Subject: NCC Weekly News: An Unjust Federal Budget, Paris Climate Agreement

View this email online if it doesn't display correctly
From Jim: A Budget That Leaves the Poor in the Dust
The astounding budget proposals put forward by President Trump should give pause to every Christian. If enacted, over $2.5 trillion of cuts for programs like Supplemental Nutrition Assistance and Medicaid will hurt struggling families. Meanwhile, more money will be spent on weapons. This is fundamentally wrong and unnecessary.

This is not a Christian budget. And, yet, there are many Christians who view those living in poverty as unworthy and undeserving. “They should just get a job” is the mantra I’ve heard all my life. As one who started working part-time jobs in my mid-teens, I suppose I could easily fall prey to this harsh and simplistic formula, but if I did I would not be true to the teachings of Jesus Christ.

Many Christians who voted for Mr. Trump but who do not believe the poor should simply be left in the dust are struggling with how to respond. Countless Christians are involved in mercy ministries: soup kitchens, food pantries, and homeless shelters. They believe in feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, and sheltering the homeless.

But, Jesus also demands we free the oppressed. That’s where we have to move from mercy to justice. That’s when we have to go to city hall and the state house and Capitol Hill and insist on affordable housing, health care for all, and a livable wage. Wages have been stagnant, housing prices have risen, and plans are afoot to cast more than 20 million people off of health insurance. Inequality between the rich and poor has grown.

The soul of the church is at risk. The National Council of Churches and the Ecumenical Poverty Initiative oppose cuts to child care programs, housing assistance, job training programs and work opportunities. We need for Catholics and evangelicals to stand with us, united, to stop this from happening.

In past years, an ecumenical and bipartisan circle of protection has gathered to speak truth to power when assistance to the poor, needy and vulnerable was threatened. It was easy to do so when there was a dependable presidential veto that provided a backstop to legislation that would have punished people because they are sick or don’t have enough money.

Now, however, we have a president who is leading the charge and Christian unity is needed more than ever. Mr. Trump proposes $1.9 trillion in health care cuts. Not only would millions and millions lose their health insurance under his proposal, but Medicaid would be slashed on top of that.

Job training grants would be reduced by 40% and housing vouchers for 250,000 lower income households would be eliminated. There would be no more Low Income Energy Assistance to help poor people pay their heating bills.

Don’t believe it when you hear that this won’t happen. It will be stopped only if Congress hears our people insisting that it must not happen. I simply do not believe that most people in this nation desire to enrich the wealthy and punish the poor. 

Lift up your voice now!

Grace and Peace,
Jim Winkler
General Secretary and President

Dozens Arrested After Health-Care Protest in North Carolina

The head of the North Carolina NAACP was among more than 30 people arrested Tuesday during a demonstration against Republican lawmakers' refusal to expand Medicaid coverage — the latest in a long string of protests the NAACP and members of the "Moral Monday" movement have waged since the GOP returned to power in 2013.

With zip-ties on their wrists, the Rev. William Barber and 31 other protesters were led away by police as supporters continued protest chants in support of health care for all.

Before Tuesday's arrests, a group comprising doctors, health care workers, clergy and others marched through the hallways and gathered near the offices of House Speaker Tim Moore and Senate leader Phil Berger, where other protesters sat outside. Police also arrested some protesters who had entered Brunswick County Republican Sen. Bill Rabon's office.

Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop responds to Trump’s decision to pull U.S. out of worldwide climate accord

President Donald Trump announced June 1 that he would pull the United States out of the Paris Agreement, a 2015 pledge to limit climate change signed by 196 nations.

The agreement includes a plan to decrease carbon emissions and limit global warming to 2 degrees Celcius, and a commitment from wealthier nations to provide $100 billion in aid to developing countries. The agreement is the first-ever binding, international treaty in 20 years of United Nations climate talks.

UCC advocates urge 'Stay the course on climate care,' despite U.S. withdrawal from Paris Accords

President Donald Trump is pulling the United States out of the Paris Climate Accords, despite the voices of corporate America, some of his advisors and millions of earth care advocates around the country.

In the White House Rose Garden Thursday afternoon, Trump announced his administration is abandoning the landmark agreement to cut global emissions, siding with conservatives who say the 2015 deal harms the economy.

The Paris Agreement, signed by 195 countries, has been the focus of much debate in the West Wing of late, with Ivanka Trump, the Secretary of State and hundreds of major U.S. businesses urging the president not to withdraw from the accords. The President's decision puts the U.S at odds with the rest of the world, siding with Nicaragua and Syria, which never signed.

"The Trump Administration's decision to exit the Paris Climate Agreement is a travesty, a crime against the future of people and the planet," said Executive Director May Boeve. "The choice they had was clear, and they decided to side with fossil fuel billionaires over the overwhelming majority of Americans who support the agreement."

