News Briefs
May 2000

 Staffing stats released about UCC restructure

To accommodate the UCC's new national structure, all national positions will end on June 30. In their place, 260 positions were offered in the new structure: 247 in Cleveland, eight in Washington, D.C., four at Franklinton Center in Bricks, N.C., and one in New York City.
      So far 149 positions have been filled, with 111 still unfilled although the application process for 62 of these is already complete. Two hundred seven persons applied for 239 of these positions; 21 positions initially had no applicants from among current staff, so an external search is now underway.

U.N. world conference against racism set for 2001

In 1998, the United Nations' General Assembly proclaimed 2001 as the International Year of Mobilization against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance. In service to that declaration, A U.N.-sponsored World Conference Against Racism, to be held in Johannesburg, South Africa, is scheduled for sometime next year. Objectives of the World Conference are to provide a momentum for further political commitment to the elimination of racism and racial discrimination. Past U.N.-sponsored summits enhanced public awareness and advocacy for issues in governments and society.
      The UCC's Office for Church in Society and its Commission for Racial Justice are encouraging denomination-wide interest, mobilization and participation in the World Conference. For general information about the Conference, visit the U.N.'s online Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights at www.unhchr.ch. Specific inquires can be directed to the World Conference Secretariat at 1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland; phone 41-22-917-9290; e-mail husbands@un.org; or the U.N.'s Development and Human Rights Section, Room S-1040, New York, NY 10017; phone 212-963-3771; e-mail vasic@un.org.

Don't privatize the Social Security Administration

Lobbying efforts are underway to privatize the Social Security Administration. In response to those efforts, the UCC's Office for Church in Society is asking Social Security participants to contact their elected officials and urge them to keep the Administration secure for the social purposes of providing support for the elderly, disabled, widows and orphans. Social Security, a marvel of administrative efficiency, sends checks on a monthly basis to about 45 million people in the United States. Of late, the Administration has been mailing out 130 million letters to participants offering them an opportunity to correct their records.
      On a related matter, if you would like to receive weekly news alerts from OCIS in your e-mailbox, contact JPMDC@ucc.org; or visit www.ucc.org/justice for Justice and Peace Network information.

Cuban refugees lead Disciples resettlement caseload

Cuban refugees comprised more than half of those resettled by the Refugee and Immigration Ministries office of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in 1999. Of the 1,486-person caseload handled by RIM, 770 were from Cuba, with the majority of those settling in Florida. Other countries and regions with large numbers of refugees include Bosnia (228) and the former USSR (128). Thirty-four Disciples congregations provided ministry to the new arrivals.

Join in Celebration 2000

Tours of the UCC national offices, including the new Amistad Chapel, singing and sightseeing are all part of the weekend activities of UCC Celebration 2000, June 23 and 24 in Cleveland. UCC Celebration 2000 is a series of events honoring the first 43 years of the United Church of Christ, with a look to the future of the denomination. Activities include opportunities to talk with outgoing executives and find out how to "stay connected" to the national setting of the church in the new structure, plus a sightseeing tour of Cleveland, including the North Coast Harbor, home of the Great Lakes Science Center and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
      Amistad Chapel events include performances by the University of the Philippines Concert Chorus and the KenYetta Dance Theater.
      For more information, contact Darrell Ludwig, UCC Office of the Secretary, 700 Prospect Ave., Cleveland, OH 44115; 216-736-2113; e-mail ludwigd@ucc.org.

Vietnam volunteers to meet

A reunion of volunteers who made a Christian witness for peacemaking and reconciliation during the Vietnam War will occur July 6-9 at Eastern Mennonite University in Harrisonburg, Va. The volunteers include Catholics, Protestants and Buddhists. They will gather 25 years after the end of the war to assess their spiritual witness, participate in group sessions and investigate their roles as "ministers of presence."
      For information, contact Earl and Pat Hostetter Martin, 1013 College Ave., Harrisonburg, VA 22802; phone 540-432-6388; e-mail patearl@aol.com.

Funds sent to southern Africa

The UCC has sent $15,000 in One Great Hour of Sharing funds to Action by Churches Together for its appeal for Zimbabwe flood relief and $3,000 for its Madagascar cyclone relief appeal.
      During February and March, two cyclones hit southern Africa. Hundreds of thousands of persons lost homes and belongings, and crops were destroyed. A third cyclone hit Madagascar in April. In Zimbabwe, the recent floods affected more than 500,000 people, leaving 100,000 homeless. The UCC has disbursed $73,000 for southern Africa flooding.

Correction

Last month's Briefly included an incorrect e-mail address for the "UCC musicians to gather at Amherst College" news item. The correct e-mail address is drjohn@fccog.org.

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