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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. 

DJAN Calls for Sessions to Resign

Statement from Rev. Dr. Jack Sullivan, Jr., co-President of Disciples Justice Action Network (DJAN):

"It is abundantly clear to people of goodwill that Attorney General Jeff Sessions, with his history of racist thought and commentary, seasoned by his recent dishonest testimony before Congress, must resign," said Rev. Dr. Jack Sullivan, co-President of Disciples Justice Action Network (DJAN).  "The fact that he lied to Congress about his pre-election contact with the Russian Ambassador completely and categorically disables our ability to trust him on other important matters of concern, such as his professed commitment to enforce civil rights laws. As a matter of both principle and practicality, Mr. Sessions must resign."

Disciples Center for Public Witness Defends Affordable Quality Health Care For All


Statement from Dr. Laird Thomason, Director of Health and Wholeness Ministries at the Disciples Center for Public Witness:

In the sixth chapter of Paul's Letter to the Galatians, the Apostle affirms both that “each one of us is to carry our own load" (vs. 5) and that we are to “carry each other’s burdens, and in this way fulfill the law of Christ.” (vs. 2). Applying these faith-based principles to public policy dealing with health care, we can see that we are encouraged to practice self-care, but to do so within the larger context of working together to provide for the common good. Therfore, as a Bible-based movement for wholeness in a fragmented world, we join with other people of faith to support and defend affordable, quality health care for all individuals.

February 12, 2017

Christian defense of Obamacare goes viral.  Read more here:

https://www.google.com/amp/amp.slate.com/blogs/moneybox/2017/02/10/meet_jessi_bohon_whose_christian_defense_of_obamacare_made_a_gop_town_hall.html?client=ms-android-hms-tmobile-us


January 27, 2017

Disciples Intern Reflects on Participation in the Women's March

Last Saturday, I joined millions of women, men, and children walking in the Women’s March. From Washington D.C., to London, to Cape Town, to Oakland (where I marched), we raised our collective voice to demand dignity and respect for women, Muslims, immigrants, LGBQTI+, disabled people, and people of color.

My decision to march was largely rooted in my Christian faith, which teaches me that God is on the side of the vulnerable, the oppressed, and the marginalized. After only a few minutes at the march, it was clear I was not the only one motivated to be there by faith. I saw women wearing hijabs, a sign referencing Wiccan beliefs, and a group of Jews from a local synagogue gathering around a table for their weekly Shabbat service.

Images from DJAN activists at Women's Marches

From coast to coast, DJAN activists and supporters participated in Women's marches, peacefully protesting Trumpism and publicly affirming the equal rights of all people. See the photos below.

From NRCAT: Faith Leaders Make Case Against Torture as Mike Pompeo Voted in as CIA Director

In a recent op-ed in The Christian Post, Rev. Ron Stief, executive director of the National Religious Campaign Against Torture, laid out the Christian case against torture and stressed the importance of the fact that while under oath, Trump Administration nominees stood opposed to torture. During his confirmation hearings, CIA Director nominee Mike Pompeo made clear his view that torture is illegal.

From RIM: STAND WITH IMMIGRANTS AND REFUGEES IN THIS TIME OF CRISIS


Executive Orders which will deeply impact the lives and freedoms of refugees and immigrants, both inside and outside the U.S., have just been released today, and more are anticipated to be released tomorrow from the White House. Today's announcements focused on border security and interior immigration issues, and refugee related announcements are expected to be announced Thursday. Please stay tuned, and we'll continue to provide updates!
 
Two immigrant related announcements have been made. The first announced additional wall building along the U.S. southern border, and promised the payment for the wall will ultimately be reimbursed by Mexico-though U.S. taxpayers will pay initially. The "Catch and Release" program will be ended, meaning there will be mandatory detention at the border of families and children seeking protection, and additional Customs and Border Protection officials will be added. The second order announced aggressive interior enforcement policies, and requested the Director of Homeland Security to "strip federal grant funds from Sanctuary Cities;" thereby seeking to force local police to serve as federal immigration agents. Such actions will further increase fear of separation among so many immigrant families living and working among us. 
 

January 13, 2017

From Disciples Home Missions: Act Now to Protect Healthcare & Medicaid

The Senate is planning to pass a budget that will begin the process of repealing the ACA as soon as JANUARY 11. This is the first step in taking health care away before having a plan to replace it.