Green Epistle to the Indian Churches: “Remember your Creator and Creation” (Ecclesiastes 12:1) on World Environmental Day (June 5, 2017)

From time to time and as and when necessary Churches have been responding to Ecological Catastrophes through various ministerial and diaconal interventions. Rather than waiting to address such catastrophes, it is imperative for Churches to deal with the context of climate change and the environmental crisis that destroy lives and threaten the future of earth communities, that are created by God almighty.

The summer this year has reached a decade high, resulting in drought in several parts of the county, while the monsoon season is expected to result in floods that would swallow agricultural fields. Such extreme weather conditions are not at all favourable to our country, but yet, we have to go through the experience of the same.

Obviously, such erratic ecological phenomena are the result of human exploitation of nature; it is sin against God and God’s creation. Beholding creation, God had said “…it is indeed very good”. However when we look around we might not be able to see much goodness in creation, because we have done severe damage to creation for our own selfish ends. For instance, mismanagement and misuse of water has dried up usable water, resulting in drought in several places. The drought that has affected parts of our our nation has dried up fields making them barren, leaving many creatures starving for food. This has also led to suicidal-deaths of many farmers who had taken huge loans for successive years to invest in crops, but were unable to pay back because of our human-made droughts.

The Parliament of the World’s Religions Condemns President Trump’s Plans to Withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement

The 21st century presents no greater moral challenge than addressing the threat of human-caused climate change.

President Donald Trump has utterly failed that test.

The Parliament of the World’s Religions condemns in the strongest possible terms the President’s decision to renege on the commitment of the United States to the Paris Climate Agreement, a pact signed by 195 nations and formally ratified by 147 nations.

The decision is wrong from every relevant perspective:

  • Scientifically, it is unsound and indefensible.
  • Economically, it undermines the ability of the United States to build a competitive economy for the future, sacrificing US jobs at almost every level of production and service, sacrificing American competitiveness in every market.
  • Medically, it condemns hundreds of thousands to unnecessary sickness and premature death.
  • Politically, it undermines the United States' credibility and trustworthiness with its strongest allies as well as its fiercest competitors, and thus strikes a self-inflicted blow against national security.
  • Our condemnation of this decision is based on our conviction that the decision is wrong, but not just in the sense that it is incorrect. This decision is wrong in the sense that it is evil—it will result in devastation to life on Earth for generations to come. Its global consequences and impact on every living being on the planet makes it fundamentally immoral.
NCC Remembers, With Prayers, Victims of Portland Attack

This past week, our country witnessed heroism that often happens unseen. In Portland, Oregon, three men came to the defense of two teenage girls, one of them an African-American and one of them wearing a hijab, who were being verbally assaulted by a white supremacist because of the girl’s Muslim faith. In the altercation, two of the men, Rick Best and Taliesin Namkai-Meche, lost their lives, and a third, Micah Fletcher, was injured. The attacker is now in custody.

Every day in America anti-Muslim sentiment, like racism, raises its ugly head, and every day American citizens come to the defense of their Muslim neighbors. This defense is based on the principles of religious freedom and the belief that all men and women are created equal in the sight of God, and are deserving of equal respect in society. It is also based on one of the most basic affirmations of American life: that we are all neighbors.

Check Out the Award-Winning
National Council of Churches Podcast!

Winner of the DeRose-Hinkhouse award for excellence in Digital Communications!

“Fascinating topics on issues moral, religious, and political.
Very well edited—actually—the editing is ‘impeccable!'”

This week's episode: Nathan Hosler, director of the Washington office of the Church of the Brethren, joins us to talk about community gardening and how churches are using gardens to make a difference.

Be sure to subscribe to the podcast in the iTunes Store, Stitcher Radio, and iHeartRadio. If you like what you're hearing, please write a review. By doing this you will help us reach the widest possible audience!

Ecumenical Opportunities:

The Episcopal Church is accepting applications for the full-time position of Domestic & Environmental Policy Advisor, a member of the Presiding Bishop’s staff. As part of the Episcopal Church Office of Government Relations based in Washington DC, the Domestic & Environmental Policy Advisor focuses on environmental policy and U.S. domestic policy. The Advisor represents the Episcopal Church to the U.S. Congress, the Administration, and other domestic and foreign government bodies and mobilizes Episcopalians to undertake advocacy on critical issues supported by the Episcopal Church’s General Convention Policy.

For more information contact

Church World Service (CWS) is hiring an Ecumenical Relations Manager: this Immigration and Refugee Program (IRP) congregational and member communion relations representative responsible for coordinating, maintaining and expanding faith community involvement in welcoming refugees. Under the direction of the Associate Director, Community Organizing for IRP+, the incumbent will work with CWS member communions, denomination representatives, and local congregations to engage them in refugee resettlement. They will provide leadership and direction for faith community outreach among CWS refugee resettlement offices and coordinate with the CWS Advocacy team, including refugee organizers and leadership teams.

Church World Service (CWS) is hiring a Media Associate: CWS 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.

110 Maryland Ave NE, Suite 108, Washington, DC 20002, United States
You may unsubscribe or change your contact details at any time.