National Council of Churches USA -- Home Page

National Council of Churches USA:  America's Protestant, Anglican and Orthodox faith groups joining hands and voices to express their unity in Christ


NCC HEADLINES

London bombing strengthens the resolve of the attacked

16,000 (and counting) endorse 'Speak Out' on Iraq

NCC Governing Board: Speak out on Iraq on 4th of July

NCC applauds Senate resolution on greenhouse gas emissions

NCC supports bi-partisan resolution to withdraw troops from Iraq by the end of the year.

Habitat for Humanity launches 2005 Jimmy Carter work project

Religious leaders urge Congress to declare that U.S. occupation of Iraq won't go on forever.

Blair asks U.S. religious leaders to push debt relief, aid to Africa, and global climate change.

Interfaith Coalition urges people of faith to advocate an end to world hunger

Faith & Order holds spring meeting at King Center in Atlanta

NCC Calls on fast food chains to follow the lead of Taco Bell

Abbas meets with NCC and other church leaders

NCC nudges James Watt toward greater greenness

NCC applauds Senate compromise ending threat of 'nuclear option'

Jewish and Christian dialogue showing 'signs of maturity,' NCC says

NCC urges Defense inquiry into alleged abuses of Qur'an

NCC launches western public lands initiative to address growing threats.

Civil rights and religious leaders align to oppose legislative 'nuclear option.'

Applications Now Being Accepted for 2005 Assembly Young Adults Stewards Program

NCC General Secretary Praises Bush for his moderating voice on 'Justice Sunday' rhetoric

On 'Justice Wednesday', people of faith pray for a just federal budget

Hundreds rally in Washington as Congress opens Social Security hearings.

Edgar's statement challenges tactics of anti-filibuster 'Justice Sunday' planners

Orthodox Archbishop Iakovos, Champion of Civil Rights and Ecumenism, Dies at 93.

NCC a Founding Supporter of The Benefit Bank, which Connects People to Resources

More NCC News . . .


RESOURCES FOR MINISTRY

Poverty Mobilization:
- Cover the Uninsured Week
- Let Justice Roll: Faith and Community Voices Against Poverty
- Index to Ecumenical Resources for Welfare Reform

- Working Group on Human Needs and Faith-Based and Community Initiatives Report
- "Ending Poverty" Curriculum and Related Resources

Racial Justice:
- The NCC and Racial Justice
- Resources for Special Days in the Black Church

- Annotated Bibliography of Africentric Resources. Order by phone at 212-870-2151 or by e-mail to btilley@ncccusa.org

Overcoming Violence:
- Decade to Overcome Violence
- Resources and U.S.
2004 "Lenten Fast from Violence"

- 'Violence, Moral Darkness and Peacemaking'  (a bibliography)
- Study Guide "Why Violence? Why Not Peace?"
- "Peacemaking Begins at Home" Nonviolent Conflict Resolution for Families
- Hymn responding to recent school violence, 'A Prayer for Our Children', offered by Carolyn Winfrey Gillette.

More on Peacemaking:
-
General Secretary's 'A Vision of Peace in a Time of War'
- Theological reflections on security and vulnerability, by NCC's Antonios Kireopoulos
- Peaceful Ends Through Peaceful Means: A Witness for Peace in Israel and Palestine
- Prayers for Middle East Peace
- Religions for Peace U.S.A.
- Church Folks for a Better America, a new peacemaking website from Princeton, N.J.
-
Resources for Addressing the Sudan Crisis

Ecumenical Life:
- News and Documentation from the 2004 NCC/CWS General Assembly in St. Louis
 - 2004 General Assembly Photos, by Kathleen Cameron, available for downloading free.
- Fall 2004 issue of EcuLink, NCC's newspaper: now online!
- An Ecumenical Celebration of the Word: Prayer for Unity 2004

- Faith and Order Commission Response to "Petrine Ministry: A Working Draft"
- Ecumenical Women 2000+

- 'Toward the Common Confession of the Apostolic Faith Today' (a bibliography)
- Week of Prayer for Christian Unity 2005
-
World Communion Sunday

Interfaith Relations:
'Denying Muslims rights not a religious value,' by David J. Lull

International Issues:
- Code for Media Coverage of Israeli-Palestinian Issues
-
'Honor the Legacy' Campaign Asks Rededication to Geneva Conventions, International Law

