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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.

DJAN Joins Interfaith Support For Nabisco Workers

On Wednesday, working through Interfaith Worker Justice, religious leaders and community leaders and labor leaders came together in Chicago to support workers in their campaign against the unjust practices of NABISCO and its parent company, Mendelez. Despite sacrifices by employees and investment by the local community, the company is closing plants and outsourcing jobs. In so doing, they are betraying loyal workers, economically devastating the local community, and exploiting workers abroad—and, at the same time, reaping huge profits for top executives and larger shareholders.

In response, Interfaith Worker Justice lunched a seven-city fact finding tour in which religious leaders, community leaders, and workers will bring to public attention the unjust activities of Nabisco/Mandelez and the negative impact of these activities on workers, local communities, and workers in other nations. Representing DJAN (Disciples Justice Action Network), Rev. Dr. Ken Brooker Langston participated as a speaker in the press conference announcing this tour.

To watch a video of the press conference announcing the launching of the seven-city fact finding tour, please click here. To find out more, please visit the IWJ website.

A Pastoral Letter Regarding Hurricane Harvey


On September 1st, General Minister and President Terri Hord Owens and Vy Nguyen, Executive Director of Week of Compassion, addressed the entire church with a pastoral letter concerning Hurricane Harvey, the devastation it has caused, and the efforts of churches and people of faith to respond to people in desperate need of support. To read the pastoral letter, please click here.

Associate General Minister Speaks Out On White Supremacy

On August 28th, Dr. Timothy James, Associate General Minister and Administrative Secretary of the National Convocation, released a statement on white supremacy, bigotry, and hatred.

“WHAT’S YOUR RESPONSE?”

The events that have transpired across nations the past few weeks have caused for much concern and the raising of old fears and worries. At Charlottesville, VA, the deaths of Heather Heyer, a 32-year old woman standing for right and righteousness, two state troopers H. Jay Cullen and Berke Bates, along with 19 persons injured is a sad statement for where we are as a nation. The DNA in the American system of social and historical practices came out in full exposure with the protest of the white supremacists. The spirit of division and racialized fear has certainly increased over the past seven months of presidency of Donald Trump. Yes, I called his name. He is who he is, and as our president he needs our prayers.

Thousand Minister March

On Monday, August 28th, Board members of the Disciples Center for Public Witness, leaders of DJAN (Disciples Justice Action Network), ministers from New York, activists from St. Louis, seminarians from Pennsylvania, and other Disciples joined with religious leaders from diverse religious traditions to participate in the Thousand Ministers March on Washington. The goal of the march, which drew nearly three thousand religious leaders to DC, was to give public witness to the strong support among diverse religious leaders and people of faith for voting rights, health care, criminal justice reform, and economic justice. The March began at the Martin Luther King, Jr., Memorial and ended at the Department of Justice. For more details on the march, please click here.

See photos of the march below:


August 29, 2017

DACA & TPS RECIPIENTS AT GREAT RISK

DACA & TPS RECIPIENTS AT GREAT RISK:  
Things that Disciples and Other People of Faith Can Do to Help!

News sources are reporting that the President is seriously considering terminating the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program before September 5-and possibly as early as TODAY or TOMORROW! Such action would have horrific consequences for the nearly 800,000 young adult immigrant leaders who have benefited by the DACA program's granting of temporary legal status to pursue higher education, hold jobs, and help their families.  Most DACA recipients have lived most of their lives in the U.S.  Many are faithful leaders in our Disciples and other churches, and are expressing great fears in this time for themselves, and for their families, who would face immediate risk of deportation if DACA is ended.

Likewise, our Haitian, Salvadoran, Honduran, and other Disciples who are among the ten country populations receiving Temporary Protected Status (TPS) are experiencing great anxiety amid reports of the possible ending of their humanitarian status, as well.  TPS offers a time-limited opportunity for individuals to work and live legally in the U.S. to support their families and send remittances to their homelands.  To qualify for TPS, persons must be nationals of designated countries to which they are unable to return due to ongoing armed conflict, environmental disaster, or other extraordinary and temporary conditions.  Nearly 300,000 individuals in the U.S. currently hold TPS status.  Our own Disciples Pastor Philius Nicholas from N.Y. is currently in Haiti to gather evidence supporting WHY the administration's desired ending of TPS for 50,000 Haitians in January would be catastrophic for Haiti at this time.

To read more:  http://conta.cc/2glsCWb.








August 27, 2017

Hurricane Harvey Update from Week of Compassion


UPDATE:  MOST POWERFUL HURRICANE IN A DECADE

Saturday, Aug. 26; 3PM EST
Hurricane Harvey made landfall in Texas last night at 10pm local time as a category 4 hurricane, causing flooding and structural damage in towns along the coast. The mayor of Rockport, where the eye of the hurricane crossed, has reported "widespread devastation." Nearly 300,000 power outages have been reported, and may last for days. President Trump has issued a federal disaster declaration for the state, and Texas Governor Abbott has named 50 counties in a state disaster declaration. 

Winds have weakened since landfall and the hurricane has been downgraded to a tropical storm.  The primary concern right now is flooding within the next few days as heavy rainfall of three feet or more is expected. Water levels in bayous, reservoirs, and waterways are already rising.Two tornadoes have also been reported south and west of Houston, damaging multiple business and approximately 50 homes. Several other tornado warnings continue.

Week of Compassion will continue to monitor the storm and reach out to Disciples communities and our partners. If you are interested in helping, the best immediate response from afar is three-fold: pray, stay, and donate.  

August 26, 2017

VIDEO: GMP responds to Charlottesville


General Minister and President Rev. Terri Hord Owens responds to the recent violent events in Charlottesville, VA, and calls on the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) to recommit to being a reconciling and anti-racist church. Click here to watch the video.

Religious Leaders Pen Letter to Pence Regarding Antiquities Act


Ron Degges, President of Disciples Home Missions and a member of the Board of Governors of the Disciples Center for Public Witness, joined Traci Blackman, Executive Minister of the Justice and Witness Ministries of the United Church of Christ, and other religious leaders, to write and send a joint letter to Vice President Pence, urging the administration to "not rescind or rollback any designations" of the national monuments currently under consideration. The religious leaders called the Antiquities Act an "important tool" for "protecting the special places of God's Creation where we play, pray and learn.” The letter, which was featured in POLITICO’s Morning Energy on Tuesday, can be read by clicking HERE. To find out more about Disciples and creation care, please visit the website of Green Chalice.