Devotional Subject: Jutstice

Devotional Subject: Jutstice

Act Now: Unite to End Racism

What: A Rally and a Call to Action

AAwaken the nation to the truth that racism hurts us all
CConfront the ways in which we have been complicit, complacent, or coerced
TTransform – as stories are shared and truth is revealed, name the ways we can change and be transformed: as individuals, families, neighborhoods, communities of faith, and society as a whole

Where: At sites across Washington, DC, including the Lincoln Memorial and the National Mall

When: April 3-5, 2018

  • April 3, 7 PM – St. Sophia Greek Orthodox Cathedral – Ecumenical Service of Repentance in the tradition of Orthodox Holy Tuesday
  • April 4, 9-10:30 AM – Lincoln Memorial – Interfaith Service of Prayer and Preparation
  • April 4, 10 AM-2PM – Washington, DC Mall – Rally to gather, protest, motivate, learn – to Awaken, Confront, Transform our hearts and our institutions – to free them from racism
  • April 5 – Lobby Day – Make our voices heard!

Be part of the nationwide commemoration of the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King’s assassination and be part of this clarion call to the nation! Learn more and sign up for updates via the National Council of Churches.

WHEN
April 03, 2018 at 7pm - April 05, 2018 at 7pm
WHERE
Washington, DC
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WISE Congregations for Mental Health Conference

Save the Date *  Make Your Plans
Do not fear; for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine." Isa. 43:1

On behalf of the UCC Mental Health Network, I warmly invite you to attend our third WISE Conference on Mental Health being held at St. Paul's United Church of Christ, Downers Grove, IL on Friday, May 4, 2018. Being impacted myself by mental health conditions in my own family, I know this Conference does make a difference. It reduces the stigma about mental illness and increases our understanding of mental health conditions and how our congregations can respond. You will experience personal stories; receive practical steps to engage in a mental health ministry in your congregation; and be introduced to the WISE (Welcoming, Inclusive, Supportive, Engaged) Covenant for congregations for mental health. Please join us.

- Alan Johnson

This one–day conference offers:

  • Ways congregations can address mental health concerns
  • Stories from persons affected by mental health issues
  • Practical steps to engage in a mental health ministry
  • Introduction to the WISE (Welcoming, Inclusive, Supportive, Engaged) Covenant
  • Network with those who are on the journey to address mental health challenges
  • On–going support

Learn more and register via the UCC Mental Health Network.

WHEN
May 04, 2018 at 8am
WHERE
St. Paul's United Church of Christ
5739 Dunham Rd
Downers Grove, IL 60516
United States
Google map and directions
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2018 Ecumenical Advocacy Days

UPROOTED.jpg

A World Uprooted: Responding to Migrants, Refugees and Displaced People

Friday, April 20 – Monday, April 23, 2018

Ecumenical Advocacy Days 2018 - a weekend of faith-rooted worship, learning and advocacy in our Nation's capital - will focus on the uprootedness of our world. We will analyze current policy and envision ways to more fully and justly respond to the global and local needs of displaced communities. Together we will seek policy changes that advance hope and overcome the devastating impacts of conflict, climate change and corruption on God’s people.

  • REGISTER - Early-bird registration rates available through March 17th. Register now.
  • SCHOLARSHIPS - Justice and Witness Ministries has designated funding for UCC young adults (ages 18-35) to attend Ecumenical Advocacy Days (EAD) in 2018. Learn more and apply by March 23rd.

Background

We live in a time of upheaval and uprootedness – a world in which each year millions of people cross borders in search of more secure and sustainable lives, while white supremacist ideologies continue to impede the fight for justice and peace for all of God’s people. As we witness historically high levels of migration, we also find that racism, sexism, Islamophobia, xenophobia and other forms of discrimination are also on the rise in our communities and used for political gain. At the root of this global upheaval and migration are the push factors of violent conflict, climate change, and corruption which often intersect with one another. At a time when there is such need around the world, we grieve that the U.S. has greatly reduced its refugee admittance numbers while smaller, poorer countries are stepping up to welcome and provide refuge for those in need. As people of faith, we know we can do more. We believe God is with Dreamers, the migrant and the outcast and calls us to create places of sanctuary; to offer hospitality to the stranger, to welcome all – regardless of faith, race, gender or nationality – and to break down the dividing walls that separate us.

