JPANet April 2019 Newsletter

Getting to the Root of It

Getting to the Root of It

We’ve asked UCC advocates to help us unpack the complex justice issues that we’re working on. This month Sandy Sorensen, Director of the UCC’s Washington Office, looks at how people are using the value of religious freedom to exclude others.

The Hijacking of Religious Liberty
Sandy-Sorensen-B_W-headshot-75px.jpgReligious freedom is one of our core national values. It is one of the dynamics of our common life that distinguishes the United States from many other nations in our global community. Our foundation of religious freedom creates the space for a vibrant, pluralistic society with a robust exchange of ideas, visions and perspectives. So it is all the more alarming that such fundamental value would become a tool for exclusion. (Read more)

Justice Events

Earth Day – April 22
How we care for God’s creation is intimately intertwined with issues of generational justice. What kind of world are our children presently inheriting? What will the world be like when they get older? The UCC Environmental Justice Ministry joined with the ecumenical Creation Justice Ministries to author and produce reflective materials on generational justice for this Earth Day. Download a copy of this resource today.

New York Times Bestselling Author Featured in Webinar – April 30
The featured guest for this month’s Creation Justice Webinar recently entered into the New York Times bestseller list. Author adrienne maree brown will focus on the strategies and practices needed to build a vision-based, systemic-change-oriented movement. Brown will draw upon insights gained from years of working within organizations dedicated to environmental justice and black liberation. Sign-up now for the webinar on April 30th.

Our Whole Lives Facilitator Training Pre-Synod!
An Our Whole Lives/Sexuality and Our Faith Facilitator Training for implementing OWL for grades 7-9 and 10-12 will be held Pre-Synod, June 17-19, in Milwaukee. Our Whole Lives is a comprehensive, developmentally appropriate, inclusive sexuality education program, used with Sexuality and Our Faith to provide transformative experiences and education in the UCC. Interested? Go here. Questions about timing, registration, etc? Contact Amy at

Justice in Action

Racial Justice Ministries Quarterly Book Discussion – May 16
The United Church of Christ (UCC) Racial Justice Ministry will host a Book Discussion featuring Evicted: Poverty and Profit in The American City written by Matthew Desmond on Thursday, May 16, 2019, 12 noon – 1 pm EST via live webinar discussion.

Matthew Desmond will be the keynote speaker during the United Church of Christ General Synod in Milwaukee, WI, June 22, 2019. Desmond’s book will transform our understanding of eviction as a root cause of poverty. The Book Discussion provides participants an opportunity to read deeply and gain insights into some of the root causes of generational poverty due to housing policies that are not necessarily just for all American citizens.

Register on the Racial Justice Book Discussion webpage. Evicted can be purchased at the UCC Bookstore. Webinar credentials will be one week prior to the discussion. For more information contact Rev. Dr. Velda Love, or Alegra Martin,

UCC Survey: Church Environmental Practices
On an annual basis, the UCC Environmental Justice Ministry will be conducting a survey of all the churches in the denomination in order to gather data on what churches are doing to care for God’s creation. We want to be able to measure and assess our denomination’s activity and growth in these areas. Please take a few minutes to provide us with information about your church.

Justice Resources

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.

Featured topics:

The Green New Deal and Partisan MythsAttacks on Roe V. Wade | Moving Beyond Thoughts and Prayers | Holding Hope | Created in God’s Image

Categories: Column Justice & Peace Action Network Monthly Newsletter

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