JPANet July 2018 Newsletter
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 our UCC Washington, DC Office, is discussing how advocates can work for change over the summer months.
What to do on your summer vacation? Mobilize for Change!
It is hard to believe, but August is just around the corner. This has been a challenging and fast-paced year for justice advocacy, and it is important to take time in the midst of the struggle to renew and re-energize body, mind and soul. But the lazy, hazy “dog days” of August are actually a critical time for justice organizing and mobilizing. Here are some ways you can take advantage of August opportunities to influence public policy and prepare for the November elections.
TB and HIV: Together we can beat them both
TB can be a devastated disease on its own, but is especially so when a person is co-infected with HIV. Join us on July 10th for a special conversation exploring the human side of the struggle against TB and HIV which affects the vulnerable most. We will share and discuss ideas about the important difference churches can make in the areas of advocacy, care and support, and learn about a faith-based global letter writing campaign leading to the UN High Level Meeting on TB this September, demanding governments make the needed investments and policy directives to end the TB epidemic. Register now.
Our Faith, Our Vote: Interfaith Webinar
People of faith have a powerful role to play in activating citizen engagement and raising key issues with candidates. Join the UCC and the Washington Interrelgious Staff Community (WISC) on July 11 at 2:00 PM ET to learn what you can do and how to have the most impact in your community. Register now.
The United Church of Christ is a co-sponsor of the Reimagining Interfaith event July 29-August 1st in Washington, D.C. This event is an opportunity to engage in skill-building, networking, and organizing with grassroots activists and interfaith peace builders from around the world. Learn more and register.
The Sunday of Labor Day weekend (September 2) 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. Learn more and access reflections, worship materials and more.
Save the Date! Just Peace Sunday is September 16th
The Thirtieth General Synod called on the congregations of the United Church of Christ to mark the Sunday preceding September 21 (which the United Nation recognizes as the International Day of Prayer for Peace) as Just Peace Sunday. Stay tuned for new resources and check out our prayer, craft and learning resources from past years as you commit to observing Just Peace Sunday!
Justice in Action
Keep Families Together
In April the Department of Justice issued a zero-tolerance policy for immigrants crossing the border, resulting in the forced separation of more than 2,200 children from their parents. As a result of enormous pressure from advocates, who denounced the practice as a massive violation of human rights, the President issued an executive order to end family separation; however there is still no plan for reuniting separated families or ending the zero-tolerance policy. This will result in the mass criminalization and indefinite detention of immigrant families. Here are some of the ways you can engage on this issue:
- Act – Download the Interfaith Immigration Coalition’s Top Eight Ways for Faith Communities to Take Action.
- Give – Donate, designating your gift to Keep Families Together.
- Reflect – Rev. Bill Lyons, conference minister for the Southwest Conference UCC, shares a powerful update and call for help from our southern border.
- Pray – Download our Litany for Families Separated at Border by Rev. Tracy Howe Whispelway
- Watch a recording of the webinar: Keep Families Together: UCC Webinar on Family Separation at the Border (June 21, 2018)
Call for Solidarity and Support to Stop Minnesota pipeline
The Rev. Emily Goldthwaite Fries writes about an oil pipeline in Minnesota that threatens areas where the Ojibwe nation harvests wild rice which is sacred and central to their culture. Despite recent a pipeline approval by the Public Utilities Commission, the fight is not over. An interfaith response is forming, and people from around the country are invited to join in support and solidarity. Learn more about this important work.
Join our Team! Apply for our UCC Justice and Peace Fellowship
Our Washington, DC team is now accepting applications for our Justice and Peace Fellowship. This 1-2 year position is a perfect opportunity for young leaders who are seeking to learn and work at the intersection of our faith, public policy, and our call to work for a just world for all. Applications are due by August 15th with an expected start date in September. Apply now and help us spread the word!
We need your feedback!
The UCC Board has begun the renomination process for Rev. John Dorhauer as UCC General Minister and President, and is looking to the wider church for input on his leadership. Share your feedback.
Trans Family Webinar
Families with children who fall outside of the binary gender spectrum are struggling. Many of them hide, afraid that their child or their entire family will be bullied if the world finds out. Too many families find that their faith communities, extended family, or friends reject them. Join the UCC Open and Affirming Coalition for a webinar on July 10th that will offer some practices and ideas to help churches re-examine their youth ministries and policies, and expand on some methods congregations can adopt to support families while maintaining confidentiality. It will also provide information on how to support parents and help them adjust when their family dynamic changes. Learn more and register.
Four Thousand Six Hundred Forty-Five
“They didn’t die in Maria’s wind. They weren’t swept away by waves. They weren’t ripped from life by falling trees and flying debris. We were told that sixty-four were killed by nature’s violence. Not a whisper about the four thousand six hundred forty-five killed by human indifference.” In case you missed it, read the Daily Devotional by Mary Luti that highlighted our faithful lament and opportunities for action for the continuing Maria-related disaster in Puerto Rico.
Summer: great time to take an OWL training!
Are you hoping to start or continue an Our Whole Lives ministry? Are you looking for ways to work for ways to give vital information to youth and families to counteract negative messages in our society about gender and harassment? There are more than 20 OWL Trainings available all across the country between June and August. Check it out: http://www.ucc.org/justice_sexuality-education_training-schedule. Questions? Contact Amy Johnson, UCC OWL Coordinator: firstname.lastname@example.org
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.