There is also talk about proposed changes to the Medicaid program to have it funded through block grants or per capita caps. Read below to learn more about how each of these possibilities would be detrimental to the disability community should they come to fruition and be sure to follow our Call To Action!

January 8, 2017

Upcoming Action Opportunities to Help Refugees and Immigrants

Refugee and Immigration Ministries, a ministry of Disciples Home Missions in partnership with the Disciples Center for Public Witness and the Christian Church Capital Area, is offering action opportunities to help immigrants and refugees:

Hello, friends—

I REALLY hope you and others can join our Webinar THIS Monday from 4-6 p.m. Eastern—and might also feel led to engage in some of the other ways to support refugees and immigrants included in the news below! For those who are Disciples or UCC, we’ll be having breakout conversations during a portion of the webinar for planning and strategizing. Also, all other participants will engage in conversations by group or region as well!

BEFORE THE OATH OF OFFICE IS TAKEN: Statement By Major Christian Organizations on President-Elect Trump’s Policy Agenda and Political Appointments

As our nation prepares for the Presidential Inauguration, we do so with the lasting residue of a divisive election season and an even more fractured past. Our faith teaches us to be ministers of reconciliation (2 Corinthians 5:11-21). That is why we urge President-Elect Donald Trump, who has said he shares our Christian faith, to take seriously his responsibility to bring our nation together and to heed the oath he will take to preserve, protect and defend America. He can start this work before the oath of office is taken with his policy agenda and political appointments.

Together, we represent millions of Christians in the U.S. who believe in the power and possibility of healing and unity for our nation. We have grave concerns about a proposed policy agenda that, if enacted, would put the most vulnerable among us in jeopardy. Throughout Christian scriptures we are instructed to care for the poor and the most vulnerable. The Affordable Care Act, including Medicaid expansion, has given more than 30 million people access to affordable health coverage. While working to improve the ACA will benefit all Americans, repealing it without simultaneously offering a replacement is reckless and unnecessarily endangers the health of millions of people. This is certainly no way to make America great.

December 30, 2016

Gathering at Standing Rock: A Message from Disciples Minister Dave Bell from the Yakama Mission

Good Day All,

Well, here we are only days from gathering in Standing Rock! We come together at an interesting moment. The current success of holding off the pipeline crossing at Standing Rock and the victory yesterday of having Bears Ears become a National Monument! Neither should be taken lightly, for your work and voice has helped bring them both about! I so look forward to meeting many of you for the first time and hugging those of you whom I have had the good fortune to call friend and neighbor for years!

There are twelve of us on this gathering. Far more than I imagined would make this trip! Thank you for making this a part of you life!

December 2, 2016

Letter to Congress: Protect the Arctic Refuge

The Disciples Center for Public Witness joined its ecumenical partners in calling on members of Congress to protect the Arctic Refuge by designating its Coastal Plain as Wilderness:

November 25th, 2016

Dear member of Congress,

The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is a special place in God’s creation that stands alone in its unique wildness, ecological integrity, beauty, spiritual significance, and recreational opportunities. As religious organizations representing millions of people in the United States, we supported President Obama’s Wilderness recommendation for the Arctic Refuge in January 2015, and urge you to act on this important recommendation by co-sponsoring legislation that would permanently protect the Arctic Refuge’s Coastal Plain for future generations.

November 4, 2016

Disciples Standing in Solidarity with the Standing Rock Sioux

Disciples Justice Action Network (DJAN) fully endorses the following statement and call to action prepared by David B Bell, Minister for Indigenous Peoples Concerns, Yakama Christian Mission, and William Blue Eagle McCutchen, Co-moderator of Landscape Mending and Minister for Blue Eagle Wellbriety Ministries:

Disciples Standing in Solidarity with the Standing Rock Sioux

For months, the Standing Rock Sioux have prayerfully challenged Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) construction across Sioux sacred sites and the Missouri River. During these months, the Standing Rock has learned DAPL is willing to bring a militarized response to their nonviolent challenge.

October 22, 2016

Disciples Joining UCC in Generation Green Effort


A new collaborative endeavor of youth from the United Church of Christ and the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) has been launched. As part of this endeavor, youth groups from across the country will adopt a specific month during which they will create social media posts that raise awareness about climate change and encourage action. As a result of a recent name contest, the name of this joint denominational project is Generation Green. For the full article, click here.