-Investing in Development: A Practical Plan to Achieve the Millennium Development GoalsChurch Bulletin Insert on this topic

Research:
- Report of Human Genetics Policy Development Committee (2MB+ PDF - Broadband only)

Tsunami Followup:
 -
Bulletin Insert (Easter)

 - Church Response Guidelines
 - Church World Service Updates
 - Worship and Prayer Resources
 - Connecting with Asian Immigrants
in the U.S.
 - Sampling of NCC Member Communions' Crisis Responses

 

QUICK REFERENCE

About the NCC:
Who We Are, How We Work
Member Communions
NCC Officers 2004-2005
Governing (Executive) Board
Ecumenical Networks
Partner Organizations
General Secretary's Message
NCC News Service
2005 Calendar of Events
Policies, Resolutions Since 1997
Staff and Office Directory
Employment Opportunities

Program Commissions:
Communication
Education & Leadership
Faith & Order
Interfaith Relations
Justice & Advocacy

Other Ministry Resources:
Agricultural Missions
Church World Service
Economic Justice
Environmental Issues
Health Care, Peace Issues
Interfaith Open House Project
Life Long Learning Seminars
Litany for Education, Schools

'Low-Power FM' Video
Outdoor Ministries Resources
Outdoor Mi
nistries Curriculum
Micah 6: Church Renewal

Peace with Justice Week

Subscribe to:
- ChurchNet listserve for periodic NCC news and notices
- EcuLink, the NCC's quarterly newspaper, sent by U.S. mail
- FaithfulAmerica.org, an online community 'for a just and compassionate nation'
- Reforming Welfare Reform, info and action alerts listserve
- NCC News Releases by E-Mail

Take Action:
Join FaithfulAmerica.org
Let Justice Roll: Faith and Community Voices Against Poverty

Talk to Congress
Invest in Ecumenism
Make a Secure On-Line Gift

Support Peace in the Sudan
Register to Vote/Volunteer

Attend a Workshop/Seminar

Church Bulletin Inserts:
- Social Security insert -- who Social Security helps, why we can't do without it.
- 'Living Into Asia's Pain', a Good Friday-Easter Sunday Reflection on Tsunami Relief
- 'Lift Every Voice and Sing' - The African American Anthem
- Sankofa - West African Symbol, Spiritual Connections

- 'Let Justice Roll' Against Poverty -- Responsive Reading

- Litany for Education, Schools
- Questions for Candidates About Children and Education
- Christian Principles in an Election Year, Study Guide
- Christian Principles Hymn

-
Churches and the U.N.
-
Permanent War Economy: Real Security or False Promise?
From Jobs for All

-
'Martin's Dream,' a Hymn for MLK Jr. Day Commemorations

Publications:
- Eco-Justice Newsletter
- EcuLink online edition

-
Equal Access Guide for Meetings, Conferences, Large Assemblies and Worship
- 'For the Good of All Families'
- Friendship Press Catalog
- 'God is One: The Way of Islam'
- NRSV Bible Translation
- Search the NRSV Bible
- Yearbook of American and Canadian Churches
- Yearbook CD for 1916-2000


Not Sure Where to Look?
Search and Index of Website
Staff and Office Directory
Local/Global Ecumenical Links

Media Center


 

Disciples call Sharon Watkins as General Minister; First woman to head a mainline Protestant group The Rev. Dr. Sharon E. Watkins, senior minister of Disciples Christian Church in Bartlesville, Okla., has been elected General Minister and President of the 750,000 member Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). She becomes the seventh general minister and president to head the Disciples and the first woman to head a mainline Protestant communion/ denomination.  She succeeds Wm. Chris Hobgood and will serve in the Disciples’ general offices in Indianapolis, Ind. "We are a church whose time has come," Watkins told the 3,000 delegates of the Disciples' 2005 General Assembly in Portland, Ore. "We have so much to share, and we must be bold and courageous in sharing our story." Read more.

