condemn the Trump administration’s sanctions on remittances to Cuba, which has led to the imminent shutdown of Western Union’s operations in Cuba and could soon result in the closure of all formal remittance channels. This inhumane policy effectively cuts off a lifeline for the Cuban people as they face a pandemic and an economic crisis, and limits Cuban Americans’ ability to support their loved ones on the island.

“This regulation is the latest in the Trump administration’s systematic attack on remittances to Cuba which have accomplished little other than stirring fear, anxiety, and uncertainty in the Cuban and Cuban American communities on both sides of the Florida Straits.”
WCC urges UNESCO to protect religious, cultural monuments in Nagorno-Karabakh/Artsakh
In a November 23, 2020 letter to Audrey Azoulay, director-general of UNESCO, World Council of Churches (WCC) interim general secretary Rev. Prof. Dr Ioan Sauca urged the protection of religious and cultural monuments the Nagorno-Karabakh/Artsakh region.

“Our concern for the religious and cultural heritage of the region, specifically in the areas newly under Azerbaijani control, is greatly heightened by the repeated shelling of the Ghazanchetsots Cathedral in Shushi that occurred on 8 October, and especially by the numerous reports we are receiving of other more recent desecrations,” Sauca writes. “There are an estimated 4,000 historical, religious and cultural monuments in the areas of Nagorno-Karabakh/Artsakh now under Azerbaijani control – each of them with a powerful spiritual and cultural legacy to impart.”

The loss of this heritage would be an irreparable loss for the whole of humanity, Sauca continues. “We therefore urge UNESCO to take all possible and appropriate measures to protect these sites on the affected territories,” he writes. “In this regard, we welcome the proposal for a preliminary field mission, in order to draw up an inventory of the most significant cultural assets, as a prerequisite for effective protection of the region's heritage.”

Included among the WCC’s more than 350 member churches are the Armenian Apostolic Church (Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin) and the Armenian Apostolic Church (Holy See of Cilicia).

The letter follows a WCC executive committee statement adopted earlier in November that appeals for “respect for the holy sites and cultural heritage of Nagorno-Karabakh/Artsakh” and urges “UNESCO to take all possible and appropriate measures to protect these sites.”
Thanksgiving Message from the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America

"Beloved Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Let us give thanks unto the Lord! Let us celebrate this National Day of Thanksgiving, a time when we remember that the opposite of scarcity is not abundance, but gratitude. President John F. Kennedy’s words ring as true today as they did in his Proclamation of 1963: “Over three centuries ago, our forefathers in Virginia and in Massachusetts, far from home in a lonely wilderness, set aside a time of thanksgiving. On the appointed day, they gave reverent thanks for their safety, for the health of their children, for the fertility of their fields, for the love which bound them together, and for the faith which united them with their God.” This National Holiday has become associated with a time of feasting and family gatherings, but in this year of pandemic, the feasting of many is threatened by food insecurity, and the gathering of families is in question, as we try to keep those we love healthy and safe.

Therefore, I beseech all of you, as you are able, give thanks in your communities by your generosity to those less fortunate than you. Share your blessings, for they are from God Who shines His sun upon all people, just as the rain falls upon the just and the unjust alike (cf. Matthew 5:45). Look into your abundance and see more than the result of of your hard work and natural advantages. See the treasury of God’s blessings that he has gifted to you for you to bestow on others, remembering the word of the Lord: “generously you have received, generously give” (Matthew 10:8).

And if you are unable to gather with your loved ones and families, hold the space in your hearts wide and open for them and all people. There is need in our world for love to be manifest, and your openness to others is a good first step. At every Divine Liturgy, we express our gratitude to God, and we can show that thankfulness by our love for and generosity to others. Εὐχαριστήσωμεν τῷ Κυρίῳ!

With paternal love in our Lord Jesus Christ,

Archbishop of America"

WCC 16 Days Campaign
The “16 Days” campaign is an annual international initiative that begins on November 25, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, and ends on December 10, Human Rights Day. This year, the World Council of Churches (WCC) is highlighting the links between the household of God, and the fundamental need to make our homes safe and loving spaces.

In a unified statement, Thursdays in Black ambassadors, including The Rev. Elizabeth A. Eaton, Presiding Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, have created a joint message, unifying their voices in support of “16 Days against Gender-Based Violence.”The 17 ambassadors reflect on why it is so important to protect those who are vulnerable and abused. "We can create safe spaces for all people who are targets of this violence, especially women and girls in our societies.”

Will you make a gift to support the work of the National Council of Churches? Thanks to a special anonymous donor and friend of the NCC, whatever you contribute will go twice as far. The first $2,000 in contributions will be matched. Contribute today and your generous donation doubles its impact toward peace, progress, and positive change!

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