Subject: NCC Weekly News: Family Separations, Human Rights Commission

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End the Cruel Family Separations

The National Council of Churches joins its voice with those of countless others in opposition to the cruel separation of families being carried out by the United States of those seeking refuge along the border with Mexico.

We reject the allegations that the children and adults seeking refuge from economic privation, violence, and political turmoil are criminals. Rather, they are good and decent hardworking people. The overwhelming majority of them happen to be Christians.

These are our sisters and brothers. We know them and have stood and worked in solidarity alongside them for many years—throughout the infamous ‘War on Drugs,’ throughout the ‘Contra Wars,’ and as many of them have sought peace and a new home in our land.

Hundreds of our churches have declared themselves to be sanctuaries for those fearing incarceration and deportation. We have long advocated for comprehensive immigration reform that will enable a path to citizenship, the reunification of families, and protection of the rights of workers.

We reject the misuse of Romans 13 by Attorney General Sessions and White House Press Secretary Sanders to justify reprehensible actions. Many more scripture passages insist on helping the immigrant, the sojourner, the poor, and those in need of aid.

We reject the notion that President Trump is powerless in this situation because of a ‘Democrat law.’ With a stroke of the pen, he can put an end to the travesty taking place along the border.

Therefore, we call on the United States government to reunite children with their families and to establish a humane and just system to assist those seeking asylum and refuge in our nation.

“And the King will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of 
the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.’”

-Matt. 25:40 NRSV

Community of Christ: Statement from President Veazey Regarding Immigrant Families

On Friday, June 15, I contacted the United States Attorney General by email and voicemail to express my grave concern about the policy of separating children from their refugee immigrant parents.

I stated that such a practice is ungodly, unchristian, and contrary to scriptural teachings about how to treat the most vulnerable in our midst, especially children.

I called on the attorney general to immediately end the current policy because it is unjust and unacceptable. I urge other members and friends of the church who share this concern to communicate your views to governmental officials.

We must join our voices and efforts with others who are working daily to liberate the children and reunite them with their families.

American Baptist Home Mission Societies decries migrant family separation

American Baptist Home Mission Societies Executive Director Dr. Jeffrey Haggray has released a statement decrying the separation of migrant children from their parents at the U.S. border.

“Treating children as prisoners, depriving them of their basic right to be with their families, is not biblical in any way,” Haggray says. “American Baptist Home Mission Societies decries this absurd interpretation of Scripture. Since Jesus’ time it has been God’s intent to keep families together, despite insensitive governments.”

The statement is in response to U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ quoting of the Bible to justify separating children from parents who supposedly enter the U.S. illegally.

Family Separations: A word to the Church

“Let mutual love continue. Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by doing that some have entertained angels without knowing it. (Hebrews 13:1-2, NRSV)

Over the past several weeks, new policies for the implementation of immigration laws have resulted in family detention and the separation of thousands of children from their parents across the United States. We, the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), have proclaimed ourselves to be a pro-reconciling/anti-racist church, which extends welcome to all people, recognizing that every person is created in the image of God. As followers of Jesus Christ, we are commanded to “love one another; for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law” (Romans 13:8). When we start with love, we will understand that when laws dehumanize and discriminate, we are faithful in opposing such laws, and we are faithful in using our voice and our vote to call for love.

We condemn, therefore, the policy and practice of separating children from families and criminally prosecuting all persons who enter the United States without previous authorization. We denounce actions that degrade our neighbors and treat as criminals those who seek freedom and safety.

NCC Opposes Withdrawal from UN Human Rights Council

The National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA (NCC) opposes US withdrawal from the UN Human Rights Council. Over the past year, the United States has made additional unfortunate decisions to withdraw from UNESCO and the Paris Climate Accords. Further, the US has pulled out of NAFTA and the TPP.

US disengagement from its international and treaty obligations is regrettable and alarming. We urge President Trump and other elected leaders to participate in the international community in a constructive manner.

Clergy, laity file complaint against Sessions

More than 600 United Methodist clergy and laity say they are bringing church law charges against U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, a fellow United Methodist, over a zero tolerance U.S. immigration policy — a policy that includes separating children from parents apprehended for crossing into the U.S. illegally.

However, an authority on church history and polity said he’s unaware of a complaint against a lay person ever moving past the district level.

The group claimed in a June 18 statement that Sessions, a member of a Mobile, Alabama, church, violated Paragraph 2702.3 of the denomination’s Book of Discipline.

The National Council of Churches is a proud sponsor of the Wild Goose Festival
The NCC Podcast Returns! 

The award-winning National Council of Churches Podcast took a long break over the winter.  Why, you ask?  What's our excuse? Well, we had a very large event to plan for!  Now that we're back, be sure to set your favorite podcasting app to download new episodes of our interview-based podcast to hear the top faith leaders of our time.  

This week: If you missed the April 4 "A.C.T. to End Racism" rally, we're playing back two powerful speeches from this amazing day.  Hear Rabbi Jonah Pesner from the Religious Action Center for Reform Judaism along with Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield from Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream on this week's podcast.   

Look for us at the iTunes store, iHeart Radio, Stitcher, and the Google Play store.  A new episode will be released each Friday.

NEW BOOK: United Against Racism

Authentic Christianity requires the loving inclusion of all God’s creation. An inclusive, beloved community is a community free from racism. United Against Racism is a call to an authentic Christianity, a religion that strives to become God’s inclusive, beloved community. It summons Christians to pray, think, and act to end racism. This resource aims to support churches, communions, and those who endeavor to share the journey of the Christian faith in the pursuit of an unfinished agenda to embody a more excellent way of racial equity. 

Church leaders from many backgrounds have praised United Against Racism:

United Against Racism is a huge gift from the church to the church. Its generative format invites every Christian and Christian community to hear the call and assume the vocation of being ambassadors of reconciliation. Without apology I encourage its wide use.

--Bishop Gregory Vaughn Palmer
Ohio West Episcopal Area, United Methodist Church

Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel, after marching alongside Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., wrote, 'When I marched in Selma, my feet are praying.' This resource presents a compelling chorus of diverse Christian voices that will inspire our feet to pray with people of other religions and worldviews for an end to racism in our time.

--Rev. Elizabeth A. Eaton
Presiding Bishop, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

It is the essential role of the church to speak out against the sin of racism and mend the persisting divides it has caused in our society. This resource is a valuable tool in provoking thoughtful responses on the meaning of repentance for the sin of racism and helpful as Christians seek to live faithfully to God's call to love our neighbors and seek the common good.

--Jim Wallis
New York Times bestselling author, President and Founder, Sojourners

A heartwarming and inspiring ensemble of voices inviting the Church and our nation to re-engage America's sin of racism. The National Council of Churches spurs the conscience of every American in the quest for a more just and equal America.

--Rev. Dr. A. Roy Medley
General Secretary Emeritus
American Baptist Churches USA

Get your copy today for the discounted price of just $12! This is a limited time offer so make sure you buy your copy soon. Special discounts are also available for orders of 10 copies or more, just email Use it for your Sunday School class, area conference pastor gatherings, youth groups, small groups - or just use it yourself.

Ecumenical Opportunities:

Christian Peacemaker Teams is searching for a new Administrative Director. Partnering with nonviolent movements around the world, CPT seeks to embody an inclusive, ecumenical and diverse community of God's love. We believe we can transform war and occupation, our own lives, and the wider Christian world through:
  • the nonviolent power of God's truth
  • partnership with local peacemakers
  • bold action

For more information, click here.
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