August 6: Living with the bomb for sixty years
On August 6, 1945, at 8:16 a.m. Japanese time, 80,000 people died instantly in the blast of the first atomic bomb in Hiroshima. Another 35,000 were injured and more than 60,000 would die by the end of the year from the effects of radioactive fallout. On August 9, 1945, between 60,000 and 80,000 died at 11:02 a.m. in the blast of the second atomic bomb over Nagasaki. The nuclear age was born -- and continues in the uncertainty of missing plutonium caches and terrorist threats. This August, people of faith around the world will be commemorating the anniversary with worship, prayers and peace programs to prevent the horror from happening again. Click the links for a sampling of the resources that are offered by churches and church organizations for this historic observation:  Baptist Peace Fellowship of North America; Church of the Brethren; Lutheran Peace Fellowship; Orthodox Peace Fellowship; Presbyterian Church (USA); United Church of Christ.

NCC general secretary told Truman he was 'deeply disturbed' by the use of the bomb
The Rev. Dr. Samuel McCrae Cavert, general secretary of the Federal Council of Churches (later the NCC), telegraphed President Harry S Truman on August 9, 1945, that many Christians were "deeply disturbed" over the use of  atomic bombs against Japanese cities because of  "their necessarily indiscriminate destructive efforts and because their use sets (an) extremely dangerous precedent for the future." President Truman replied on August 11, "When you have to deal with a beast you have to treat him as a beast. It is most regrettable but nevertheless true." Click here for Truman Library copies of the exchange.

Project 2010 - providing after school programs for all children by 2010
The time between school and supper is crucial for children, and children who attend quality after school programs do better at home and in class. Not every child has access to this advantage, and Project 2010 of the After School Alliance is a national coalition to make it possible for all children to attend after school programs by 2010. Partners of Project 2010 -- which include the NCC, the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and nearly 1,600 others -- believe that after school programs will help develop stronger families, foster leadership qualities among our children and promote the availability of high quality public education. Click the box to join Project 2010. For more information about the After School Alliance, click here
.

NCC accepts World Council of Churches challenge 'to reflect global perspective'
World Council of Churches General Secretary Dr. Samuel Kobia, speaking in Portland, Ore., at the general assembly of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), challenged U.S. churches "to reflect a global perspective rather than an ultra-patriotic 'culture club.'" NCC General Secretary Bob Edgar responded with appreciation for Kobia's challenge. "The instinct of most people of faith in the U.S. is to look outward, especially to the poor and oppressed of the world," Edgar said. "Even so, we Americans are so richly blessed and have so much that it's always a temptation to retrench into a self-protecting 'culture club.'  Sam Kobia reminds us that we have so much to offer the world in the fight against hunger, disease and injustice. I appreciate his challenge to us to take some risks, to enlarge our role and increase our cooperation in the world community." Kobia (pictured) noted that the world is afraid of U.S. policies like the doctrine of pre-emptive war and the Bush administration's reluctance to support international initiatives against global warming, or the Millennium Development Goals. He said it is the role of the churches to "speak truth to power," even when the message is not welcome. (
WCC Picture.)  Read more.

People of faith are praying for Darfur -- and calling upon the U.S. to act
People of faith around the world are focusing on war-torn Darfur in response to a call to prayer by the NCC and interfaith and ecumenical groups, including the Save Darfur Coalition and the National Association of Evangelicals. Up to 400,000 people have died in Darfur since the government-sponsored genocide began in 2003. More than 2.5 million have lost their homes as villages have been destroyed by government forces. These forces have raped thousands of women and girls, thrown children onto bonfires and castrated and killed thousands of men. In September 2004, the Bush Administration declared the situation in Darfur as a genocide. The violence continues and the situation is deteriorating. The NCC, along with Africa Action, Save Darfur and other humanitarian groups, is also calling upon the U.S. to accelerate its efforts to end the killing and torture. Click the Faithful America box to send a message to President Bush that his efforts to end the genocide are supported by a groundswell of opinion by people of faith and good will.. The National Council, FaithfulAmerica, Africa Action and others have set a goal of raising at least 400,000 signatures of persons of faith and conscience by September 9 – a year after President Bush declared that a genocide is taking place in Darfur.

Volunteers:
'We created a neighborhood!'
Hundreds leave a place better than they found it
Habitat for Humanity's 2005 Jimmy Carter work project is done, and 54 new homes adorn the landscape of Benton Harbor and Detroit, Mich. "As always, it was as rejuvenating as a vacation," said NCC General Secretary Bob Edgar, who participates in the project each year. "The Council and its volunteers try to follow the model President Carter represents -- a man who has already given so much and is always willing to give more when people are in need." The houses were built in less than a week last month by hundreds of volunteers -- a remarkable accomplishment that is repeated routinely by Habitat workers around the world. The Michigan project was recorded on film and digital cameras by builders as they worked. Here is their scrapbook.

