March 4, 2018

Selma Jubilee 2018: Rev. William Barber Outlines New Poor People's Campaign

The 2018 Selma Bridge Crossing Jubilee festivities got underway with a "mass meeting" aimed at officially presenting the revival of the 1968 Poor People's Campaign to the Selma community. The event, held in Selma's historic First Baptist Church on Friday night, featured civil rights luminaries including Rev. Jesse L. Jackson, Sr. and Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, II, who spoke about the need for "a national call for moral revival." Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who led the original Poor People's Campaign, was assassinated 50 years ago next month, but his legacy was alive in Selma during the meeting. Click here to read more.

Florida Regional Minister Responds to Parkland Shooting

Rev. Dr. Betsy Goehrig, Regional Minister of Florida Disciples Regional Church:

We share in prayerful concern and deep sorrow in the aftermath of the shootings at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Our hearts and prayers surround the families and the entire community in this tremendous tragedy. These atrocities are happening all too frequently in the lives of our children, youth, families, faculty, staff, congregations, and communities.

In reaching out to our South Florida congregations, Craig Watts (Pastor of Royal Palm Christian Church in Coral Springs) responded:

Florida Youth Director Counsels Youth After Parkland Shooting

Alyssa Sikora, Youth Director at Royal Palm Christian Church in Coral Springs, Florida, helped the Parkland youth from her congregation process the trauma they experienced in the school shooting on Feb. 14. She also did an absolutely amazing job in debriefing the youth at the Florida Regional CYF Retreat, via a video meeting! She used her own experience and expertise, along with her compassion, to provide an excellent opportunity for the youth to begin to process this tragedy. We are so incredibly proud of the students in their community for speaking and marching in Tallahassee and Washington, D.C. These youth are getting people to listen. Though our country is still divided on various issues, there is finally some openness to DO something. We are grateful for how they are channeling their grief and trauma into action and change for good. May we continue to surround this community in our prayers.

DJAN Participates in Social Media Campaign to End Gun Violence

Recently DJAN was part of an emergency call to plan a response to the most recent mass shooting. The result was an interfaith social media campaign that took place on Presidents Day (today).

Faith leaders (ordained and lay) were asked to use a combination of a personal photos featuring text from Scripture, gun violence statistics, and the hashtag #PrayerAndPolicy to generate a movement of faith leaders speaking out against gun violence. The purpose was to encourage our religious leaders and faith communities to pray, yes, but also—to take action.

If you participated in this campaign, please send your photo to DJAN:

Advocacy Center Opposes Mississippi Bill

The Disciples Center for Public Witness joined with secular partners to oppose proposed legislation in Mississippi (HB1241) that would prevent local governments from exercising local control over fair pay and worker rights. To read the letter, please look below:

February 17, 2018

GMP Speaks A Word About Florida School Shooting

Once again, our nation is grieving senseless violence, senseless death: the killing of 17 students at a Florida high school, by a former student armed with an assault rifle and multiple magazines. We are once again horrified, angered, saddened and overcome with grief and loss. As a Christian minister, I know that the psalms can be powerful means of lament, of giving voice to our deepest, innermost human pain as we seek to find God’s comfort and peace in these moments. We pray, as we should; we comfort those who mourn, as we should. However, we must act. We are weary of these scenes, these horrifying, traumatic moments that have now some estimate have affected nearly 150,000 children in school settings since Columbine. Click here to read the full statement by Rev. Teresa Hord Owens on the reject tragedy in Florida.

Associate GMP Shares a Prayer for Today in Response to the Parkland Shooting

Look below to read this prayer by Dr. Timothy James, Associate General Minister of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States and Canada, and Administrative Secretary of the National Convocation.

February 16, 2018

Dear Lord, once again your humble servant bows before the Throne of Grace with a heavy heart and tear stained eyes. The headlines of the world news announce yet another school shooting, the 18th in the year of our Lord 2018. The Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida was the site of this most recent catastrophic event on Wednesday, Valentine’s Day and Ash Wednesday, simultaneously observed and simultaneously interrupted. We lift to You, Caring God, the victims and their families, their classmates, friends, teachers, and the school administrators. We pray also for the first responders, the medical staff, the rest of this stunned nation and even the perpetrator’s family. Lord remember all who have been so deeply impacted by this malicious act. Please grant, Provider God, sufficient grace and comfort as only You can at such a time as this.

February 16, 2018

Interfaith Coalition Against Gun Violence Calls for Prayer and Advocacy

In response to the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, the Interfaith Coalition Against Gun Violence issued a statement on the shooting, a statement that includes a call to action. Read the interfaith statement below.

Interfaith Coalition Issues Statement on Parkland School Shooting and Call to Action

On Wednesday, February 14, seventeen lives were taken from this Earth at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. We mourn this loss of life, and the transformation of a place of learning and community into a site of death and destruction. To the dead, the injured, and the hundreds of family members, friends, and communities that are grieving, we commit our prayers and our tireless action to prevent gun violence.

The shooting in Parkland is the 30th mass shooting since the beginning of the year, six weeks ago. No other country in the world tolerates this level of deadly slaughter. Gun violence shames this country daily.


Rev. Dr. Sharon Stanley-Rea, Disciples Refugee & Immigration Ministries Director:

Disciples Refugee and Immigration Ministries [], provided the following information about what did and did not happen in this week’s votes on immigration by the US Senate:

*NO DREAMER PROTECTIONS were confirmed, as all three amendments that offered various levels of security for dreamers were defeated. The bi-partisan Coons-McCain Amendment 1955 "USA Act" had included the full Dream Act, together with a data-driven (non-wall) approach to border security. The vote failed 52-47, with 4 Republicans voting for the bill, including: Sen. Gardner (R-CO), Sen. Graham (R-SC), Sen. Flake (R-AZ), and Sen. Murkowski (R-AK). Sen. Manchin (D-WV) voted against the bill.

February 14, 2018


First . . . Happy St. Valentine’s Day!

Second . . . Don’t forget that today is also Ash Wednesday.

Third . . . Thank you for sharing with us your passion for justice.

Today:  Call your Senators and Representative:  202-224-3121.
Tell them to Protect DREAMers and Keep Families Together!

It is critical that all Senators hear from their constituents right now. Call today to urge them to reject the Secure and Succeed Act and instead pass the Dream Act or another bipartisan, permanent solution that offers a pathway to citizenship for the whole dreamer population and protects family reunification, such as the USA Act,  which is narrowly tailored to protect as many dreamers as possible and includes a data-driven approach to accountable border security and emphasizes the importance of consultation with border communities.

Show some love for our volunteers, activists, advocates, and staff.
Please give sacrificially:

Disciples Center for Public Witness
c/o Disciples Home Missions
PO Box 1986
Indianapolis, IN  46206

February 9, 2018

Disciples Center for Public Witness Supports Immediate Solution for Dreamers

The Disciples Center for Public Witness joined with other denominational offices and national faith organizations to "urge Congress to immediately pass a bipartisan pathway to citizenship that protects Dreamers from deportation.” Read the letter below.

February 3, 2018

GMP, Disciples leaders sign Unity Declaration on Racism and Poverty

General Minister and President Rev. Terri Hord Owens, Rev. Lori Tapia, National Pastor for Hispanic Ministries, and Dr. Cynthia Hale, Founding Pastor, Ray of Hope Christian Church were signatories to the following statement of a group of clergy and religious leaders called The Circle of Protection. Read the full statement. Disciples can find more ways to get involved in the fight against racism and poverty with the Poor People's Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival, supported at the 2017 General Assembly.

RIM Calls on Disciples to Support Family Unity and Protect Dreamers

This week, Congress has been negotiating legislation that would protect dreamers, but some proposals are using dreamers as a "bargaining chip" to separate families or undercut other community members. As Congress considers legislation to protect dreamers, it is critical that our national leaders prioritize proposals that reflect our commitment to family unity and offer a pathway to citizenship for as many dreamers as possible - without jeopardizing other immigrant populations. Our elected leaders also need to hear that their constituents urge them to oppose any proposal that would prevent family unification, deprive dreamers of an opportunity to pursue a pathway to citizenship, or increase the immigration detention, deportation, and border militarization machine.

Take action today and tell Congress to support the Dream Act or another bipartisan legislative solution that protects as many dreamers possible - without compromising family unity or our immigrant neighbors. You will receive a phone call and be patched through to your 2 Senators and 1 Representative.

