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October 17, 2017

REPORT: The Ongoing Challenge of Hospitality To Refugees and Immigrants

In a context of consistent elimination of protections for refugees and immigrants, RIM’S work in recent months has focused around these key efforts:

1) ENDEAVOR TO SAVE DACA, AND NOW TO PASS A CLEAN DREAM ACT:

SIGN UP to participate with Disciples and other interfaith partners in "DREAM Sabbath" activities during any day in October & November, and lift up the contributions, stories, and challenges being faced by immigrants NOW!! Find and share our DREAM Sabbath toolkit resources HERE: PDF and Word

Please share the materials widely, and please put your "DREAM Sabbath" support events on this map!

For more resources, please visit http://www.interfaithimmigration.org/dream.

Also, especially prepare to participate in district and in D.C. during the October 29th-November 4th“PRAYING WITH DREAMERS” week. Stay tuned for LOTS of resources to share with your community, and actions to raise your community’s voice of faith to protect Dreamers! Note: Terri Hord Owens will be in D.C. to participate in a Press Conference, Advocacy Events, and other actions on November 1st.

REPORT from DC: The Ups and Downs of Health Care Advocacy

By Rev. Laird Thomason, DC4PW Minister for Health and Wellness

The efforts of the Disciples Center for Public Witness (DC4PW) to support affordable health care access to all continues to take place with and through a multi-faith healthcare coalition composed of advocates from the Washington Offices of various denominations and faith-based organizations. Efforts have been focused, intense, prodigious, and successful – not just once, not just twice, but three times!

Effective tools of the multi-faith health care coalition have included: developing insider contacts with Hill staffers dealing with specific items of concern re health care; visiting with Members and/or ranking staff on appropriate committees; writing and circulating letters from Faith Leaders bolstering positions of advocates on national and state levels; enlisting “grass tops” allies in states and districts, especially those whose votes might change, but also to support those whose votes can be counted on; and using public rallies, vigils and demonstrations to bring greater public and congressional attention to our concerns.

October 16, 2017

Fighting Back Against Healthcare Sabotage

It can be difficult to stay informed on the attacks on Healthcare in this country amid all the other news, but it is vital that we do and take action. Here is a great resource from Families USA focused on the Trump administration ceasing cost-sharing reduction payments and allowing the sale of insurance plans that do not meet ACA standards and what we can do in response. Both of these will hurt many Americans, particularly low-income enrollees. This is not acceptable!

http://info.familiesusa.org/webmail/72112/448374134/022992c5a81cb80d1f794e3169d32a73

October 7, 2017

Latin America & Caribbean Executive Visits Venezuela


Angel Luis Rivera Agosto, Executive for Latin America and the Caribbean, traveled to Venezuela to visit Global Ministries partner, the Evangelical Pentecostal Church of Venezuela (UEPV). The purpose of the trip was to affirm Global Ministries’ long-standing relationships with our partners and to witness first-hand the projects they are doing and plan to do in the future. Our partners expressed appreciation for the trip, seeing it as a gesture of solidarity with the people and church in Venezuela in the midst of present crises. Read on here.

A prayer for Las Vegas Shootings

From General Minister and President Terri Hord Owens

Oh, Lord – we ache for a day when peace will reign. The families and friends of those killed in the shooting in Las Vegas are in our prayers. We pray for their parents, for their children, for their coworkers to feel your loving arms around them. And God, we pray for healing – healing of physical wounds for those injured, healing of emotional wounds for them and others who experienced the fear of this attack, healing for those whose sense of safety has been dismantled. We pray for healing for this fragmented world where mass shootings are all too common. Lord, hear our prayer.

"A Prayer for Our Nation"

"A Prayer for Our Nation" by Rev. Kathleen K. Moore, a member of the Board of Governors of the Disciples Center for Public Witness. Read the letter below:

Prayer for our Nation, October 4, 2017

God of Justice and Love…

Thank you for holding our anguished hearts; for being our breath without which we might suffocate.

Despite our ravaged world, we find our thanks, knowing that into our pain and sorrow you burrow your words; so deeply that they become our cry. You strengthen us for Your justice work, which is our calling. We pray that it will be so.

Las Vegas rises to our throats as the images implant and replay. We cry like our ancestors, “how long O God?” Fifty-eight innocents slain… Oh how we pray for each one today, deep in our hearts… and for all who knew and loved them. Our Savior wept for these innocents; he weeps for us still. Grant us energy and passion that we might draw ourselves up and become the force required for change. Let us not stop with our anguish and our prayers. Give us courage to confront the injustices that create hatred. Help us to listen and to act. Into our democratic system may we advocate endlessly for justice and righteousness; love and mercy.

September 24, 2017

A word about this week's natural disasters

As our brothers and sisters across the Caribbean and Mexico have experienced devastation of their homelands through recent hurricanes and earthquakes, we join as Christians together to commit our support for immediate relief and long-term recovery. Many Disciples in the United States and Canada have family and friends in the areas affected by Hurricane Maria and the earthquake in Mexico. We have been praying fervently for those whose lives have been disrupted, for those who have lost loved ones in the storm or earthquake, and for those who now face great uncertainty in the aftermath of these disastrous events. Although the loss of electrical power and cell phone service has made communication difficult, we want to affirm our commitment to stand with those in Puerto Rico, Mexico, Cuba and the Caribbean with support, resources and prayers. Read on here.

Green Chalice joins climate metrics survey

Green Chalice invites your participation in the American Climate Metrics Survey on behalf of Green Chalice partners ecoAmerica/Blessed Tomorrow. The increasing intensity and frequency of climate impacts compel us to elevate our leadership on the issue. To help shape Disciples of Christ's next steps, the survey seeks to better understand your attitudes and awareness on climate change and what we can do as faith leaders. As a valued member of Disciples of Christ, we want to make sure that we count your voice in this research. Below, you will find a link to complete this 15 minute survey (which must be done in one session). Your individual answers are confidential and will be aggregated for analysis by ecoAmerica. Clergy click here. Non-clergy click here.

Mid-America Churches Support Justice Movement


The Mid-America region's Anti-Racism/Pro-Reconciliation ministry has offered to serve as a resource for local churches wanting to respond to justice issues, such as the recent trial for a police officer accused of killing a civilian. The region's AR/PR ministry has created a St. Louis Racial Justice Group to help connect churches wanting to get involved. The group encourages churches and individuals to share positive narratives about peaceful protests; organize supplies for demonstrators like bottled water, snacks, and first aid; and support Reconciliation Ministry's upcoming offering. Churches have also served as safe spaces during protests, including Compton Heights Christian and Centennial Christian. The St. Louis Racial Justice Group is led by Rev. Derrick Perkins, Rev. Margie Pride, Rev. Dr. Jeff Moore, Rev. Dr. Paul Koch, Rev. Dr. Jacque Foster, and Rev. Dr. Dietra Wise Baker. Learn more.

National Benevolent Association Accompanies Racial Justice Work in St. Louis


As part of the mission of the National Benevolent Association, we seek to “advocate for the well-being of humanity.” The NBA continues to actively support racial justice work across the life of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), particularly through a core group of Disciples clergy activists in St. Louis, where NBA’s ministry began 130 years ago. On Friday, white former St. Louis police officer Jason Stockley was found not guilty of first-degree murder in the death of Anthony Lamar Smith, a 24-year-old black man whom Stockley shot five times after a police chase. Click here to read on.

September 8, 2017

DACA updates

General Minister and President Teresa (Terri) Hord Owens shared with the church and the public her thoughts about Trump’s decision to end the program known as DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals). To read her comments, please click HERE.

Park Avenue Christian Church in New York City also released a brief statement on DACA. To read it, please click HERE.

DJAN (Disciples Justice Action Network) called the decision on DACA “racist” and urged activists to pray, get involved with local actions, and immediately contact their elected officials in Congress. To read more on this, please click HERE.

RIM (Refugee and Immigration Ministries) responded to the decision on DACA by helping to organize prophetic public witness in the nation’s Capitol. For pictures from these events, please click here. See below for photos.

For more information about the decision to end DACA and how to respond to this situation, please visit the RIM website. For up-to-the-minute updates on immigration policy, please follow Disciples Immigration Lawyer Tana Liu-Beers on Facebook.


September 2, 2017

A Strong Church Leader And Justice Advocates Retires


On August 31st, after nine years in the position, Rev. Ron Degges retired as President of Disciples Home Missions. Under his leadership, justice advocacy was once again a priority at Disciples Home Missions, as evidenced by Ron’s strong support for such ministries as the Disciple Center for Public Witness (where he served on the Board of Governors), Green Chalice (which he established as a partnership with the Kentucky region), Refugee and Immigration Ministries (which he moved to DC as part of a partnership with the Capital Area and the Disciples Center for Public Witness), Creation Justice Ministries (an ecumenical organization that is now legally located within DHM), Children and Family Ministries, the Yakama Mission, and others. To read more about his retirement, please click here.

Global Ministries Writes Trump a Letter Regarding Venezuela


On August 16th, Global Ministries wrote a letter to Donald Trump, urging him to avoid military intervention in Venezuela. The letter states: "We are deeply convinced that any US military intervention in Venezuela would exacerbate the current crisis and could bring back the darkest pages in the history of the country when the military overthrew civil governments to install dictatorships and de facto presidencies. Every time Venezuela has suffered a military episode in its recent times, the lives of the poorest and the most vulnerable population have been severely damaged.” To read the full letter, please click here.