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BRIAN P. ADAMS JUSTICE EDUCATION FUND
July 23, 2016
“Too many middle-class families struggle with the high costs of raising their children. The new Canada Child Benefit means more money for healthier groceries, kids’ summer programs, and back-to-school clothes. This new child benefit is much more generous, and will help the Canadian economy grow for years to come,” said Trudeau.
- will receive a single payment every month;
- will not have to pay taxes on CCB payments received when they file their tax returns;
- with low- and middle-incomes will receive more benefits, and those with the highest incomes (generally over $150,000) will receive lower benefits than under the previous system; and
- who are eligible will see an average increase in child benefits of almost $2,300 in the 2016-17 benefit year.
July 14, 2016
Deirdre also serves as the part-time Executive Assistant to the Regional Minister of the Christian Church Capital Area, where she provides administrative support for the diverse ministries of the region. In addition to administrative and leadership skills, Deirdre has over twenty years of non-profit experience as both a teacher and a social justice advocate. Besides also being a serious history scholar and a married mother of three children, Deirdre is, in her spare time, a jazz singer.
"We are very pleased to welcome someone so knowledgable, talented, and passionate about justice to this new ministry," said Dr. Alvin Jackson, co-founder of the Center and co-president of its Board of Governors. "We are also pleased to share this ministry with our good friends and partners at Disciples Home Missions and Reconciliation Ministries."
July 8, 2016
It is Friday, July 8, 2016 about 9:00 a.m. I still believe, "Beloved, let us love one another, because love is from God; everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, for God is love." It is Friday, July 8, 2016 about 9:01 a.m. I still believe, "There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female, for all of you are one in Christ Jesus." It is Friday, July 8, 2016 about 9:02 a.m. I still believe, "What does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God."
This week, yet again, the world weeps as children of God are killed and human divisions are deepened. Buffeted by recent news stories of mass murders in Orlando, Istanbul, Dhaka, and Baghdad and the one-year anniversary of the massacre in the AME Church in Charleston, we turn on our televisions and reel at the news of the shooting of Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge, Philando Castile in St. Paul, and this morning the five police officers and seven others wounded in Dallas. Clearly, there is no better time to be in touch with the essence of God and the way of Jesus than now… no better place than here… no better people than us.
July 4, 2016
July 1, 2016
The Disciples Center for Public Witness wishes a Happy Canada Day to all our sisters and brothers in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Canada, and also to our ecumenical sisters and brothers in the United Church of Canada, the Canadian Council of Churches, Kairos Canada, and Citizens for Public Justice.
Happy Birthday, Canada!
June 16, 2016
Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) General Minister and President Rev. Dr. Sharon Watkins joined faith leaders from across the country Wednesday at the U.S. Capitol to pray for victims and families of the Orlando shooting and to pray that another issue critical to our safety and security -- reform of systems that imprison 2.3 million Americans -- is accomplished through changes in federal sentencing guidelines. The prayer vigil was led by faith groups from across a wide spectrum of Christian, Jewish, and Muslim groups, along with civil rights groups.
The Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act of 2015 (S. 2123) has not been brought to a vote, despite receiving wide bipartisan support. Faith leaders met with Senators and members of the House of Representatives to urge that this bill, and other reforms, move forward. Sentencing reform is one issue that has been able to cut through partisan gridlock and has received support from both Republicans and Democrats.
“Christianity, Judaism, and Islam all spring from a story of freedom, of a God who liberates the enslaved and gives second chances,” Watkins said. “We believe this is a matter of faith and morality, and we urge Senator McConnell to do the right thing and bring this bill to a vote.”
The Senate bill, S. 2123, reforms the “Three Strikes” rules that can put persons in prison for life for minor offenses. It also changes some of the mandatory minimum sentences for nonviolent drug offenses. “We have been supportive of this bill since the beginning, and still feel that it is the best chance we will have to see meaningful change for years to come,” said Aundreia Alexander, Associate General Secretary of the National Council of Churches. “If this legislation is not brought to a vote in the next few weeks, it likely will die. Time is of the essence. We urge Congress to act now.”
The event was sponsored by the National Council of Churches, the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, the Interfaith Criminal Justice Coalition, the Religious Action Center for Reform Judaism.
June 15, 2016
Perhaps this year, as we recognize the world now has OVER 20 MILLION refugees and 40 MILLION displaced persons--more than at any point since World War II--understanding and building friendships with refugees has never been so critical! As Disciples, through Refugee & Immigration Ministries, and in partnership with Week of Compassion, there are multiple ways to build our knowledge and connections around this year's "World Refugee Day"
June 13, 2016
I just finished a meeting with FBI Director Comey and my homeland security and national security advisors. The FBI is on the scene and leading the investigation, in partnership with local law enforcement. I’ve directed that the full resources of the federal government be made available for this investigation.
We are still learning all the facts. This is an open investigation. We’ve reached no definitive judgment on the precise motivations of the killer. The FBI is appropriately investigating this as an act of terrorism. And I’ve directed that we must spare no effort to determine what -- if any -- inspiration or association this killer may have had with terrorist groups. What is clear is that he was a person filled with hatred. Over the coming days, we’ll uncover why and how this happened, and we will go wherever the facts lead us."
