JPANet September 2017 Newsletter
Stand with Immigrant Youth
Take Action: Tell Congress to Pass the Dream Act
President Trump has announced that he will end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. This unnecessary and cruel step puts the futures of 800,000 young people at risk. Our immigrant neighbors deserve dignity, welcome, and the opportunity to flourish. As an immigrant welcoming denomination, we are called to speak out now. Tell Congress to protect dreamers!
WEBINAR: Faith Communities Mobilize to Stop the Ban and Defend Dreamers & TPS
Join the Interfaith Immigration Coalition on Monday, September 11 at 4 PM ET (1pm PT) to learn how to keep protections in place for refugees and immigrants like DACA recipients and TPS holders. RSVP HERE.
Getting to the Root of It
We’ve asked UCC advocates to help us unpack the complex justice issues that we’re working on. Using our scripture and 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.
WWJB – What Would Jesus Budget?
By Jessie Palatucci
This summer I marked my tenth year of working for the United Church of Christ’s Washington, DC office. If you had to guess, what would you imagine is the issue I have worked on most consistently in that decade? Immigration? Health care? Justice for women? It turns out, the issue that has most consumed my time is the federal budget. Trust me, I know how boring that sounds. But even if talk of fiscal matters doesn’t inspire you to run out the door and pick up a protest sign, it is vitally important work. Here’s why – every one of the issues I care about is deeply impacted by the federal budget. Here’s why – every one of the issues I care about is deeply impacted by the federal budget. (Read more.)
Just Peace Sunday
September 17th is Just Peace Sunday. New materials are available for use in worship, Sunday school and more. The theme this year is “Remember, Repent, Renew – The Way of Just Peace” and will focus on the lectionary passage Genesis 50:15-21 and the biblical concept of Teshuvah as a component of Just Peace leading to Shalom. Resources now available – Learn more.
World Week of Peace in Palestine and Israel
The World Council of Churches invites global communions and people of faith to mark September 17-24 as the World Week of Peace in Palestine and Israel. Despite 50 years of occupation, we are grounded in hope and are encouraged to witness to and work toward a just peace for all Israelis and Palestinians.
Neighbors in Need Special Mission Offering
Neighbors in Need (NIN) is a special mission offering of the UCC that supports ministries of justice and compassion throughout the United States. One-third of NIN funds support the Council for American Indian Ministry(CAIM). Two-thirds of the offering is used by the UCC’s Justice and Witness Ministries (JWM) to support a variety of justice initiatives, advocacy efforts, and direct service projects through grants. Most UCC congregations will receive the NIN offering on October 1, 2017 as part of their World Communion Sunday observance. Learn more, download resources, and give.
Access Sunday & Disabilities Awareness Week
Each year, the second Sunday of October is designated on the UCC church calendar as Access Sunday. It is an occasion when all the UCC will join together in celebrating the gifts of persons with disabilities and the strides that the church has made in being more whole through being more accessible. It is also a day that we, the church, acknowledge the journey yet to be taken with our sisters and brothers with disabilities. Pastors and lay leaders, invite your congregation to join your UCC friends around the country in celebrating Access Sunday on this day, or on a Sunday more fitting to your church calendar. Find more information and resources via our UCC Disabilities Ministries.
Speak Out Sabbath – October 13-15, 2017
As part of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, Speak Out Sabbath is an interfaith advocacy weekend coordinated by the We Will Speak Out Coalition. Clergy are encouraged to engage in speaking out against sexual and gender-based violence in an intentional and faithful way during worship with their congregations. Worship resources, sermon starters, litanies, and children’s resources are being updated and added daily.
Dive into Environmental Justice!
How can we take on the urgent challenges of environmental justice in our time and place? Come to Pilgrim Hills Camp in Ohio October 18-20 to find out! Using stories, the arts, video, and hands-on learning opportunities, this workshop will equip participants to mobilize their communities around issues of environmental justice. Pastors, church members, and members of other communities of faith are all welcome.
The 50th Anniversary of the 1967 March on the Pentagon – From Protest to Resistance
This two day conference organized by the Vietnam Peace Commemoration Committee will focus on the significance of the anti-war movement and especially the March on the Pentagon in October, 1967. Oct 20-21, 2017. For information visit vietnampeace.org/oct-21-event
The United Church of Christ is one of the founding partners of Jubilee USA. Join with Jubilee USA and thousands of advocates in offering a prayer or dedicating a service the weekend of October 20-22nd. Our faith invites us to build an economy that protects and promotes the participation of the most vulnerable. Please sign up to offer a prayer or devote a religious service to Jubilee by signing up here.
The 35th Annual Parker Lecture and Awards Breakfast
Rinku Sen, outgoing president and executive director of Race Forward: The Center for Racial Justice Innovation, will deliver the 35th Annual Everett C. Parker Ethics in Telecommunications Lecture. The Parker Lecture and Awards Breakfast will be held at 8 a.m. October 24 at First Congregational United Church of Christ, 945 G Street NW, in Washington, DC. For tickets or sponsorship information, click here.
Justice in Action
Give to Hurricane Relief
UCC Disaster Ministries is responding to Hurricane Harvey and gearing up for our long-term recovery work in the region. Your contributions for Harvey survivors provide community support for holistic recovery, repair homes for families and children, and restore dignity for the most vulnerable who have lost everything in the wake of this catastrophic event. Learn more and give.
Hurricanes and Media Climate Silence: What You Can Do
Our media plays a critical role in what the general population thinks about climate change. Unfortunately, the media has largely been silent on the connection between climate change and hurricanes. You can make a difference by raising your own voice through letters to the editor. The UCC is partners with 350.org which has created a webpage that makes it easy to contact newspapers and send a letter.
Migration and NAFTA
The UCC through its General Synod has long advocated for greater transparency and justice in U.S. trade policy. With the governments of U.S., Mexico, and Canada taking steps to renegotiate NAFTA, now is a critical time to learn more and again raise our prophetic voice. On September 12th, join a webinar hosted by Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch and partner organizations on the issues of migration and NAFTA. Hear from farmers and migrants who have lived the impacts of NAFTA and trade experts who will offer insights into how we can strategize to take action at this critical moment. RSVP at ReplaceNAFTA.org/migration.
Apply for a Neighbors in Need Grant
Neighbors in Need grants are awarded to churches and organizations doing justice work in their communities. These grants fund projects whose work ranges from direct service to community organizing and advocacy to address systemic injustice. Apply for a grant now. The deadline for submissions is September 30th.
New Videos on Drone Warfare
The UCC is one of the sponsors of the Interfaith Network on Drone Warfare which recently produced two videos and a study guide for congregational use: Moral and Safe? is an introductory film on the issue, while The Religious Community and Drone Warfare digs deeper into the theological response to the use of armed drones. Sign up to view both videos and download a study guide at interfaithdronenetwork.org. If you have interest or questions, email Michael Neuroth.
Fair Trade Your Halloween
Every year, Americans spend over a billion dollars on millions of pounds of Halloween chocolate. Where does all that chocolate come from, and who grows it? The answer might scare you! The conventional chocolate industry is not fair. But we can change that. Make your Halloween a #FairTradeHalloween through our partners at Equal Exchange.
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.