Subject: NCC Weekly News: The Church, 70th Anniversary of Hiroshima, and Racial Justice Resources

View this email online if it doesn't display correctly

From Jim: Unbridled Power and the Church of Jesus Christ
My feeling is that if you were born in the 15 or 20 years following World War II, as I was, as a white male in the United States of America, then the air you breathed, the worldview you imbibed, the social messages you received, all pointed to the feeling that you were part of the most powerful group of people who ever trod the face of the earth.

George Kennan, the legendary US diplomat who played a key role in crafting post-war foreign policy, wrote in a secret document in 1948, “We have about 50% of the world's wealth but only 6.3 of its population. This disparity is particularly great as between ourselves and the peoples of Asia. In this situation, we cannot fail to be the object of envy and resentment. Our real task in the coming period is to devise a pattern of relationships, which will permit us to maintain this position of disparity without positive detriment to our national security. To do so we will have to dispense with all sentimentality and daydreaming; and our attention will have to be concentrated everywhere on our immediate national objectives. We need not deceive ourselves that we can afford today the luxury of altruism and world benefaction...”

The power exercised by my race and gender was utilized in order to maintain and increase that power in order to control the world. Trillions and trillions of dollars were expended to create ever more powerful nuclear and conventional weapons, to construct a string of hundreds of military bases and installations around the world, and to carry out wars against enemies, real and perceived. Much of this money was utilized to develop a massive spy apparatus with the capability to snoop, infiltrate, and eavesdrop on people, nations, and organizations around the world, including our own citizens, and to overthrow governments.

Of course, all along there were pockets of resistance even among white US males. I think a number of key influences played a role, even in my own family, to awaken us to the danger of unbridled power and the seeking of world dominance. They included Jesus Christ, Mahatma Gandhi, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Dorothy Day, Jim Lawson, and Martin Luther King, Jr. These teachers, leaders, preachers, and activists told us of a better way based on love and peace. 

I believe over time their teachings and those of others have had a profound influence on the member communions of the National Council of Churches so that today this great Council, in the name of Jesus Christ, searches for Christian unity, spreads the word of God through the Holy Scriptures, nourishes countless people weekly through Sunday School material, and stands in the halls of power on behalf of the last, the least, and the lost. 

I am grateful to be part of a movement of Christians working alongside all others of goodwill in God’s Creation to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with God.
Bishop warns against war, leads trip to Hiroshima, Nagasaki

In high school, Bishop Mary Ann Swenson argued against the proliferation of nuclear weapons as a student debater.

Fifty years later, Swenson, the ecumenical officer for the United Methodist Council of Bishops, still warns against the danger of nuclear war, but as vice moderator of the World Council of Churches. In early August, she will lead a WCC delegation to Japan for the 70th anniversary commemorations of the atomic bomb attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki during World War II.

That danger is so great, she noted, that it “really threatens the survival of humanity if (a nuclear bomb) is ever used again.”

Church leaders from eight of the 40 governments that still rely on nuclear weapons are part of the WCC pilgrimage to Japan, where they will listen to survivors, pray with local churches and reflect with other faiths on the plight of the two cities. Nine countries possess nuclear arsenals and 31 are willing to have the United States use the weapons on their behalf.

Worship Resources for Racial Justice

Since the killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, MO, a collective of UCC faith leaders from across the country have gathered on conference calls convened by the Rev. Geoffrey Black. They share about the on-going efforts at local and conference settings to keep people mobilized and engaged in countering institutional racism and sanctioned violence. And they seek to identify all-Church initiatives with course of actions that can make a difference over time. They have recommended Sunday, August 9, 2015, the actual anniversary of Mike Brown’s death, as a time for the UCC to pray together for racial justice, and have prepared a variety of prayers for use by congregations. These prayers may be adapted and used not only on this day, but on other days and in other settings in which people gather to pray and witness to justice for all who suffer the violence of racial injustice.

NCC leaders sign onto letter encouraging Pope Francis’ message in U.S.

As national religious institutions and faith leaders in the United States, we write to enthusiastically welcome you to our country and its capital. Our public policy advocacy offices in Washington work across denominations and faiths to protect the needs of those marginalized by what is all too often an economy of exclusion.

Since the time of the U.S. civil rights movement in the 1960s, many of us have collaborated in Washington to promote U.S. federal policies rooted in the values that all of our faiths share. Our representatives in Washington meet daily with U.S. policy makers in Congress and the White House to advocate for a more inclusive society and a more just, peaceful and ecologically sustainable world. We work together on messaging and strategy, engage our faith-based constituencies across the country, hold interfaith prayer vigils, rallies and processions, and have proposed a Faithful Budget for our nation’s spending.

'We Are All Ferguson' Conference August 2-9

"We Are All Ferguson" aims to bring people together in productive ways for a series of workshops and conferences on Aug. 2-9 at Wellspring Church, a United Methodist congregation in Ferguson. The event will bring together community and business leaders to address the racial and economic issues that became widely known in the wake of the shooting of Michael Brown last year. "We Are All Ferguson is not just about the ZIP code," said the Rev. F. Willis Johnson Jr. of Wellspring. "It's about the shared human experience and the realities we're all faced with across the country of immense inequities, injustice and the need for us to work toward the eradicating of them."

Ecumenical Opportunities:

The Jesuit Conference is seeks a Senior Advisor on Environmental Justice.  The Conference coordinates the ministries of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) in Canada and the United States and facilitates relations with the Jesuit international headquarters in Rome. Located in Washington, DC, the Jesuit Conference also maintains an advocacy office which aims to educate and inform legislators, public officials, and multinational corporations on issues of importance which affect the Jesuits’ mission of social justice and faith. The office is nonpartisan and seeks to express how Catholic values such as human dignity and the common good are at stake in policy decisions. The office adopts its advocacy priorities in conjunction Jesuit works throughout the United States and Canada, and in partnership with Jesuit institutions abroad.

The Jesuit Conference seeks a full-time employee to fill this position. Salary is commensurate with experience and compensation includes an excellent benefits package.

The Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate – Justice, Peace, and Integrity of Creation Office is seeking a full-time Communications Coordinator. The Office of Justice, Peace, and Integrity of Creation coordinates social justice ministry and advocacy efforts in the United States of the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate on behalf of the interests of the poor and abandoned in the U.S. and 65 countries where the Oblates are in mission.

The Communications Coordinator assists in developing and implements the organization’s communications and outreach strategy. The communications coordinator will ensure that all Oblates JPIC communications; website, print, social media, event resources reflect and support the Missionary Oblates JPIC strategic mission and goals. Communications Coordinator will report to the JPIC Director and the Associate Director.

World Student Christian Federation seeks a creative, innovative, dynamic and energetic person to fill the position of Communication Campaign Coordinator for eight months starting in September 2015. Work location: Anywhere in Canada and the US, with a preference for New York City. Click here to apply.

Justice Fellowship (JF), part of Prison Fellowship Ministries, advocates for the reform of the justice system so communities are safer, victims are respected and lives are transformed. Our growing team is seeking an Advocacy Volunteer Coordinator in our Lansdowne, VA office. For more information, click here.
110 Maryland Ave NE, Suite 108, Washington, DC 20002, United States
You may unsubscribe or change your contact details at any time.