May 28, 2016
General Minister and President Rev. Dr. Sharon Watkins said, "I have heard countless stories of congregations around the country welcoming refugees through offering donations, uplifting refugee leadership, volunteering at resettlement offices, tutoring English, highlighting refugees in worship, advocating refugee rights, and working hand-in-hand with their community leaders to demonstrate that without a doubt, refugees are welcomed neighbors. In this era of unprecedented numbers of refugees in the world, and unfortunate pushback against them in many areas, World Refugee Day--and indeed every day--provides us with wonderful opportunities to live out God's urging scripture to 'love the stranger, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt.' (Dt. 10:19)"
the RIM home page.
May 27, 2016
“It’s easy to blame the treatment of sexual assault victims at Baylor on a collegiate football culture that’s obsessed with winning. But that’s not the real culprit. It’s merely the conduit for a larger problem. Because if we think what happened at Baylor couldn’t (doesn’t?) happen at our school, or job, or city, or place of worship, we’re fooling ourselves. It happens all the time. Every day.” Read the rest here.
Marc Istook grew up at South Hills Christian Church in Fort Worth, TX. He’s a TCU alum and now attends First Christian North Hollywood in Los Angeles. He’s currently the Host of NFL Now. Read his piece about the Baylor sexual assault scandal.
May 13, 2016
As people of faith, we are called to action and we seek solutions that address the connections between intimate partner violence and guns. The Disciples Center for Public Witness has joined 500+ clergy members and faith organizations in support of The Zero Tolerance for Domestic Abusers Act (H.R. 3130) and the Protecting Domestic Violence and Stalking Victims Act (S.1520). These laws would close loopholes that allow convicted abusers and stalkers to buy and own guns. Currently, individuals convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence who have not cohabited with their victim or who do not have a child with their victim, and individuals convicted of misdemeanor stalking, are not prohibited from purchasing or possessing guns. When convicted abusers and stalkers have guns, women’s lives are at risk.
Here's how you can get involved:
1. If you are a member of clergy: sign the letter to Congress in support of H.R. 3130 and S. 1520.
2. Join us for the National Faith Call-In Day on Domestic Violence and Guns on Wednesday, May 18, 2016. Contact your members of Congress by calling the Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121. You can use talking points from the faith letter (linked above) or from this page. Urge them to support H.R. 3130 and S. 1520!
April 28, 2016
The Maryland General Assembly has voted to approve a sweeping criminal justice reform bill, the Justice Reinvestment Act. It will result in thousands of non-violent offenders being released; most of these inmates are low-level drug offenders.
A large number of religious groups – including our Disciples Center for Public Witness – have urged passage of this legislation. Reform is long overdue. Maryland’s draconian mandatory sentences for drug offenses have swelled the prison population and contributed to the mass incarceration of African-Americans.
The new law will result in millions of dollars of savings in correctional costs. These moneys are earmarked to pay for the kind of services that will help keep ex-offenders from re-offending: addiction recovery programs, mental health care, transitional housing, job training and employment assistance.
April 26, 2016
Later in the week, the Attorney General will visit a Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) facility in Talladega, Alabama, to highlight reentry programs in prison. Similarly, Deputy Attorney General Sally Q. Yates will visit a federal women’s prison in Texas and will later hold a media availability at Santa Maria Hostel, a specialized residential substance abuse, mental health and trauma facility. Acting Director Thomas Kane of the Bureau of Prisons will accompany both Attorney General Lynch and Deputy Attorney General Yates on their visits.
We have another exciting announcement coming out in a couple days about two additional partner interns, so watch for more information!
April 21, 2016
While in many ways our work is just beginning, tomorrow's signing ceremony is a reason for the Creation Justice community to celebrate. We have contributed to this moment.
April 9, 2016
The Disciples Center for Public Witness actively participates in many of the WISC working groups on a variety of social justice concerns. Working in a richly ecumenical and interfaith context helps to coordinate our organizing and advocacy strategy and to amplify our message on Capitol Hill. Our recent efforts have been particularly focused on anti-racism, anti-poverty, anti-torture, worker rights, immigration reform, criminal justice reform, health care, and care for God's creation. We also prioritize issues related to both religious liberty and public education.
This documentary, Injustice Anywhere, arose in the midst of collective conversations and work of several expressions of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), including key activist clergy and laypersons in the St. Louis area; the Christian Church of Mid-America; the Office of the General Minister and President; Reconciliation Ministry; Week of Compassion; Higher Education and Leadership Ministries; the National Convocation; and the National Benevolent Association (NBA), as well as Metropolitan Congregations United.
That's a quote from Luke Waid, a laid-off aerospace worker in Flint, Michigan, who was threatened that Child Protective Services would take away his baby daughter Sophia because she had high blood lead levels. That was before officials realized Flint's water supply was contaminated with lead. Mr. Waid is now suing Flint and Michigan officials, at least to assure that Sophia's medical bills will be covered.
Families in Flint, MI continue to use bottled water for cooking, bathing, and drinking. The Senate left for a two-week recess without acting to provide funding and loan guarantees towards fixing the pipes and public health measures.
The Senate will be back on Monday, April 11. Please tell your Senators to pass the Drinking Water Safety and Infrastructure Act. (Please send this easy click-and-send email right now - before you get distracted by a million other things.)