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Latest UCC News

UCC members, congregations abolish $5.2 million in medical debt for Kansans, Oklahomans 400 years later, honesty about colonialism, genocide is part of marking Pilgrims’ legacy
  • Both ordinary and extraordinary, the stresses on pastors and hospital, university and military chaplains during the COVID-19 pandemic are enormous. So the Indiana-Kentucky Conference United Church of Christ is pioneering ways to help clergy cope, using support that includes a UCC COVID-19 Conference Recovery Grant. 

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  • The Rev. Gail McAfee is currently serving as a UCC Volunteer Ministries’ volunteer in North Carolina. She was brought in to provide mold remediation following Hurricane Florence. Why does she volunteer? “That’s what I was taught to do," she said. "I was raised by pastors and was taught to respect all people, regardless of their current status in life. Everyone is just as important as the person wearing the suit.”

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  • The Rev. Gail McAfee is currently serving as a UCC Volunteer Ministries’ volunteer in North Carolina. She was brought in to provide mold remediation following Hurricane Florence. Why does she volunteer? “That’s what I was taught to do," she said. "I was raised by pastors and was taught to respect all people, regardless of their current status in life. Everyone is just as important as the person wearing the suit.”

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  • The Indiana-Kentucky Conference United Church of Christ is offering additional intentional clergy support during COVID-19 with the help of a grant from the national setting. 

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  • In the Philippines, UCC Disaster Ministries is aiding recovery from Typhoon Ambo/VongFong as new storms hit diverse areas of this nation of islands. Typhoon Goni/Rolly is on track to make landfall on Luzon Sunday morning (Nov. 1). Just a few days ago, Typhoon Molave killed 22 people in the Philippines.

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  • The deadline for United Church of Christ conferences to apply for the UCC COVID-19 Conference Recovery Grant has been extended by two weeks, to December 14, 2020.

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  • Just announced: staff changes on UCC Wider Church Ministries' Global H.O.P.E. team, which includes Disaster, Volunteer and Refugee ministries and Sustainable Development. Rev. Joshua Baird starts Nov. 16 as Global H.O.P.E. team leader. Rev. Phyllis Richards Oct. 30 wraps up as acting team leader and resumes work as Program Associate for One Great Hour of Sharing. Barbara Baylor ends her special assignment Oct. 31. Diane Dicken retires Dec. 31.

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  • Despite complications of ongoing conflict and the COVID-19 pandemic, an ecumenical project with $10,000 in support from UCC Wider Church Ministries through the ACT Alliance succeeded in distributing cholera prevention kits and hygiene supplies to 600 vulnerable households in Africa’s Lake Chad Basin area, highly prioritizing people with disabilities.

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  • United Church of Christ National Ministries has two open positions on the Global H.O.P.E. (Humanitarian. Opportunities. Progress. Empowerment.) team of Wider Church Ministries - Minister for Volunteer Engagement and Minister for Disaster Response and Recovery. The application close date for both positions is November 20, 2020. 

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  • UCC Disaster Ministries last year granted $10,000 for CWS Japan to help 1,000 vulnerable families without support mechanisms recover from Typhoon Hagibis, which struck central Japan in October 2019, forcing millions to evacuate and killing at least 80 people. The recovery effort is now complete.

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  • UCC Disaster Ministries has invested close to $820k to date in Hurricane Maria recovery in Puerto Rico, including $50k just authorized for roof repair once the COVID-19 lockdown ends. From 2018 until March 2020, 542 UCC volunteers restored 121 Maria-damaged roofs and performed other repairs. Pending: repairs following #earthquakes early in 2020. No damage is reported yet from more earthquakes this week.

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  • The legacy of systemic health and social inequities has put people from racial and ethnic groups at increased risk of getting sick and dying from COVID-19. These inequities and their impact are reflected among children of color.

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  • The Trump Administration has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to strike down the entire Affordable Care Act and is hastening to appoint a new Supreme Court justice who will support the president’s demand. If the ACA is overturned, more than 21 million Americans will lose their health insurance and nearly all Americans will be affected adversely. Among those who will be hit the hardest will be racial and ethnic minorities.

