JPANet: March Newsletter 2017
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. In honor of Women’s Week, Rev. Loey Powell, a UCC Minister and past national staff member, reflects on Christ’s ministry with women, the role of the church has played in advancing the rights of women and the need for continued advocacy in our current political climate.
Listen to Women. Follow their lead.
When she left the well after her encounter with Jesus, the Samaritan woman with a somewhat compromising history had been given living water and new life. She returned to her community to testify to what she had witnessed and who she believed she had met. Her neighbors, all Samaritans, went to see for themselves. They, too, were convinced that Jesus was the foretold Messiah. (Read more.)
Environmental Justice Workshop in Pennsylvania
Want to energize your congregation around environmental justice but don’t know how? Have you been working at this issue awhile and need ideas? Come to an Environmental Justice Workshop March 22-24 at Hartman Center in central Pennsylvania. Participants explore environmental justice through scientific and spiritual readings, discussion, role-play, the arts, a field trip to a permaculture farm, and more. Questions? Contact Meighan Pritchard, environmental justice curriculum trainer.
The World Student Christian Federation his hosting a leadership training program on “Resisting Empire” March 23-26 at the Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley, CA. Learn more.
King’s Values. Our Movement.
April 4th marks the 50th Anniversary of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “Beyond Vietnam” speech at Riverside Church. There will be events happening across the country to mark this historic speech. For a listing of events in your area, visit: mlk50.org/. Two particular events worth noting are the ones in New York at Riverside Church and in Washington D.C. at the New York Avenue Presbyterian Church, just a few blocks from the White House.
Confronting Chaos Online: How hate speech spreads online and what you can do to stop it
As people of faith we stand up together against hate in our communities, and we can do no less online. Learn how hate speech earns advertising revenue and what communities of faith and individuals can do to stop it. Join the United Church of Christ Justice and Witness Ministries and the UCC’s Media Justice Ministry to explore these issues between 10 am and 2:30 pm Friday, April 21, 2017 in Washington DC. The timing is well-suited to individuals in Washington to attend Ecumenical Advocacy Days and is open to all members of the Washington interfaith community. Learn more and register.
Ecumenical Advocacy Days 2017 – Confronting Chaos, Forging Community
Join us in Washington, DC on April 21-24, 2017 for the Ecumenical Advocacy Days: Confronting Chaos, Forging Community. Together we will grapple with the intersectionality of racism, materialism, and militarism, and learn more about the impact they have around the world, in our communities, and in our own lives. Through prayer, worship, advocacy training, and networking with other Christians, we will face the current manifestations of these ‘triplets’ and together advocate for change in public policy that better reflects the Beloved Community about which Dr. King spoke. Scholarships are available for young adults – apply by March 17! Learn more.
Climate March in Washington, D.C.
The UCC Council for Climate Justice along with Justice and Witness Ministries are official co-sponsors of the climate march in Washington, DC. This march is being organized by the People’s Climate Movement which spearheaded the 2014 march in New York City that had 400,000 in attendance. Let us know if you are planning to come, so we can coordinate a strong UCC presence at the march.
Justice in Action
Standing Rock March on DC
Today, in response to the Army Corps of Engineers final approval for the last section of the Dakota Access Pipeline, UCC advocates are joining the Standing Rock Sioux Nation for a march on Washington, D.C. Please include this movement in your prayers today, and follow along with us online via Facebook and Twitter. Also, check out our Standing Rock resource page.
Nominate a Justice Champion
In keeping with the spirit of former General Synods, Justice and Witness Ministries is seeking candidates who have done exemplary work in the area of justice to honor at our General Synod. If you are aware of a dynamic youth/young adult, social prophet, a local church, or grass roots organization that you think deserves to be honored for effective justice work, please nominate by March 24, 2017.
ACA Replacement would end coverage for millions. We must speak out!
House Republicans have introduced their proposed alternative to the Affordable Care Act. This proposal would cause millions of Americans to lose their health insurance, while millions more would see insurance costs rise rapidly – even as they get less coverage. Take action now.
Sanctuary: Frequently Asked Questions
Heather Kimmel, General Counsel for the United Church of Christ, addresses the current interest of faith communities in operating as sanctuary churches, the legal risks, and ways churches can minister to undocumented persons. Register via the UCC Insurance Boards to join this webinar.
Download our Public Policy Advocacy Guide
The 2017 UCC Public Policy Advocacy Guide provides tips, tools and theological insights for understanding our call to advocacy, engaging in organizing, and getting your message heard by decision makers. This is your one-stop tool for engaging in faith-based advocacy! Download your copy now.
An American Conscience: The Reinhold Niebuhr Story
An American Conscience: The Reinhold Niebuhr Story is a new documentary that will air on PBS focused on the life and work of Reinhold Neibuhr, the outspoken public theologian who was part of the Evangelical and Reformed Church, one of the UCC’s antecedent denominations. Eden Seminary and many other institutions have planned screenings. For information, visit americanconscience.com/
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.