Subject: NCC Weekly News: Christian Unity Gathering, New Podcast

View this email online if it doesn't display correctly

Join us for the Christian Unity Gathering 2016!
May 4-7 at the Doubletree Hotel Baltimore Washington Airport

Fear Not: God's Love in an Anxious Age

Are you planning on attending our annual Christian Unity Gathering this year? This is the signature annual event for the National Council of Churches, and this year it will take place in Baltimore May 4th through 7th. Top national speakers, film screenings, and vibrant worship are all part of the Christian Unity Gathering. Be sure to register now to take advantage of the discounted rate, only available for a short time. You can register and find out more by checking our Facebook page and our website linked below.

At this year's Gathering, we will explore what it means to be a people who show God's love in a time where fear defines the lives of our communities, our political discourse, and our nation. Particular focus will be how we can work against the fear we find in the mass incarceration of and violence against communities of color and hateful actions and speech against our brothers and sisters of other faiths.

Central to our time together will be face to face meetings of our Convening Tables and Governing Board. Register now to get the discounted rate!

National Council of Churches of Korea Statement Concerning North Korea’s Launch of Kwangmyongsong-4

The Reconciliation and Reunification Committee of the National Council of Churches (NCCK) expresses a deep regret on North Korea’s launch of Kwangmyongsong-4 on February 7 as it will heighten on the Korean soil the arms race among superpowers and eventually threaten peace and stability in North East Asia. We are also greatly concerned that in the present situation the South and the US are jumping into the decision to deploy on the Korean peninsula the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) and establish a KOR-US-JAPAN Missile Defense system in response to the launch of Kwangmyuongsung-4 earth observation satellite.

1. We oppose the deployment of THAAD on the Korean peninsula.
The THAAD deployment will only increase the possibility of military conflict and clash beyond the Korean peninsula, in the entire North East Asia region. China and Russia are strongly opposing the THAAD deployment with the possible establishment of KOR-US-JAPAN Missile Defense system that will follow after. The THAAD deployment will aggravate a new Cold War between KOR-US-JAPAN and China-Russia, at the same time as it may offer a beginning that will lead the whole region to war. The painful experience of the Korean War has taught us that peace and stability in the Korean peninsula cannot be achieved by force. Hence we ask that both the South and the US immediately cancel the decision to deploy the THAAD and begin dialogue with the North, China and Russia for denuclearization as well as a long-lasting peace system on the Korean peninsula.

2. We pose a fundamental question about the international society’s additional sanctions against the North.
The international society along with the UN immediately declared additional harsh sanctions against the North in reaction to the satellite launch. However the international society has to acknowledge that North Korea as a sovereign state has the right to launch satellites that are not equipped with nuclear warheads. Additionally it cannot be denied that the international society’s sanctions and pressures on the North have not created fundamental solutions and that they have rather aggravated the “vicious cycle of confrontation.” Therefore we appeal to the UN and the international society that it is not sanctions and confrontations but dialogues and negotiations, understanding and tolerance that will prevent total collapse.

3. We urge Park Geun Hye’s administration to stop the attempt to pass the Anti-Terrorism Act.
Despite the fact that it has been publicly acknowledged that terror can be sufficiently prevented with the existing organizations and laws, the Park administration is attempting to pass the Anti-Terrorism Act using the North’s nuclear tests and satellite launch as pretexts. If the Anti-Terrorism Act, which is currently being pushed by the government and the ruling party, is enacted and implemented, absolute power will be centered on the National Intelligence Service and our society will face a non-democratic reality in which people experience severe restriction of their freedom and rights in the consolidation of the government’s power. With a warning that the Anti-Terrorism Act will heavily damage the healthy development of democracy, we urge the government and the ruling party to stop using the current North situation as a pretext to pass the Anti-Terrorism Act.

Peace on the Korean peninsula and stability in the North East Asia cannot be achieved through an arms race. Only dialogues, negotiations, understanding and tolerance will pave way for peace and reunification.

February 8, 2016
Kim Young Ju, General Secretary, NCCK
Noh Jung Sun, Chair of Reconciliation and Reunification, NCCK

Lenten Resource: What’s in the Pipes
Published by FaithLens, a resource of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

Warm-up Question

If you could only have one beverage to drink for the next month, what would it be and why?

What’s in the Pipes

The last time you turned on the water to brush your teeth or wash your hands or get something to drink, were you worried about the quality of your water? Thankfully, most water systems in the United States are regularly tested and are fairly safe, but unfortunately for the residents of Flint, Michigan a series of governmental decisions and cost-cutting measures combined to create a water system with ” abnormally high levels of e. coli, trihamlomethanes, lead, and copper,” which caused severe health problems for many local residents.

For years, Flint enjoyed excellent water pumped from Lake Huron. But under pressure from rising water costs, a shrinking tax-base, and an overwhelming debt, leaders in Michigan and Flint made the decision to begin pumping water from the Flint River. In April 2014, Flint made the switch and residents began to notice a bad taste in the water and a nasty smell. Initial tests revealed there were dangerous levels of bacteria and other compounds present. Flint issued boil orders and increased the amount of chlorine in their water to try and address the issues, but those measures didn’t resolve all the problems. While some local officials attempted to raise the alarm, the process of addressing the issues with Flint’s water was extremely slow.

The National Council of Churches Launches a New Podcast

The NCC is bringing the best, most interesting and relevant voices from the faith community to your mobile device. Every week NCC communications director Rev. Steven D. Martin interviews faith leaders, activists, and people from across the NCC's 38 member communions and affiliated organizations.

As we launch this podcast, you can help us by subscribing in the iTunes Store and (coming soon) Stitcher Radio.  If you like what you're hearing, please put a review in the iTunes store.  By doing this you will help us reach a much wider audience.

This week's episode
Good News From the Muslim World: The Marrakech Declaration

In January, while the east coast was being slammed with a major winter storm, scholars and leaders from around the world gathered in Morocco to put the finishing touches on “The Marrakech Declaration,” a groundbreaking statement on the imperative for Muslim-majority societies to protect the rights and freedoms of religious minorities.

In this episode we will hear from three leaders about this document and its importance to interfaith relations across the globe. We will talk to National Council of Churches President and General Secretary Jim Winkler, who took part in the January conference; Dr. Tony Kireopoulos, our resident scholar and expert on interfaith relations, and Catherine Orsburn, Director of the Shoulder-to-Shoulder initiative, a program that works to end anti-Muslim sentiment in the US. We’ll take a look at the Marrakech Declaration and discuss its importance to the current religious and political climate both domestically and internationally.

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