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  • Next Up: 6-7 p.m. October 9, 2020 - Continuing Lessons from Hurricane Katrina Response and Recovery - the second in a free series sponsored by the Anna Julia Cooper Center. Click here for more information and to register!

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  • Legislation and Policy to Address Health Disparities

    H. R. 8178 - The Anti-Racism in Public Health Act of 2020

    Introduced on Sept. 4, 2020, by Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-MA-07), Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), and Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA-13) and referred to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce. The Anti-Racism in Public Health Act would create a Center on Anti-Racism in Health at the CDC, improving the federal government's ability to develop anti-racist health policy. The bill would also create a Law Enforcement Violence Prevention Program at the CDC.

    H.R.6763 - COVID-19 Racial and Ethnic Disparities Task Force Act of 2020

    Introduced by Rep. Robin Kelly (D-IL-2) on May 8, 2020, and referred to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce. 

    S. 3721 – COVID-19 Racial and Ethnic Disparities Task Force Act of 2020

    Introduced by Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) on May 13, 2020, and referred to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions.

    These two bills (H.R. 6763 and S. 3721) would establish the COVID-19 Racial and Ethnic Disparities Task Force within the Department of Health and Human Services and set forth its duties and membership. The task force would be required to provide to Congress and relevant federal agencies reports and recommendations related to racial and ethnic disparities in the COVID-19 response.

    S. 4262 - COVID-19 Health Disparities Action Act of 2020

    Introduced by several senators on July 22, 2020, and referred to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions. Would direct the Secretary of Health and Human Services to develop an action plan, make targeted grants, and develop public awareness campaigns with respect to COVID–19 and the disproportionate impact of the COVID–19 pandemic on racial and ethnic minorities and other vulnerable populations.

    H.R.6637 - Health Equity and Accountability Act of 2020         

    Introduced by Rep. Jesus G. Garcia (D-IL-4)  and the Tri-Caucus on April 28, 2020, and referred to House - Energy and Commerce; Agriculture; Oversight and Reform; Ways and Means; Education and Labor; Judiciary; Budget; Veterans' Affairs; Natural Resources; Armed Services; Homeland Security. The HEAA would seek to address disparities by promoting culturally appropriate care, data collection, and reporting.

    Healthcare Equity Guidelines for the 116th Congress 

    Frank Pallone (D-NJ), Chairman, Energy and Commerce - Remarks at Hearing on Confronting Racial And Ethnic Disparities In Covid-19 And The Health Care System 

    Legislative Actions to Reduce Health Disparities   

    Achieving Health Equity in the United States – Public Health Policies and Advocacy 


  • Like many of you, I am devastated over the passing of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a remarkable person who during her long career did so much to advance people’s rights and well-being.

    Not least among her contributions, Justice Ginsburg was very instrumental in helping to save the Affordable Care Act twice. Now the Trump Administration has asked the Supreme Court to strike down the entire Affordable Care Act.

    Justice Ginsburg will not be on the bench when the Court will hear arguments in this latest case on Nov. 10, 2020. But a new justice might – very possibly one that will side with the Trump Administration.

    In the United States, there are significant racial disparities in access to health care coverage and in health outcomes.  These disparities reflect economic gaps and barriers to accessing coverage that are a legacy of systemic racism, barriers in access to coverage for people in immigrant families, and other economic and health system inequities.

    The Affordable Care Act has helped to lower the health care coverage gap and reduce disparities for Black and Hispanic people who were more likely to avoid using health care due to cost. Striking down the law would widen these gaps again.

    Repeal of the Affordable Care Act would cause nearly 1 in 10 Black people, 1 in 10 Latinx people and 1 in 16 white people to lose their health care coverage. As a result, 1 in 5 Black people and nearly 1 in 3 Latinx people would be uninsured.

    If the Affordable Care Act is repealed, COVID-19 will become a pre-existing condition for many Americas who become infected with, have survived or suffer related future infections.  COVID-19 continues to adversely affect people of color with high infection and death rates.

