June 2, 2017

Letter Opposes Legislation that Repeals Medicaid Expansion

The Disciples Center for Public Witness joined other people of faith to oppose any legislation that repeals Medicaid expansion or institutes a Medicaid block grant or per capita cap. Read the letter below:

May 13, 2017

African American Clergy to Hold Press Conference on Community Response to Trump Administration; EPI Director Among Speakers

On Monday, May 18th, African American Clergy will gather in front of the United Methodist Building to respond to President Trump’s question to African American communities on the campaign trail: “What do you have to lose?”

Leaders from the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), the Progressive National Baptist Convention and Church World Service will speak out on issues of police accountability, educational inequity, rising unemployment, increasing healthcare costs, and hateful speech and actions towards minorities and women.

Clergy will highlight in particular how Black communities have been crippled by the rollback of police oversight by Attorney General Jeff Sessions, the move to privatize public education by Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, and the neglect of famine in Sudan and South Sudan. Faith leaders will unite to reject the President’s immoral policies that denigrate and destabilize African American communities.

May 7, 2017

Disciples Affirm the Rights of Immigrants, Refugees, and Workers

Disciples and other people of faith were among the immigrants, refugees, workers, and supporters who marched from various locations in DC to a large rally for justice across the street from the White House. 

May 6, 2017

Disciples Participate in People's Climate March

Disciples of Christ joined other people of faith from diverse religious traditions in a Climate March from Congress to the White House. For people of faith, the purpose of participating in the march was to affirm the shared commitment of diverse faith traditions to care for, protection of, responsible use of, and equally shared enjoyment of God's good creation.

GMP Responds to House Passage of New Health Care Bill

On Thursday, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill known as the "American Health Care Act." In response, Dr. Sharon Watkins said the following: "We are saddened that our elected officials played politics with and bargained away the lives of the 24 million Americans who will lose health care coverage under the American Health Care Act. Hebrew and Christian Scriptures urge us to "bear one another's burdens" (Galatians 6:2) and "rob not the poor" (Proverbs 22:22). Jesus, whom we follow, made health and healing a high priority in his ministry. We therefore join with other people of faith from all traditions to pray that, unlike the House, the Senate will meet its moral responsibility to defend and expand affordable, quality health care for all."

April 28, 2017

From Minister for Health and Wellness: Oppose the American Health Care Act!

Oppose the American Health Care Act!
Call your representative today:
(202) 224-3121

Congress was unable to pass the American Health Care Act (AHCA) because most of them believed it would harm people they represent.

The AHCA would leave 24 million people without health coverage, end Medicaid expansion, and cut Medicaid by $840 billion over 10 years hurting the most vulnerable among us.

The new changes worsen the bill by giving states the ability to eliminate key protections for people with pre-existing conditions, requirements to cover essential healthcare (e.g. pregnancy visits), and allow insurance companies to set lifetime caps and annual limits. A lifetime cap, for example, could limit services people who are recovering from addiction - a journey that is hard fought requiring consistent support.

Directors Of CJM And EPI Advocate For More Just Federal Budget

Across the street from the Capitol, the directors of Creation Justice Ministries (Shantha Ready Alonso) and the Ecumenical Poverty Initiative (Rev. Leslie Copeland-Tune) speak to a group of Christians about the need for a more just and compassionate federal budget.

Although ecumenical in leadership and mission, Creation Justice Ministries and the Ecumenical Poverty Initiative are very closely related to the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States and Canada.

Christians Arrested For Praying For More Compassionate Federal Budget

Faithful and courageous Christians were arrested in the Hart Senate building today for singing and praying for a more just and compassionate federal budget.

Christians Rally To Oppose The Trump Budget

Across the street from the Capitol and in the Hart Senate building, Christians rally to oppose the Trump budget, calling for a federal budget that is more just and compassionate.

Disciples Join Other Christians At The Pentagon To Pray For Peace

Disciples join other Christians going to the Pentagon to pray for peace for an end to the militarism that, acc. to Dr. King, kills us spiritually.

We are building up a new world

Builders must be strong. . . .

Courage, people, don't get weary

Though the way be long.

(Vincent Harding, co-author of Dr. King's "Beyond Vietnam" speech).

April 22, 2017

Photos: Advocacy Center Holds Spring Board Meeting

On April 20th and 21St, the Disciples Center for Public Witness held its Spring meeting of its Board of Governors.  On the evening of the 20th, about 50 people--board members and local supporters of the Center in the Capital Area--gathered together for presentations, special recognitions, and remarks from GMP Sharon Watkins.  

A presentation on poverty and the Congressional budget was given by Rev. Leslie Copeland-Tune, Director of the Ecumenical Poverty Initiative.  This was followed by a presentation on the situation of refugees and immigrants by Rev. Sharon Stanley-Rea, Director of our Refugee and Immigration Ministries.

Special acknowledgements were made to honor those who are leaving the board (GMP Sharon Watkins and Ron Degges, President of Disciples Home Missions); two board members who are retiring from their ministries but remaining on the board (Chris Hobgood and Delores Carpenter); and a life-long advocate and activist who had inspired and supported the Center (Doug Cook).  

After dinner, Dr. Watkins shared her reflections on social witness in the church--recent past, the current situation, and future possibilities. 

Disciples Among Leaders Planning Events for the 50th Anniversary of the Assassination of Dr. King.

An important gathering of faith leaders took place on April 21st, 2017, at National City Christian Church in Washington, DC. Convened by Rev. Dr. Alvin Jackson, co-founder and co-president of the Disciples Centerfor Public Witness, the purpose of the meeting was to begin organizing a year-long, nationwide series of gatherings and events to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Dr. King and, in these very challenging times, to continue the crucial work he began. The meeting included comments by Dr. James Forbes, Senior Pastor Emeritus at Riverside Church in New York, and Tamika Mallory, a leader in the Black Lives Matter movement and one of the key organizers of the Women's March.