Preserving and protecting Social Security -- a new NCC curriculum for congregations
T
he ongoing debate on Social Security reform has been heated, partisan and often confusing. Now a new NCC curriculum illuminates the debate from a biblical perspective, underscoring our witness that God expects people of faith to help protect all members of society. The curriculum, designed for congregational study groups, examines the ethical issues behind some of the reform proposals, looks at Social Security in its current form and provides clear information about proposals for changing it and their potential implications. The curriculum is free and can be downloaded as a pdf. file by clicking the picture. Also available for free download is a Social Security bulletin insert that summarizes the proposed changes in the system and offers principles to guide those changes; and a link to an entertaining video from the NCC's Faithful America depicting a latter-day Scrooge and an eerie journey to Social Security's future.

Current and Coming Events of Note . . . 

August 6, 2005 -- Keep the Vote Alive, march and rally, Atlanta, Ga. The Rainbow/PUSH Coalition will commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act and call attention to the threats facing minorities and the poor as keep provisions of the act come up for renewal in 2007. The march begins at 10 a.m. at the Richard B. Russell Federal Building and will proceed on Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive and to Herndon Stadium for an all-day rally beginning at 11 a.m. Speakers and performers include Rev. Jesse L. Jackson Sr., Rep. John Lewis, former NCC President Ambassador Andrew Young, Dr. Joseph Lowery, Stevie Wonder, Roberta Flack and Rep. Nancy Pelosi.

October 13, 2005 -- Christian, Jewish and Muslim nationwide fast. An unusual confluence of sacred seasons for the three Abrahamic faiths this October has led to a call for a day of fasting for reflection, repentance, reconciliation and renewal. Initiated by The Tent of Abraham, Hagar and Sarah and supported by the NCC and the Shalom Center, persons of faith are called upon to "eat together, walk together, learn together, pray alongside each other, listen to each other, and work together for peace, justice, human rights and the healing of our earth. The sacred Muslim lunar month of Ramadan and the sacred Jewish lunar month of Tishrei begin October 3-4. October 4 is the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi, and October 2 is Worldwide Communion Sunday.

October 27-29, 2005 -- International Conference on Violence and Christian Spirituality on the campus of Hellenic College, Brookline, Mass. Hosted by Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology, the World Council of Churches and the Boston Theological Institute. Speakers include Archbishop Demetrios of America; Dr. Samuel Kobia, general secretary, World Council of Churches; and Dr. Marc Gopin, director of the Center for World Religions, Democracy and Conflict Resolution at George Mason University. Read more.

Ecumenical Resources You Can Use . . .

A Moral Creed for All Christians. This new book by Professor Daniel C. Maguire of Marquette University seeks to rekindle the fiery core of Christianity by pointing out that the faith's relevance is not uncovered by right-wing morality or left-wing rhetoric. Maguire asserts Christianity's moral convictions about God's care, rapport with the earth, the nature of ownership, the bond between justice and peace, the nature of enmity, the illogic of militarism, and the creative potential of the human species. Paperback, 208 pages, $14 from Fortress Press (800-328-4648).

Speaking Faith: The Essential Handbook for Religion Communicators is a completely revised seventh edition of the standard guide to the field,recently released by Religion Communicators Council, an interfaith organization which includes many NCC-related professionals.  Practical in focus, Speaking Faith has 16 chapters with such hands-on help for houses of worship as  'Graphic Identity,' and  'Getting Out the News.'  The book, published with assistance from the National Council of Churches, is now available from Friendship Press at $19.95 per copy, plus shipping. Call 800-889-5733 toll-free or send e-mail to Rbray@gbgm-umc.org to order yours!  For more details about the handbook, click here.

