The UCC Washington office works to project the vision of change that is offered by UCC members in the halls of congress. Every two years our members come from across the country to gather for General Synod - to pray, reflect and discern a faithful response to God’s vision through resolutions and pronouncements on the issues facing our world.
It is through the actions of General Synod that we prioritize our advocacy.
Our staff monitor and seek changes in legislation at local, state and federal levels through a variety of coalitions and working groups. Through these coalitions we lobby and send letters to our elected officials advocating for changes if public policy.
While we work hard to represent and promote the views expressed at General Synod on Capitol Hill, it is you - as constituents - who make the best advocates.
How can the DC office help you engage in advocacy?
constituency Education and Mobilization - E-Advocacy through the Justice and Peace Action Network, Petitions, Rallys and more
Direct Capitol Hill Advocacy - Advocacy training, meetings with government officials and their staff
What is the Justice and Peace Action Network?
The UCC Justice and Peace Action Network is common action arm of the four covenanted ministries of the United Church of Christ that is charged with mobilizing UCC members for concentrated action as issues emerge.
Our vision is a just, compassionate and peaceful world that honors all of God's creation. In keeping with this vision the JPANet seeks to equip its members through issue education and weekly opportunity for public policy advocacy. By joining the JPANet you have access to resources that are beneficial to advocates of any experience level. they include:
An electronic Public Policy Briefing Book at the beginning of each two year Congressional session as an overview of policy priorities and work in all areas.
Weekly electronic actions emailed to your inbox with direct "take action" links to key decision makers.
A monthly electronic newsletter with notices about upcoming events, new resources and opportunities for action.
Using these tools you can begin basic advocacy or expend your current work. Our resources make it easy to engage or to engage your congregation in advocacy. Sign up here!
In responding faithfully to God’s call for abundant life for all people, a common life in which no one is left behind, we are drawn inevitably to engage in public policy advocacy and decision-making.
This is the goal of the UCC JWM Washington office; to make a better world possible by addressing the systemic problems that we face as a country and as part of the world. Hunger, poverty, peace and security, racism, care for the earth. These are among the types of justice issues that we work to improve through federal policies.
“If a single decision in the halls of the U.S. Congress can either enhance or undo literally millions of acts of Christian caring, I should try to influence such decisions?"
The UCC Washington Office was called into being by a resolution at General Synod 10 in 1975. This predecessor body to Justice and Witness Ministries, then called the Office for Church in Society, was created to assume a leadership function for social action concerns in the UCC and to provide resources to the national, conference and local churches.
Foremost among the tasks assigned to the office was identifying, analyzing and forecasting emerging social issues which call for the attention of the denomination.
Today the UCC Justice and Witness Ministries staff in Washington, DC, in partnership with UCC staff, Conferences, Associations, congregations and individual UCC members, continues this mission by monitoring and seeking changes in legislation at local, state and federal levels through a variety of coalitions and working groups.
The policies that guide our work are crafted by UCC members who gather for General Synod to pray, reflect and discern a faithful response to God’s call through resolutions and pronouncements on the issues facing our world.
Want to learn more?
Updated March 13, 2018
We are so looking forward to seeing you at the March for our Lives on March 24th! The march route has been officially announced, so I have some updates for you as prepare to join us in DC. (If you haven't already, register to let us know you're coming.)
UCC Meet-Up Time
The UCC Washington Office, in partnership with the UCC Central Atlantic Conference and the Capital Area Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), is excited to provide a hospitality space for gathering prior to the march. Please stop by the United Methodist Building anytime between 9:00-11:30am. We will provide breakfast fare and snacks to go, and have a sign-making station, along with you can carry. All are welcome!
(Please note: The United Methodist Building is located on Capitol Hill across from the U.S. Capitol and the next to the Supreme Court. We are convenient to two stations - Capitol South and Union Station. Parking is extremely limited and unlikely to be available on the day of the march.)
The UCC is sending a photographer/videographer to capture this important event. We will have photo release forms available at the United Methodist Building, but you can save some time by printing and signing your forms in advance. Download your forms and bring them with you.
(If you do NOT want to be on camera we will provide some signifier so you can identify yourself to the photographer/editor and we can make efforts to keep your image off camera or blurred.)
Engaging in Advocacy
Some our UCC youth are planning to come in early meet with their Senators and Members of Congress on the Friday before the march. If this is something you are interested in doing, you can use this link to identify your elected officials and find their contact information: http://p2a.co/Nmw4YqN
To prepare for your lobby visit, download our Public Policy Advocacy Guide. In it you will find tips for scheduling and holding a successful meeting. You can also visit our website to find more information on the UCC’s stances on gun violence.
March Program and Route
The official march program begins at noon and will take place on Pennsylvania Avenue, between 3rd and 12th street NW. It is an easy (downhill) walk from the United Methodist Building and a short ride to the accessibility drop-off point at the intersection of 7th Street and Maryland Ave SW. More information on the program and route can be found on the March for Our Lives website.
We are expecting big crowds for the march, so here are a few tips for your time in DC:
- Wear comfortable shoes and dress in layers. Right now the weather looks like it will be in the 50s, and standing outside for hours can get chilly. Keep an eye on the forecast and consider packing a poncho or rain gear if rain seems likely.
- Pack a water bottle and be sure to stay hydrated.
- The Metro will likely be the best way to get around the city. If you’re planning to take the Metro and you have access to a vendor before March 24th, consider purchasing your SmartTrip Card in advance, so you don’t have to wait in line to purchase a ticket when the stations are most crowded. You can download a Metro map here.)
- Cell service may be hard to access in the crowd. If you’re in a group, plan a meet up spot in case you get separated. Consider printing or downloading a map of DC to your phone in advance so you have directions if you need them.
- Small bags and backpacks are allowed, but cannot be larger than 18” x 13” x 7” - More information on what to bring (and not bring) is available on the march website.
- Finally, join us in worship on Sunday! You can find a local congregation in DC, Virginia or Maryland via the UCC Potomac Association.
We are so looking forward to seeing you later this month. Travel safely, and if you have any questions, please contact Suanne Breen in our DC office at 202-543-1517 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Administrative Assistant, Justice And Witness Ministries
100 Maryland Avenue, NE,Room #330
Washington, DC 20002
We welcome visitors to the Washington Office. Please feel free to contact us with any questions about our work.
United Church of Christ Washington Office
To email specific individuals please visit our staff page.
The Staff of the Washington office work to promote just public policy. Their portfolios cover a range of domestic and international issues.
Sandy Sorensen - (Bio)
Director of the Washington Office
Rev. Michael Neuroth
Policy Advocate for International Issues
Policy Advocate for Domestic Issues
Online Communications Specialist
Justice and Peace Policy Fellow