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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.

A PRAYER FOR TODAY
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.

RIM TRACKS SENATE VOTES ON IMMIGRATION

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

Disciples Refugee and Immigration Ministries [www.disciplesRIM.org], 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

PASSION for JUSTICE



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.

Also:  
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.

Background:

* 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.

FAITH IN POLITICS

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

GLOBAL MINISTRIES RESPONDS TO TRUMP’S RACIST COMMENTS ABOUT IMMIGRANTS

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.

NBA XPLOR 2018-19 Cohort Is Filling Up!


The NBA initiates ministries designed to establish and grow partnerships with health and social service supporters and providers. 130 years ago, our founders in St. Louis gathered to pray and respond in locally relevant ways to help people in need in their community. Drawing upon this rich history, NBA continues to assist Disciples to join systemic justice work with direct care and action. How can we work with young adults today to recognize needs at their very doorsteps and live a life of faithful response? Apply now here.

Disciples Peace Fellowship Still Accepting Applications for Internships

Disciples Peace Fellowship is still accepting applications for the 2018 Peace Internships. Information about this extraordinary summer internship, the application process and all online application materials can be found on DPF's website, DPFweb.org, or by following the links below. All applications and references must be completed and submitted by February 2, 2018. If you have any questions about the internship or the application process, please contact the Peace Internship Coordinator at DPFintern@gmail.com.

What is a Peace Intern? http://www.dpfweb.org/what-is-a-peace-intern/
Peace Intern Application: http://www.dpfweb.org/apply-to-be-an-intern/
Peace Intern Reference Form: http://www.dpfweb.org/be-a-reference-for-an-intern-candidate/

Disciples Leaders Play Key Part in Events Marking the 50th Anniversary of the Assassination of Dr. King


Two Disciples leaders—former GMP Dr. Sharon Watkins and Dr. Alvin Jackson, Pastor Emeritus of Park Avenue Christian Church in New York (and co-president of the Disciples Center for Public Witness)—are key players in important events marking the 50th anniversary of the assassination of The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Dr. Jackson is the faith outreach coordinator for MLK50 [http://mlk50.civilrightsmuseum.org], a project of the Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, TN. Dr. Watkins is the lead organizer of ACT NOW [http://nationalcouncilofchurches.us/actnow/], an event by the National Council of Churches in which thousands of people are expected to join together in prayer at sites across Washington DC, including the Lincoln Memorial the National Mall. Watch for more news and information about these events in future editions of Disciples Justice News.