Judgment Days: Lyndon Baines Johnson, Martin Luther King Jr. and the Laws that Changed America. By Nick Kotz, $26, Houghton Mifflin. This new book by Pulitzer Prize and National Magazine Award winning journalist Nick Kotz, sheds new light on the partnership between two dissimilar men: the intellectual, elegant and sensitive preacher and the gangling, exhaustingly extroverted Texas politician. Persons  who lived through the 1960's may be surprised by anecdotes showing how aggressively LBJ -- unlike his predecessor, John F. Kennedy -- pursued civil rights and championed the legislation to back it up. From the book: "In passing the 1964 Civil Rights Act and pushing for a Voting Rights Act in 1965, Lyndon Johnson was reacting to a demand for change, stimulated by the brilliant civil rights campaigns executed by Dr. Martin Luther King in Birmingham and Selma. It had required strong leadership skills for the president to shepherd legislation successfully through Congress. But Johnson wanted to do more ... He wanted to lead the civil rights movement in furthering the cause of poor African Americans."

"The Church and the Media: An NCC Policy Guide" is the product of five years of study by members of the Communication Commission of the National Council of Churches, who considered the impact of mass media on our culture and sought to apply the teaching of Scripture to the realities of the times. Three policy statements and a message to churches were developed to address what congregations might do to focus attention on the interaction of media, justice, violence and the churches' role in communication advocacy and media education.  Click here for the full document, in both Word and Acrobat/PDF formats.

"Valuing Families," a new resource from the NCC's Education and Leadership Ministries Commission, is designed to inspire Christian families to honor and prayerfully support families of all shapes and sizes.  It may be used by individual families or by congregations as content for family or intergenerational events.  The components  may be used together or at separate times to nurture integrity within individual families and a strong sense of community.  Click here to read more/download.  

What Adults with Disabilities Wish All Parents Knew, Reflections from a Different Journey, edited by Stanley D. Klein and John D. Kemp, is recommended reading for everyone, disabled or non-disabled, says NCC Disabilities Committee Coordinator Linda Jean H. Larson.  Click here for her book review and order info.

Aging Health Tips. The National Council on the Aging has useful health tips for aging persons and their caregivers posted here. The tips include basic information on Alzheimer's, arthritis, diabetes, epilepsy, hearing loss, incontinence, long-term care, osteoporosis, prostate cancer, shingles, techniques for surviving strokes, vitamin therapy and other issues.

"Hardball on Holy Ground," a Hard Ball On Holy Groundnew book by Steven Swecker, chronicles ongoing efforts by wealthy and powerful individuals and foundations linked to the religious right to undermine mainline churches and the National Council of Churches. One reviewer notes that a hostile takeover of these churches would represent a massive shift in American culture and the balance of ideas and values for a relatively small investment, muting the influence of the more moderate Christian community within our society. Click here for info / to order.


Hunger No More: Faces Behind the Facts" offers solutions for the persistent problem of hunger in the 21st century. Produced for the NCC by Mennonite Media, the program aired on ABC-TV stations and is now available in DVD and VHS.  It was among films featured at the 2005 Freedom Cinema Festival, concurrently with the Sundance Film Festival.  Click here for more info.  Another film, "Make Hunger History," a case study of Oregonians fighting hunger with advocacy, is available from Bread for the World.  Click here for more info.

God's Politics: Why the Right Gets It Wrong and the Left Doesn't Get It -- This new book by Jim Wallis of Sojourners/Call to Renewal offers a clarion call to make both our religious communities and our government more accountable to key values of the prophetic religious tradition -- the values of love, justice, reconciliation, and community that Jesus taught and that are at the core of what many believe, Christian or not.  Click here to order online.

A Matter of Trust: Americans and Their Government 1958-2004, the final report of the Partnership for Trust in Government, an effort of the Council for Excellence in Government and the Ford Foundation.  The NCC was among partners in this most comprehensive review of trust in government ever produced.  For more information, click here.

Telling it Like it Was: Two new books focus on important pieces of ecumenical history. Journeys that Opened Up the World: Women, Student Christian Movements and Social Justice, 1955-1975, tells riveting personal stories of 16 women whose religious roots fed their social activism.  A Tapestry of Justice, Service, and Unity: Local Ecumenism in the United States, 1950-2000, chronicles 50 years of local ecumenical life across America.  Read more.

 



Your comments and suggestions are welcomed:  news@ncccusa.org / Phone 212-870-2227 / Fax: 212-870-2030.  
NCC Communication Department, 475 Riverside Drive, Suite 880, New York, NY 10115.
Copyright © 2005 The National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA