Subject: NCC Newsletter: Genocide, Worker Rights, and White Christian Nationalism

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Genocide, Worker Rights, and White Christian Nationalism 
NCC Newsletter
July 2, 2021
Recent Interview with Jim Winkler

Beloved Journal podcast hosts, Rev. Rob Lee and Rev. Mandy McDow, spoke with NCC President and General Secretary Jim Winkler about his professional journey, NCC's history, NCC's anti-racism work, the ecumenical movement, and the upcoming NRSV Bible update.

Are We Looking at Another Genocide?
With a background that includes work on genocide, Dr. Tony Kireopoulos, NCC Associate General Secretary of Faith And Order and Interfaith Relations, has written an insightful reflection on discoveries of the remains of Indigenous children in Canada. "The recent news reports about the mass and unmarked graves at Canadian residential schools is startling," he writes. "Indeed, not to ignore the Trail of Tears and other abuses of Indigenous peoples in our own country, the fate of Indigenous children at Canadian residential schools, run by churches on behalf of the government, is one of particular sadness and horror. The discoveries, several weeks ago in Kamloops, British Columbia, and just days ago in Marieval, Saskatchewan, have focused Canadian authorities on the century-long history and ongoing legacy of residential schools, which were intended to assimilate native populations. Government and Indigenous leaders have called the practice varying forms of genocide, and a system-wide investigation into other schools and graveyards is underway. As a result, a similar investigation is to take place at sites of Native American schools in the US, where the experience of Indigenous peoples paralleled that of those in Canada. This unfolding tragedy begs the question: are we, in fact, looking at another genocide?" 
Support the PRO Act
With 390 faith leaders, the NCC signed onto a letter to support the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act to advance workers’ rights. 

As people of faith, we value the work of every person. But too often, the labor of many of our most essential workers is exploited, especially workers of color. These workers deserve to fight for their rights to protect themselves. The House of Representatives passed the PRO Act last year, but legislators in the Senate blocked it. Lawmakers promised they would make the PRO Act a top priority. The House passed the PRO Act for a second time on March 9, 2021, sending the bill to the U.S. Senate again.

If the PRO Act passes, it would:
  • empower workers to organize and bargain,
  • hold corporations accountable for union-busting, and
  • repeal “right to work” laws, which were created during the Jim Crow era to keep White and Black workers from organizing together.
Stronger unions mean higher wages, safer working conditions and dignity for all people who work. Passing the PRO Act will be our first step to getting there. Use the NCC form to write a letter to your U.S. senators and tell them to vote “yes” on the PRO Act.
The Next Faith & Fire Conversation
Recording Date: July 7, 2021 1-2pm ET on Zoom

Rev. Dr. Rob Schenck, President and CEO of the Dietrich Bonhoeffer Institute
Ms. Amanda Tyler, Executive Director of Baptist Joint Committee
Rev. Dexter Udell Nutall, Sr. Pastor of New Bethel Baptist Church, Washington, DC.

Moderators: Rev. Aundreia Alexander, Esq., Associate General Secretary, Action and Advocacy for Justice and Peace; and Minister Christian S. Watkins, Justice Advocacy and Outreach Manager

Topics: History/explanation of White Christian Nationalism, Biblical/faith foundation, current expansion in ideology and participation, practical examples of effects of White Christian Nationalism, local/state and national calls to action. 

Christian Unity Gathering Registration Opens Soon!

NCC's annual Christian Unity Gathering (CUG) will be held virtually on October 11 - 12, 2021 with the theme, "In New Wineskins: From Pandemics to Possibilities to Promises," based on the scripture in Luke:

And no one puts new wine into old wineskins; otherwise the new wine will burst the skins and will be spilled, and the skins will be destroyed. 38 But new wine must be put into fresh wineskins. 39 And no one after drinking old wine desires new wine, but says, ‘The old is good.’

COVID-19 Pandemic Response:
Last Push for the Month of Action
The NCC encourages our churches and individual members to take action to get everyone vaccinated by holding an event or joining one of the organized events during the National Vaccine Month of Action. Resources on the direct actions you or your congregation can take are at this link. Trainings are available for all actions.

This weekend is the final push to close out the national vaccine month of action! Individuals and churches are still encouraged to:

Host an event for the Vaccine Month of Action and report your work
● Help spread the word by promoting the events hub and using the hashtags #WeCanDoThis and #MadeToSave
● Host an onsite vaccination clinic with a pharmacy partner using this toolkit.

Vaccination Video Resources
In case you missed these webinars with important and valuable information about the vaccines, mental health, and when churches should think about reopening, click on the links below.

From our Partners:
How to Help Church Members Take Advantage of the Child Tax Credit
Next Wednesday, July 7, 2021 at 4pm ET, the Interreligious Working Group on Domestic Human Needs of the Washington Interfaith Staff Community will hold an information session to equip faith leaders to sign people up for the newly expanded Child Tax Credit. The expanded checks will start going out on July 15th, and faith leaders and service providers can do their part to ensure people get the benefit, especially the millions of people who didn’t file a tax return.

Gene Sperling, former director of the National Economic Council, will be the featured guest speaker. The webinar will also highlight faith leaders and service providers who will share their outreach efforts. In addition, Elisa Minoff from the Center for the Study of Social Policy (CSSP) will walk participants through the online portal and provide very practical nuts and bolts on how to use it.

Bishop Peter Storey on Race and Faith
Your are invited to join Bishop Storey as he meets with clergy leaders to share some of his experiences in South Africa related to his work/ministry to combat Apartheid. He will explore current global issues around race and discrimination. 

This session, made possible in part by a Bishop's Local Initiative Grant from The United Methodist Church, will also provide opportunities for discussion and dialogue.

Virginia Theological Seminary Provides Reparations
In 2019, Virginia Theological Seminary (VTS) announced it would use $1.7 million to pay reparations to the descendants of slaves who were forced to work on its campus. CNN reports that the school has started to distribute annual payments of $2,100 to direct descendants of those who worked there, often the grandchildren or great-grandchildren. The article tells the stories of these descendants describing their reactions from being wary of what the school is doing to some having creative requests.

PC(USA) Response to Gun Violence
The article, "As gun violence grows, so does awareness and advocacy," details the ways the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) has become active against gun violence while raising awareness about gun control advocacy. 

Read how PC(USA) has started a ministry with the first minister of gun violence prevention. The article provides a link to its online congregational toolkit which is a resource that has been used by Presbyterian congregations as well as other denominations. The history of the gun culture in America is explained through the lens of intentional marketing by the gun industry in order to sell guns. In Philadelphia the story of Overbrook Presbyterian Church, which holds an annual T-shirt “Memorial to the Lost,” is told as a courageous example of how to honor those who have perished from the act of pulling a trigger. 

Job Listings

Vice President for State Outreach and Engagement for Americans United for Separation of Church and State (AU) - This position, which will report to the President and CEO, will develop and lead the organization’s outreach strategy around the country and provide leadership and management for all day-to-day field operations. Key responsibilities include strategic leadership, outreach to priority constituencies, and department management. See the position description for more details. 
Jim Winkler's column will return next week.

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