According to the invitation sent to religious leaders, "In preparation for the 50th anniversary of Dr. King's death, leaders are working to explore the deep connections between diverse religious faith traditions and their shared moral values in the issue-areas of universal health care, equal funding for public schools, and the elimination of poverty, racism, sexism, and militarism."

April 7, 2017

President of Disciples Center for Public Witness hosts meeting to plan for the 50th Anniversary of Dr. King's martyrdom

On April 21st at National City Christian Church, Dr. Alvin Jackson, co-founder and co-President of the Disciples Center for Public Witness, is hosting a meeting to plan for activities to mark the 50th anniversary of the assassination of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Other leaders involved in this planning include the Rev. Al Sharpton, the Rev. William Barber, and the Rev. James Forbes.

You are Invited!

April 4, 2018 marks the 50th anniversary of the assassination of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in Memphis, TN. The National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis is involved in a year-long commemoration of Dr. King’s assassination with the theme, “MLK50 – Where Do We Go From Here?” The Museum is partnering with churches, organizations and civil rights leaders to explore the deep connections between shared religious faith traditions and the moral values of justice, fairness and the elimination of poverty, racism and extreme militarism.

Disciples Leaders Concerned About Anti-Environment Executive Order

Disciples General Minister and President Sharon Watkins and Green Chalice Director Carol Devine spoke out against an executive order by Donald Trump that threatens both public health and the protection of God's creation.

Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)

Press Statement

March 31, 2017 (Indianapolis, IN) - Climate Protection Rollbacks Threaten God’s Creation and the Most Vulnerable Among Us

On March 28, 2017, President Trump signed an executive order directing the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to review and possibly repeal the Clean Power Plan and carbon pollution standards for new power plants. The executive order takes aim at several important climate change protections intended to safeguard God’s creation and public health.

Leader of Disciples Women Supports Legislation for Fair Pay

The Paycheck Fairness Act was reintroduced on Equal Pay Day, April 4th. Pat Donahoo, Executive Director of Disciples Women, expressed her support for equal pay for equal work by signing on to a letter supporting the bill.

Co-Sponsor and Support the Paycheck Fairness Act (S 819, H.R. 1869)

April 4, 2017

Dear Member of Congress:

As members of a broad coalition of organizations that promote economic opportunity for women and full enforcement of antidiscrimination laws, we strongly urge you to support and co-sponsor the Paycheck Fairness Act. The Paycheck Fairness Act has twice passed the U.S. House of Representatives, and it fell just four votes short of a passage in a Senate vote on its merits in the 112th Congress.

March 25, 2017

Disciples Participate in Moral March to Save Healthcare

The Affordable Care Act is still the law of the land. On Friday Trump and House Speaker Ryan pulled their "repeal and replace" bill just prior to a vote that they would have lost. On the Wednesday prior to this victory for millions of Americans who would have lost health care, Disciples from the Disciples Center for Public Witness and Disciples Justice Action Network (DJAN) participated in a prayer vigil and march, the purpose of which was to bring public attention to the moral dimensions of the health care debate. Hundreds of religious leaders joined with other people of faith to visit Speaker Ryan's office, where religious leaders left hundreds of Bibles within which were stories of people whose lives were saved by different parts of the Affordable Care Act.

Leading the march from the Capitol

March 18, 2017

Disciples Endorse Health Care Statement by Ecumenical Poverty Initiative

The Disciples Center for Public Witness today endorsed a statement by its Ecumenical Poverty Initiative regarding the proposed health care plan:

We are profoundly disturbed and deeply concerned about the American Health Care Act put forward by House Speaker Paul Ryan to replace the Affordable Care Act and the devastating impacts it would have on the lives and well-being of the most vulnerable in our nation. The AHCA, which proposes $880 billion in cuts to Medicaid over the next decade and will result in millions of people losing health insurance coverage, is not simply an inadequate replacement for the Affordable Care Act. It is in essence a “Death Bill” that would put the lives of low and moderate income families, the elderly, children and people with disabilities at risk in order for the wealthiest Americans to get a tax break. This is both unjust and unacceptable.

PHOTO STORY: Disciples of Christ joined a four-day march on Washington organized by Native Americans

Disciples of Christ joined a four-day march on Washington organized by Native Americans.

CWS Statement on Halt of Rewritten Refugee Ban

After the Hawaii Federal District court issued a restraining order on the Trump administration’s executive order banning refugees and Muslims, CWS issued the following statement:

“The courts have spoken yet again, affirming the will of the American people who stand with immigrants and refugees. Today’s ruling is another assertion that the refugee and Muslim ban should never have been issued in the first place. CWS is heartened by this halt, which will enable us and other refugee resettlement agencies to continue to welcome refugees. Just like its first rendition, this rewritten executive order remains discriminatory, misguided and unconstitutional. No amount of tweaking can change this. We urge the administration to rescind this entire order, and trust that our justice system will ultimately prevail in this attack on human rights,” said Erol Kekic, Executive Director of the CWS Immigration and Refugee Program.

March 4, 2017

EPI Director Speaks at Interfaith Press Conference about Attorney General Sessions

The Rev. Leslie Copeland Tune, Director of the Ecumenical Poverty Initiative of the Disciples Center for Public Witness, spoke at an interfaith press conference organized by Faith in Public Life. The focus of the event was faith-based concern about Jeff Sessions continuing to serve as Attorney General.