During the month of August, while Congress is on recess, we will take a break from our weekly action alerts. Thank you for your tireless work for justice. Enjoy the final weeks of summer and keep an eye out for your elected officials while they’re home campaigning. Now is the time let them know what you think about the issues that matter to you. It’s also a great time to start planning your congregation’s election engagement efforts. I invite you to check out the tools available via the UCC’s Our Faith Our Vote campaign.
Getting to the Root of It
We’ve asked our staff to help us unpack the complex justice issues that we’re working on. Using our General Synod pronouncements as the basis for these reflections, we hope to provide insights into the issues you care about that are rooted in our shared faith, and can inform your advocacy efforts. This month Roy Komanapalli, a seminarian at Princeton Theological Seminary and intern in our UCC Washington Office, discusses how the poor and oppressed in India are using protest and civil disobedience as tools of resistance. He invites us to learn about the Dalit struggle and think about how you might celebrate the UCC’s peacemaking history on Just Peace Sunday.
#DalitsNotCows #MuslimsNotCows: The struggle for equality & just peace in India
It began as an ordinary summer day in the town of Una in Gujarat, India. Except on this day a mini-truck appeared in town and dropped a cow carcass outside the city hall. Then, there was another and another. Before long, there were several dozen carcasses at the administrative building. The scene was repeated across several small towns in the state, where the group of people traditionally responsible for the disposing of dead bovines refused to do so. This was a protest. (Read more.)
Middle East Initiative Webinar, Focus on Turkey - August 8
Turkey is in the news-- Syrian refugees, terrorist attacks, political upheaval. You may not be aware that the historical bodies of what is today Global Ministries first lived and worked in Turkey starting in 1820, when the area was part of the Ottoman Empire. Two centuries of wars, catastrophes, revolutions, and large population movements, and eventually the establishment of the secular Republic of Turkey brought dramatic changes. Learn more in this webinar with Ken and Betty Frank, who worked in Turkey for more than 30 years. Register now.
Commemorate Labor Sunday on September 4
The Sunday of Labor Day weekend (Sept 4) is Labor Sunday, a day to lift up workers and celebrate their contributions. It is also a day to commit ourselves to improving jobs and our economy so that all workers have wages, benefits, and work hours that allow them to live in the fullness of life – which is God’s intention for each of us. Worship materials and more.
Just Peace Sunday
The 30th General Synod called on UCC churches to renew our witness as a Just Peace Church and annually designate a “Just Peace Sunday.” On September 18th, churches will lament the tragic events of Orlando and give witness to our identity as a Just Peace Church, reflecting on the intersections between peace and justice using the question posed in Jeremiah 8:22 “Is there no balm in Gilead?” Learn more about Just Peace Sunday and start planing ways for your congregation to engage!
Al Filipov Peace & Justice Forum 2016
The mission of the Al Filipov Peace & Justice Forum is to promote peace and justice among all people and to demonstrate the power of an individual to make a positive difference in the world. This year’s gathering at Trinitarian Congregational Church will celebrate the work of the Parents Circle– Families Forum (PCFF), a unique organization made up of more than 600 Israeli and Palestinian bereaved families. Learn more and plan to attend on September 25th.
Environmental Justice Workshops in Florida and Washington
How can people of faith work for environmental justice for all? Come to a workshop September 21-23 at the new Florida Conference headquarters in Orlando to learn about this pressing issue. Click here for information on cost and registration. Or join us October 19-21 at Pilgrim Firs Camp outside Seattle, Washington. Click here to register for Pilgrim Firs.
Border Convergence - October 7-10, 2016
Please come and join the Border Convergence in Nogales, Sonora/Arizona at the U.S./Mexico border. Together UCC congregations will join the School of Americas Watch, immigrants’ rights groups and interfaith partners to demand justice to address root causes of migration, justice at the border and justice for immigrants. Learn more.
Rev. Traci Blackmon To Deliver 34rd Annual Everett C. Parker Lecture
The Rev. Traci Blackmon, acting executive minister of the United Church of Christ’s Justice and Witness Ministries, will deliver the 34rd annual Everett C. Parker Ethics in Telecommunications Lecture. The event, organized by the UCC’s media justice ministry, the Office of Communication, Inc., will be held at 8 a.m. EST on Thursday October 13 at First Congregational United Church of Christ in Washington, DC. Learn more.
Justice in Action
Support Farm Workers – Sign the Petition to Boycott Wendy’s
Farm workers are among the most abused and exploited workers in the United States. Now the Coalition of Immokalee Workers, a Florida-based group of farm workers, is asking consumers to boycott fast-food giant Wendy’s until the firm joins a Florida effort to improve farm workers’ lives. Sign the petition telling Wendy’s you won’t shop there until the firm joins the Fair Food Program. Learn more about the boycott and why the UCC is involved.
Media Violence Fast for Just Peace Sunday
Observe Just Peace Sunday and International Day of Prayer for Peace by joining with UCC’s historic media justice ministry in a one-week media violence fast. Join us individually, with your whole family, or your whole congregation. Choose not to watch violent TV, movies, or video games for one week. See what a week without violence might feel like. The fast will include inspirational prayers, readings and reflections. Sign up and access extensive resources at www.media-fast.org.
Engage your Congregation in the Elections
Have you ordered your Our Faith Our Vote toolkit yet? Now is the time to plan ways for your congregation to engage in nonpartisan actions during this election. Will you ensure that everyone is registered to vote in your church? How about holding a candidate forum? We've got some great ideas and the toolkit is a helpful starting point. Go to UCC resources to place your order. Choose the resource packet, buttons, stickers, or all three from the dropdown menu!
Witness for Justice
Looking for up-to-date social justice commentary? Check out Witness for Justice, a weekly editorial opinion column written by the staff of Justice and Witness Ministries.
Seeking Answers: It’s Time to Allow Federal Government to Research Gun Violence Epidemic | What A Little Moonlight Can Do | Old Stories in Today's Time | Let Us Not Forget