United Church of Christ

Justice Events

Wednesday, February 14, 2018 at 12:00 PM through April 01, 2018

Ecumenical Lenten Carbon Fast


Ash Wednesday invites us into the season of Lent, a time within the church year to acknowledge that we are mortal, limited, so that we might be transformed and become the new life God calls us to be. An initiative of UCC New England Regional Environmental Ministries and endorsed by other denominations and faith groups, the Ecumenical Lenten Carbon Fast is an opportunity to become more conscious and conscientious in our daily lives.

The activities range from the very simple (e.g. eliminate “vampire” electrical use) to the moderately challenging (e.g. take “military" showers) to more long term (e.g. buy local produce).  We consider all of the activities a form of spiritual practice, a concrete way of participating in the stewardship of God’s creation.  The intention is to provide do-able actions which can make a difference; not to overwhelm people, or make them feel bad about themselves, or cause them to feel that the situation is hopeless.  We want people to empower people so they can challenge themselves to do more.

The 2018 daily email messages will run from Ash Wednesday, February 14, 2018 through Easter Sunday, April 1, 2018. Learn more.

Saturday, March 24, 2018 at 09:00 AM
United Methodist Building in Washington, DC

UCC at March for Our Lives

March for our LivesOn March 24, the students and families of March For Our Lives will take to the streets of Washington DC to demand that their lives and safety become a priority and that we end gun violence and mass shootings in our schools today.

The UCC Washington Office, in partnership with the UCC Central Atlantic Conference and the Capital Area Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), will provide hospitality prior to the march. Please stop by the United Methodist Building anytime between 9:00-11:30am. We will provide breakfast fare and snacks to go, and will have a sign-making station, along with pre-printed signs you can carry. All are welcome!

For more information, and tips to help you prepare for the march, check out our FAQ.

The official march program begins at noon and will take place on Pennsylvania Avenue, between 3rd and 12th street NW. It is an easy (downhill) walk from the United Methodist Building and a short ride to the accessibility drop-off point at the intersection of 7th Street and Maryland Street, SW. More information on the march program and route can be found on the March for Our Lives website.

Can't make it to DC?

Sister marches are being planned throughout the nation. View the full list of events.

Engage your congregation.

Check out our UCC study, prayer and advocacy resources and consider how you congregation is called to engage on the issue of gun violence.


Tuesday, April 03, 2018 at 07:00 PM through April 05, 2018
Washington, DC

Act Now: Unite to End Racism

ncc-act-now-unite-to-end-racism.jpgOn April 3-5, 2018 the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA and partner organizations will gather in Washington, D.C. for a historic event to launch its Truth and Racial Justice Initiative. As we mark 50 years since the assassination of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on April 4, 1968, we will commit to do our part to eradicate the entrenched racism that grips the United States and paralyzes our ability to see every human being as equal.

Join UCC General Minister and President, Rev. John Dorhauer, and UCC members from across the country in this Rally and a Call to Action.

Stay tuned for details on a special UCC gathering.

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.

Friday, April 20, 2018 at 09:30 AM

Immigrants Welcome: A UCC response to attacks on immigrants and refugees.


Throughout this year we have witnessed repeated attacks on immigrant and refugee communities. United Church of Christ congregations are responding in ways great and small: ministering to immigrant families, engaging in advocacy, offering sanctuary, and more.

Join us on Friday, April 20th as we hear from pastors, lay leaders and immigrants responding to the needs in their communities. Hear best practices and meet UCC colleagues who can support you and your congregation as we strive to live out our call to be an immigrant welcoming denomination.

This event is free and lunch will be provided. Register below.

This one-day event precedes the 2018 Ecumenical Advocacy Days conference. Please consider joining us for both. Learn more and register for EAD.


Rev. Randy MayerRev. Randy Mayer, Good Shepherd UCC
When Randy began to look for a church to pastor, he and his wife, Norma, dreamed of being as close to the US/Mexico border as possible. For the past 19 years, Randy has served The Good Shepherd as their Lead Pastor. He has carefully blended his love of church camp and mission work into a very unique ministry of action, compassion and inclusion of all. Randy is known in the Santa Cruz Valley as a musician, community organizer and a steady, progressive voice. He is a founding member of most of the border humanitarian groups and seeks to follow and teach about a "God That Is Still Speaking."

Rev. Julie PeeplesRev. Julie Peeples
Julie is a UCC pastor with 34 years experience in ministry, the last 25 of which have been in Greensboro, NC. She is involved in interfaith, lgbtq, immigration and racial equity work, and is an active participant in the Moral Monday movement. Her congregation, Congregational United Church of Christ in Greensboro, has twice taken someone into sanctuary, and remains deeply committed to standing with those facing persecution based on their immigration status. 

Rhina RamosRev. Rhina Ramos
Rev. Rhina was born in El Salvador and arrived in the US at age 14. From a very young age, she learned that justice is only attainable by a lifelong commitment to defend human rights. Being an immigrant, Rhina understands first-hand the pain of invisibility. Her professional life includes being a lawyer, a community organizer, and a trainer. She earned her J.D. at Hofstra Law School and her M.Div. at Pacific School of Religion. She is the founding pastor of Ministerio Latino, the first open and affirming, Spanish-speaking UCC congregation in northern California.

Jonathan Jayes-GreenJonathan Jayes-Green
Jonathan is an organizer, speaker, strategist, politico and believer. He’s a queer undocumented Afro-Panamanian and one of the Co-Founders of the UndocuBlack Network. Jonathan currently serves as the Director of the UndocuBlack Network, a Network of directly affected Black undocumented people fighting to transform their own realities. He lives in Baltimore, MD, and loves salsa, merengue and heartfelt hugs.

Orlando GallardoOrlando Gallardo
Orlando is a graduate of Saint Paul School of Theology, an associate pastor of United Methodist Trinity Community Church in Kansas City, and a DACA recipient. An internship at Trinity United Methodist Church in Des Moines, Iowa, ignited his call to ministry within The United Methodist Church. He is a provisional member of the denomination and appointed to the church where he does ministry with Latino and Anglo young people. The Board of Ordained Ministry of the Great Plains Conference has voted to approve and recommend Orlando for full membership and ordination as an elder to the clergy session at Annual Conference.


Friday, April 20, 2018 at 06:00 PM through April 23, 2018
Doubletree by Hilton, Crystal City – Washington, D.C.

2018 Ecumenical Advocacy Days

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.
  • UCC PRE-EVENT - Join us on Friday, April 20th in Washington, DC as we hear from pastors, lay leaders and immigrants responding to the needs in their communities. Hear best practices and meet UCC colleagues who can support you and your congregation as we strive to live out our call to be an immigrant welcoming denomination. Learn more and RSVP.


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!


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."

Sunday, April 22, 2018 at 08:00 AM through April 23, 2018

Break The Silence Sunday

Break the Silence Sunday is a time for the church to learn together about the realities of rape and sexual violence; about ways to create a community where survivors can share their stories and receive support, hope, and love; and to prayerfully consider ways in which they can be advocates for change in their communities, and around the world. Learn more and download resources.

Sunday, April 22, 2018 at 08:00 AM

Earth Day Sunday 2018

world_in_hands.jpgThis year Earth Day falls on Sunday! On April 22nd, you can bring the sacred to Earth Day. Here are four different resources for making the most of this special Sunday:

  • Connect God’s Creation to God’s Children – The UCC Council for Climate Justice has spearheaded an interfaith effort to preach a thousand sermons in solidarity with the 21 children and youth who are suing the federal government over climate change. One of the youth plaintiffs is the son of a UCC pastor. Youth are especially encouraged to preach as part of this effort. A full webpage is devoted to call for a thousand sermons and a liturgical resource can be downloaded.
  • Focus on Your Local Ecosystem – Creation Justice Ministries has created materials for Earth Sunday on the theme "Sense of Place." Develop a worship service that reflects on living in harmony with local ecosystems and watersheds, rightly sharing places with a diversity of people, and respecting the history of your place.  
  • Climate Action Week – Interfaith Power & Light shares a wealth of resources for its Climate Action Week that runs from April 14th to the 22nd. This year their theme is Charged with Faith: Leading the Way to a Clean Energy Future. A toolkit is available along with online worship resources and more.
  • Share Our Love of Creation Video – In worship or out of worship, share this video that the UCC made in collaboration with Blessed Tomorrow.

Tuesday, May 01, 2018 at 12:00 PM through May 03, 2018

UCC Clergywomen Retreat 2018

UCC Clergywomen Retreat 2018Registration is now open for the 2nd UCC Clergywomen Leadership Event, taking place at the Carefree Resort and Conference Center in AZ on May 1-3, 2018. This event features the 2017 Antoinette Brown Awardees, the Rev. Da Vita D. McCallister and the Rev. Loey Powell and is a powerful time of connection, rejuvenation, hope, and networking.

Registration is limited to the first 100 participants, who must be UCC clergywomen with standing. Registration this year is $250 and includes lodging and some meals. There are some scholarships available - Contact Rev. Elizabeth Dilley for more details. Discounts are available for members of the Antoinette Brown Society.

View the agenda and register now!

Friday, May 04, 2018 at 08:00 AM
St. Paul's United Church of Christ in Downers Grove, IL

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.

Sunday, May 06, 2018 at 08:00 AM through May 07, 2018

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.


*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.