Join us in Washington DC as we gather together and take our message to Capitol Hill! Special opportunities to meet and network with UCC and DOC members and leaders will be available. Don't miss this opportunity!

Testimonial

IMG_7752Emily McKenna, a young adult leader from the UCC Connecticut Conference, describes her time at Ecumenical Advocacy Days as "truly life changing." Read more about Emily's experience in this post - "4 Days of Advocacy: Learning, Networking, and Lobbying."

WHEN
April 20, 2018 at 6pm - April 23, 2018 at 6pm
WHERE
Doubletree by Hilton, Crystal City – Washington, D.C.
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Wendy’s Boycott Fast and Action

Join United Church of Christ General Minister and President Rev. John Dorhauer, author and public theologian Brian McLaren, and 30+ clergy in a National Day of Fasting and Witness on January 18, 2018!

On January 18, 2018, faith leaders from around the country will join together for National Day of Fasting and Witness in protest of Wendy’s executives’ ongoing refusal to join the Fair Food Program.

The fast will take place on the 20th anniversary of the breaking of the 30-day hunger strike undertaken by six workers in 1998, when the Coalition of Immokalee Workers was calling for a dialogue with growers to end poverty and violence in the fields. The hunger strike was finally broken when former President Jimmy Carter and Bishop John Nevins of the Catholic Diocese of Venice intervened, and called upon people to join with farmworkers to bring justice to U.S. agriculture.

Nearly three dozen clergy from Florida to Indiana to California have already answered this January call to fasting and direct action at Wendy’s, including United Church of Christ General Minister and President John Dorhauer and author and public theologian Brian McLaren.

WHEN
January 18, 2018 at 8am
WHERE
Everywhere
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Immigrant Rights Sunday 2018

The first Sunday in May has been designated Immigrant Rights Sunday within the United Church of Christ. Justice and Witness Ministries and Wider Church Ministries are urging congregations to lift up immigrants on this day: to learn about their concerns, honor their contributions to our country and communities, hear their pain, pray for their well-being, and listen to hear where God is leading us regarding issues of immigration.

Welcoming the stranger among us as native born is part of our faith tradition, for we too were once strangers (Exodus 22:21, Leviticus 19:33, Deuteronomy 10:17-19). However, too often the immigrants among us are rejected, treated as outcasts and placed on the margins of society.

May 1st is international Labor Day and has become a day in which we recognize the value and labor of immigrants in the U.S. On the first Sunday in May, congregations are encouraged to include stories about immigrants in their worship service and explore avenues to advocate for immigrant justice.  Below are the most current issues this year on immigration with potential ways to get involved to limit deportations and unnecessary detention of immigrants.

Resources

*If your congregation would like to get more involved on immigrants' rights advocacy and organizing efforts please contact Rev. Noel Andersen - mailto:nandersen@cwsglobal.org.


The Rev. Noel Andersen serves as UCC & CWS Grassroots Coordinator for Immigrants' Rights in Washington, D.C.

WHEN
May 06, 2018 at 8am - May 07, 2018 at 8am
WHERE
Everywhere
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Mental Health Sunday

The United Church of Christ Mental Health Network invites you to highlight mental health on the third Sunday in May or any Sunday that suits your schedule. 

We see Mental Health Sunday as a way for your congregation to begin or to continue to provide education and support to your members around mental health challenges. 

We encourage you to:

  • Plan a Sunday with the theme: "Widen the Welcome: UCC for Mental Health"
  • Use the collection of worship resources in the Resource Guide for Mental Health Sunday. You will find some newly created resources in the resource section below. Worship resources include sermon ideas as well as complete sermons, a litany, unison prayers and more. 
  • Explore the Congregational Toolkits for teaching your congregation about mental illnesses

More Worship Resources for Mental Health Sunday

Download and print these files or edit/format them to meet your needs.

Learn more about the UCC Mental Health Network.

WHEN
May 20, 2018 at 8am
WHERE
Everywhere
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UCC Health and Human Service Sunday

Health and Human Service Sunday is a special opportunity to create awareness of the health concerns of our communities and world, and to learn about the many and various health and human service ministries of the United Church of Christ.  It is observed annually in the United Church of Christ and is an opportunity to talk about health in a holistic way, address the issues of justice in our health care systems and learn about how each of us can become involved. 

The resources for observing Health and Human Service are available throughout the year and may be used for the many opportunities congregations and other organizations have for creating awareness of and responding to the health needs of their communities and throughout the world.

Resources

A Litany for Diakonal Ministry 

Leader: God, our loving creator
People: Make us care enough to trust you.

L: Jesus, friend of all – even the outcasts, the apathetic, all those marginalized
P: Open our eyes to see you in all creation – including the outcasts, the apathetic, all those marginalized.

L: Holy Spirit, God’s fire, make us sharers in the holiness of God
P: Guide us in the direction of those who are vulnerable.

L: God of grace, who creates us into a new community
P: Warm our hearts and souls to love our neighbors as we love you.

L: God of love, you are a wellspring of hope and compassion
P: Give us strength and courage to be a sanctuary to those who are in need of grace and mercy

L: God, our refuge and strength, help our congregations be places of extravagant welcome
P: Help us work tirelessly to make changes in ourselves and in our communities that model a welcoming spirit.

L:   Creator God, with your love you support and sustain us.
P:  Help us recreate the human community to promote justice and peace for the healing of the earth.

L:  O God, pour upon us the precious oil of unity
P:  Let us move forward together with one mind and one spirit

L:  Almighty God, you have called us to feed the hungry welcome the stranger; shelter the homeless; clothe the naked; and comfort the sick and imprisoned.
P:  Help us to remember that we are an extension of Jesus Christ’s ministry in the world. Give us courage to practice diakonia – the ministry of healing, service, care compassion and hospitality.

All:   Where the Church is, there is the mission. Where the Church is, there are those who have been called to live “for the sake of the other.”  Let the love and grace of God be made visible in our mission in health and human service.

Legacies of Compassion and Human Service
Stories from UCC-related health and human service agencies

WHEN
January 28, 2018 at 8am - January 29, 2018 at 8am
WHERE
Everywhere
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Welcoming New UCC Justice Leaders

traci-and-quan.jpgWith the start of 2016 we have welcomed two new leaders to our UCC Justice & Witness Ministries Team. It is our great pleasure to introduce you to the Rev. Traci D. Blackmon as acting Executive Minister and Quan Williams as our UCC Advocate for Domestic Policy.


Thursday, January 18, 2018 at 08:00 AM
Everywhere

Wendy’s Boycott Fast and Action

Join United Church of Christ General Minister and President Rev. John Dorhauer, author and public theologian Brian McLaren, and 30+ clergy in a National Day of Fasting and Witness on January 18, 2018!

On January 18, 2018, faith leaders from around the country will join together for National Day of Fasting and Witness in protest of Wendy’s executives’ ongoing refusal to join the Fair Food Program.

The fast will take place on the 20th anniversary of the breaking of the 30-day hunger strike undertaken by six workers in 1998, when the Coalition of Immokalee Workers was calling for a dialogue with growers to end poverty and violence in the fields. The hunger strike was finally broken when former President Jimmy Carter and Bishop John Nevins of the Catholic Diocese of Venice intervened, and called upon people to join with farmworkers to bring justice to U.S. agriculture.

