Subject: NCC Weekly News

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Charlottesville, Virginia Call to Clergy and Faith Leaders

To our Colleagues in Ministry and Friends in Faith,

We need your help. On August 12th we call for 1,000 clergy and faith leaders to show up in Charlottesville, VA to confront a national white supremacist rally.

On August 12, will you please join us in prayer and in person in Charlottesville, Virginia? We call on white clergy, especially, to join us in person. This is a call for partnership in direct, nonviolent action on a crucial day for our city, and in a critical moment for our country. We need your prayerful presence.

On August 12, hundreds of white supremacists from around the country will rally with white nationalist leaders for hours in our most prominent public park. From information that these groups are presenting and sharing online we have concluded that there is an extremely high potential for physical violence and brutality directed at our community.

We need your help - we don’t have the numbers to stand up to this on our own.

On Hiroshima-Nagasaki anniversary, new treaty to ban nuclear weapons kindles hope

On the 72nd anniversary of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the world can find hope in a new treaty, the text of which has been negotiated and agreed by a large majority of the world’s governments, to outlaw nuclear weapons.

In comments reflecting on the anniversary, World Council of Churches (WCC) general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit said, “for the survivors of the atomic bombings in 1945, and for all who seek the complete elimination of nuclear weapons on humanitarian, ethical and moral grounds, the new draft Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons agreed at the United Nations on 7 July 2017 is cause for thanksgiving and a catalyst for renewed resolve.”

“This new development in international law is best understood against the mass destruction of the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on 6 and 9 August 1945 and the suffering and abiding sorrow that ensued,” he said.

On this anniversary the WCC joins survivors of the bombings and the victims of nuclear weapon testing in other parts of the world in welcoming the new treaty, Tveit continued. “We are grateful for every member church united in public witness for nuclear disarmament over many decades, and for all those ecumenical, civil society and UN partners who have contributed to this recent achievement,” he said.

The Bombs of August: “An Extremely Dangerous Precedent”

The way Harry Truman saw it in August 1945, there was a sickening possibility that the Second World War would end in a historic bloodbath. The only alternative to a mutual massacre of American and Japanese troops, he believed, was the atomic bomb that his scientists told him was ready to use.

Months earlier, in the battle of Buna-Gona, New Guinea (my Dad was there and wrote about it in his diary,, 2,300 Americans were killed and 12,000 were wounded. In land battles on Iwo Jima and Okinawa, U.S. forces suffered 75,000 casualties. On Iwo Jima, the president was informed, 21,000 Japanese troops fought fanatically to hold the island and 20,000 were killed.

In July, as secret plans were underway for a U.S. invasion of Kyushu, the interception of Japanese messages indicated their military build-up on Kyushu was four times larger than earlier estimates. In Truman’s estimation, the Japanese military government was prepared to fight on until every soldier was dead or wounded.

The atomic bomb, Harry Truman said, was the only way to “end the agony of war.” On Truman’s orders on August 6, an American B-29 dropped a bomb on Hiroshima killing 80,000 people.

Bishop Younan Accepts the Niwano Peace Prize

Bishop Dr. Munib Younan accepts the Niwano Peace Prize from the Rev. Nichiko Niwano during a ceremony Thursday morning 27 July 2017 in Tokyo, Japan. Photo by Ben Gray / ELCJHL

Tokyo, 27 July 2017 – In a ceremony among his professional peers, long-time friends, and his supportive wife, The Right Rev. Dr. Bishop Munib Younan receives the Niwano Peace Prize today for his work toward interreligious dialogue among Christians, Muslims, and Jews in Jerusalem and worldwide. Bishop Younan is the 34th recipient of the distinguished Niwano Peace Prize.

The prize comes at a time when Muslims and Israeli security clash daily in an increasingly tense period in his homeland. Before leaving to accept the prize for his work in this very context, Bishop Younan, together with the heads of churches in the Holy Land, released a statement in support of a peaceful resolution that honors the historic status quo of Holy sites in Jerusalem.

Each year The Niwano Peace Foundation (NPF) of Japan recognizes an individual or organization that has dedicated their service and scholarship to promoting peaceful cooperation among religions particularly in places of difficulty.

With gratitude, Bishop Younan accepted the prize from the Honorary NPF President The Rev. Nichiko Niwano.

Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop responds to Trump’s transgender military ban

“I am compelled to oppose these actions and to affirm the moral principle of equal rights for all persons, including the LGBTQ communities,” Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop and Primate Michael B. Curry stated in his statement. “I do so as a follower of Jesus Christ, as Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, and as a citizen who loves this country.”

The presiding bishop’s statement follows:

In light of President Trump‘s tweet banning transgender individuals from serving in the military and the Department of Justice’s argument that employers can legally discriminate against people on the basis of sexual orientation, I am compelled to oppose these actions and to affirm the moral principle of equal rights for all persons, including the LGBTQ communities. I do so as a follower of Jesus Christ, as Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, and as a citizen who loves this country.

This conviction is not born primarily of a social ideal, but of the teachings of Jesus of Nazareth and the witness of our biblical and theological tradition.

Genesis 1:26-27 teaches us that all human beings are created in the image and likeness of God. This is a divine declaration of the inherent sanctity, dignity and equality of every person.

WCC invites global participation in World Week of Peace in Palestine and Israel

The World Council of Churches (WCC) is inviting people across the world to unite in peaceful actions to create a common international public witness for just peace in Palestine and Israel.

Through a World Week of Peace in Palestine and Israel from 17-24 September, the WCC hopes to follow up on joint prayers for justice and peace in the Holy Land, held in Jerusalem on 5 June, and WCC Peace Consultations with global church leaders, which took place in Beit Sahour two weeks later.

During the World Week of Peace, on Thursday, 21 September, the International Day of Prayer for Peace will be observed.

In a letter released this week, WCC general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit reminded people that, despite 50 years of occupation and despair, hope prevails for a just peace in Palestine and Israel.

“The World Week of Peace is yet another opportunity to remind the world about the unsolved conflict in Palestine and Israel and to show solidarity with peace seeking people suffering under occupation,” wrote Tveit.

Ecumenical Opportunities:

Church World Service is seeking a creative and visionary leader to fill the position of Media Associate. The ideal candidate will live and breathe a commitment to immigrants’ rights and a coalition approach to advocacy, and thrive in a creative environment in which no day is the same. This team member will join and be at the intersection of the CWS Advocacy, Communications, and Immigration and Refugee Program staff teams.

Church World Service is seeking a savvy digital media intern to support our communications work.This internship offers valuable real-world experience in digital media outreach, online organizing, and graphic design.

The National Religious Campaign Against Torture (NRCAT) seeks a full-time Director of U.S. Prisons Program to coordinate national interfaith organizing and strategic state and federal advocacy for its interfaith members working to end the torture of solitary confinement in U.S. prisons, jails, and detention centers. Strong preference for the position to be based in NRCAT's Washington, DC office, though open to possibility of remote work.

Does your vocation include obtaining resources to support your ministry’s mission?
Then you're invited to attend the Ecumenical Stewardship Center Mission Funding Forum.

Ecumenical Stewardship Center Forum Groups provide those engaged in similar stewardship-related vocations gathering places for networking, support, and learning. 

Come to the Forum

The Mission Funding Forum Group Gathering will take place September 19-20 at the Lancaster Marriott at Penn Square, Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Participants consider the current trends, best practices, challenges, and opportunities unique to serving faith-based organizations in an informal roundtable format.

There is no registration fee for the Forum: participants care for their own transportation, lodging, and meal expenses. 

Stay for the Conference

The Everence Development Conference immediately follows the Forum at the Lancaster Marriott at Penn Square, ending on September 22. Featuring a variety of workshops and keynote speakers including Jim Wallis and Susan Schultz Huxman, "Bridge to a Shared Tomorrow" is a quality learning opportunity. Mission Funding Forum participants interested in attending need to register for the conference. 

Learn More and Register for the Mission Funding Forum

Learn more and register for the Everence Development Conference

Register today! Forum registration ends August 31. Conference early-bird registration ends July 24, and closes August 28.

Questions? Contact the Ecumenical Stewardship Center
855-278-4ESC (4372)

About the Ecumenical Stewardship Center: 
As a Network for Growing Stewards, the Ecumenical Stewardship Center (ESC) provides resources that encourage faithful stewardship and generous giving as transformative spiritual practices for faith communities. Nineteen denominations and several stewardship-related organizations in the US and Canada are partners in ESC's mission and ministry. You can find them on the ESC website at 
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