Victory: Poultry Industry Efforts to Loosen Needed Regulations Rejected by USDA

The Disciples Center for Public Witness joins its ecumenical and interfaith partners in celebrating the USDA Decision to reject the Poultry Industry’s Push to End Line Speed Limits.


* The Government Accountability Office released a report in December of 2017 that confirmed that forcing lines to move faster will expose poultry workers to higher rates of injuries and illnesses.

* In addition to worker risks, countries with higher line speeds have higher rates of foodborne contamination in poultry plants.

* The USDA received 100,000 comments in just a few months – and almost all but a handful opposed this petition.

The Disciples Center for Public Witness participated in coalition with Interfaith Worker Justice and other people of faith in supporting line speed limits, informing people of faith about this situation, participating in public actions to draw attention to this concern, and using social media to encourage Disciples and others to participate in the comment process.

January 30, 2018

The Pope's Message to Donald Trump on the Unholy Power of Verbal Violence

By John Gehring, New York Daily News

This crass instinct to dehumanize people and distort information for ideological ends, Francis writes in a Vatican message for World Communications Day, “leads only to the spread of arrogance and hatred.” If you wonder how seriously the Pope takes this issue, consider that he compares the toxic dissemination of fake news with the “crafty serpent” in the Book of Genesis, the site of original sin in traditional Christian theology.


Click here to read the full article. 

January 27, 2018

DJAN Opposes Abortion Ban

Disciples Justice Action Network joined with Disciples for Choice to sign a letter to the US Senate opposing another attempt to place a ban on a woman’s access to the full range of reproductive health care. This letter was written primarily by another major advocate for reproductive justice and real religious liberty, Catholics for Choice. Read the letter below.

News From Partners: Labor Groups Demand DOL Withdraw Proposed "Tip Theft" Rule

Washington, DC - The Labor Coalition for Community Action, a coalition of the six constituency groups of the AFL-CIO, including the A. Philip Randolph Institute, Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance, Coalition of Black Trade Unionists, Coalition of Labor Union Women, Labor Council for Latin American Advancement, and Pride at Work, issued the following statement on the Department of Labor (DOL)'s proposed "tip theft" rule that shifts the ownership of tips from workers to employers.

"This proposed rule to steal hard-earned tips from the pockets of restaurant workers is utterly despicable. Instead of affirming that tips are the property of workers, the Trump administration is championing corporate greed and acting as an extension for the National Restaurant Association.

January 24, 2018

We Need Each Other--in small, safe family-like groups

This is the fourth column in which we are exploring the importance of ways we must depend on each other. We began this series by affirming our need of one another, and why the notion that we are our brothers’ keepers must become a commitment to be our brothers’ brother.

Two weeks ago we examined how our national survival depends on the realization that we are part of an interdependent community of nations, and not “an island entire of itself,” as John Donne put it. Even with our overwhelming military and economic power, the United States cannot simply withdraw from the world’s international structures as if we didn’t need them for our survival. An antithesis of this notion is the passion to build a massive wall whose sole purpose is to keep “them” out.

Our commitments to The United Nations, the International Court of Justice and the Paris agreement on climate change are essential for our own safety, as well as the world’s well being. International interdependence is no longer just a voluntary option. It is the key to our survival.

January 21, 2018


Many were shocked with the racist remarks attributed to President Trump and the way in which he referred to countries in Africa, as well as El Salvador and Haiti. His comment, along with previous public statements, pierced our hearts and the hearts of our partners as many of our church partners are located in the countries and regions he disparages. Global Ministries, a common witness in mission of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and the United Church of Christ, is unable to be silent in the face of the words and attitudes that dehumanize and insult our sisters and brothers. The president’s actions go against our core values that we cherish: community, mutuality, justice, peace, and presence. We are blessed to receive the witness of our partner churches in Africa, El Salvador, Haiti, and in many other places that the president would no doubt place in the same category.

To read more, click here.

Sign the Petition to Tell Senator Burr: Return NRA Money

It has been reported that the FBI is investigating whether Vladimir Putin and the Russian government used the National Rifle Association (NRA) to help Donald Trump's presidential campaign. The NRA spent a tremendous amount of money on 2016 Senate races, with the most going to Senator Richard Burr of North Carolina. Senator Burr chairs the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and is in charge of the Senate investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election. Tell Senator Richard Burr to return the NRA's Russian campaign contributions. Sign the letter here.