Nearly three dozen clergy from Florida to Indiana to California have already answered this January call to fasting and direct action at Wendy’s, including United Church of Christ General Minister and President John Dorhauer and author and public theologian Brian McLaren.

Sunday, January 28, 2018 at 08:00 AM through January 29, 2018
Everywhere

UCC Health and Human Service Sunday

Health and Human Service Sunday is a special opportunity to create awareness of the health concerns of our communities and world, and to learn about the many and various health and human service ministries of the United Church of Christ.  It is observed annually in the United Church of Christ and is an opportunity to talk about health in a holistic way, address the issues of justice in our health care systems and learn about how each of us can become involved. 

The resources for observing Health and Human Service are available throughout the year and may be used for the many opportunities congregations and other organizations have for creating awareness of and responding to the health needs of their communities and throughout the world.

Resources

A Litany for Diakonal Ministry 

Leader: God, our loving creator
People: Make us care enough to trust you.

L: Jesus, friend of all – even the outcasts, the apathetic, all those marginalized
P: Open our eyes to see you in all creation – including the outcasts, the apathetic, all those marginalized.

L: Holy Spirit, God’s fire, make us sharers in the holiness of God
P: Guide us in the direction of those who are vulnerable.

L: God of grace, who creates us into a new community
P: Warm our hearts and souls to love our neighbors as we love you.

L: God of love, you are a wellspring of hope and compassion
P: Give us strength and courage to be a sanctuary to those who are in need of grace and mercy

L: God, our refuge and strength, help our congregations be places of extravagant welcome
P: Help us work tirelessly to make changes in ourselves and in our communities that model a welcoming spirit.

L:   Creator God, with your love you support and sustain us.
P:  Help us recreate the human community to promote justice and peace for the healing of the earth.

L:  O God, pour upon us the precious oil of unity
P:  Let us move forward together with one mind and one spirit

L:  Almighty God, you have called us to feed the hungry welcome the stranger; shelter the homeless; clothe the naked; and comfort the sick and imprisoned.
P:  Help us to remember that we are an extension of Jesus Christ’s ministry in the world. Give us courage to practice diakonia – the ministry of healing, service, care compassion and hospitality.

All:   Where the Church is, there is the mission. Where the Church is, there are those who have been called to live “for the sake of the other.”  Let the love and grace of God be made visible in our mission in health and human service.

Legacies of Compassion and Human Service
Stories from UCC-related health and human service agencies

See all events

Where is 'the Rev.' prefix?

(click for larger image)

Congressional web forms require that message fields match their own. Since no uniform standard exists and most offices do not include 'Rev.' as option, such messages would be rendered incomplete and non-deliverable.

Many clergy express frustration — and rightly so — that the UCC's advocacy forms do not include religious titles, such "the Rev.", in drop-down menu options. 

"The problem is not of our making, but rests solely with the requirements of the websites on the receiving end of our messages," explains the Rev. J. Bennett Guess, the UCC's communications director. "Most government offices require that  salutation fields be completed — primarily to confirm a constituent's gender — but they often limit the available responses to a few choices, such as 'Mr.', 'Dr.', 'Miss' or 'Mrs.' Anything message that doesn't conform to required fields is rendered 'incomplete' and therefore 'non-deliverable.'"

When a person completes an online advocacy form at ucc.org, Guess says, the email message is delivered in the same way as if the constituent had completed the web form directly on that Congressperson's website. Therefore, the UCC's website hosting company — Convio — has no other option but to configure its clients' prefix titles so that messages will be received by every members of Congress. If the UCC was to include 'the Rev.' as a salutation choice, Guess says, any emails submitted to office webforms that didn't also have "the Rev." as a prefix option would bounce back to the UCC.

"Ironically," Guess says, "members of Congress say they want to hear from religious leaders, but they don't provide a mechanism for clergy to identify themselves as such."

That's why Guess encourages users to alter the suggested email text so that it accurately describes a person's religious affiliation and viewpoints.