    If struck down, the Affordable Care Act will need to be replaced. If upheld, the Affordable Care Act will need to be improved.

    That’s why your vote is important. If you do not vote, you will miss the opportunity to elect representatives who will guide future health care legislation and policy in a direction that works well for everyone.

    Not voting is giving up your voice – and your voice does matter. Your vote lets candidates know where you stand on issues that are critically important to you, your community and the nation.

    Visit the UCC’s Our Faith Our Vote! Get more information, and download a FREE Our Faith Our Vote toolkit. Vote – your health and even your life depend on it.


  • In the United States, there are significant racial disparities in access to health care coverage and in health outcomes. The Affordable Care Act has helped to lower the health care coverage gap for Black and Hispanic people. Striking down the law would widen these gaps again.

    That’s why your vote is important. Not voting is giving up your voice. Visit the UCC’s Our Faith Our Vote! Get more information, and download a FREE Our Faith Our Vote toolkit. Vote – your health and even your life depend on it.

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  • Check here for resources in a multitude of media, including books, articles, sermons, videos and more.

     

    Medical Apartheid: The Dark History of Medical Experimentation on Black Americans from Colonial Times to the Present by Harriet A. Washington 

    Study Guide: Medical Apartheid by Harriet Washington (SuperSummary): The Dark History of Medical Experimentation on Black Americans from Colonial Times to the Present

    Health Issues in the Black Community: 3rd (Third) edition by Henrie M Treadwell (Editor) Ronald L. Braithwaite (Editor), Sandra E. Taylor (Editor)

    The Color of Compromise: The Truth about the American Church’s Complicity in Racism by Jemar Tisby

    Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption
    by Bryan Stevenson

    Bad Blood: The Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment, New and Expanded Edition by James H. Jones

    The Little Book of Restorative Justice: Revised and Updated (Justice and Peacebuilding) by Howard Zehr

    Unequal Treatment: Confronting Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Health Care by Institute of Medicine, Board on Health Sciences Policy, et al.

    The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander 

    The New Jim Crow Study Guide and Call to Action by Veterans of Hope

    Building a Movement to End the New Jim Crow: an organizing guide by Daniel Hunter 

    Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?: And Other Conversations About Race by Beverly Daniel Tatum  | Sep 5, 2017

    White Fragility: Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism by Robin DiAngelo and Michael Eric Dyson

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Articles

    Reparations as a Public Health Priority: A Strategy for Ending Black-White Health Disparities, New England Journal of Medicine, October 13, 2020

     

    CDC’s COVID-19 Response: Health Equity Strategy 

    Achieving health equity requires valuing everyone equally with focused and ongoing efforts to address avoidable inequities, historical and contemporary injustices, and the elimination of health and healthcare disparities. 

     

    Racial and Ethnic Differences in Mortality Rate of Infants Born to Teen Mothers

    The National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) released a new report in July finding that despite the declining birthrate since 1991 for teenagers aged 15–19, differences continue to occur in the mortality of infants born to teenagers by race and ethnicity and cause of death.

    Sermons

    Holy Hospitality Amid Heinous Hostility

    Sermon by the Rev. Ron Bonner, Pastor
    Redeemer Lutheran Church, Atlanta, Ga.

    Rev. Bonner, an ordained UCC minister,
    is a member of the REHD Task Force

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

       

     

     

     


  • Yaribel Davila had to evacuate her apartment in Port Arthur, Texas, last August when flood waters caused by Hurricane Harvey came in up to her knees. UCC Disaster Ministries is partnering with the Southeast Texas Community Development Corporation (SET CDC) to restore her apartment and 16 others that suffered similar damage. The UCC’s Amanda Sheldon interviewed Ms. Davila. 

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  • Hurricanes Irma and Maria wiped out water treatment systems in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, leaving people without clean drinking water. According to the Department of Defense, 55% of Puerto Rico was left without clean drinking water. Your help is needed this GivingTuesday. A $20 filter ensures 1 million gallons of fresh water!

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