October 2022 - Issue 1
From participating in the 50th Pax Christ Anniversary Conference to preaching the installation sermon at the UCC Heartland Annual Gathering in Westerville, Ohio, for Conference Minister David Long-Higgins to attending the World Council of Churches' 11th Assembly in Karlsruhe, Germany, Executive Director Rev. Dr. Jack Sullivan has represented the Ohio Council of Churches in a variety of venues recently.
World Council of Churches Assembly Issues Statements
The 11th annual World Council of Churches Assembly was held in Karlsruhe, Germany, in August. The gathered participants issued several statements. One statement denounced the “illegal and unjustifiable” Russian invasion of Ukraine and renewed the call for a ceasefire and the immediate removal of Russian troops. Another document adopted by the group attempted a compromise on the Israeli and Palestinian conflict. Statements also were issued on ending the war and building peace on the Korean Peninsula, consequences of the 2020 Nagorno-Karabakh war, the situation in West Papua, and Syriac-Aramaic genocide. The WCC also issued a Statement on Confronting Racism and Xenophobia, Overcoming Discrimination, Ensuring Belonging. It unequivocally abhors the perpetuation of all forms of racism, xenophobia, and related discriminations against humanity and the pervasive suffering it causes. The WCC previously condemned racism as a blatant denial of the Christian faith and urged a robust response to combat it. Racism, xenophobia, caste-based discrimination, antisemitism, all faith-based persecution, and all forms of related discrimination are fundamentally contrary to the will of God, says the WCC. Unfortunately, discrimination and hatred have become even more salient in recent years due to the negative use of social media and anti-foreigner populist nationalist movements in several countries. The war in Ukraine has vividly exposed the persistence of racism in Europe. The warm welcome white Ukrainians received across the continent stood in stark contrast to the way Europe has responded to refugees from other regions, including non-white Ukrainian refugees. Read the full statement here.
The WCC also presented numerous documents on different subjects, including statements on peace. Read more here.
SPECIAL OCC FORUM ON ECONOMIC JUSTICE
MONDAY, OCT. 3 2022 • 3:30-4:30 p.m.
The Ohio Council of Churches, in cooperation with the United Church of Christ Office for Economic Justice, invites you to a special Zoom forum on economic justice issues pertaining to the Coalition of Immokalee Workers, the Fair Food Program, and the call for boycotting Wendy’s restaurants. Join this important and timely discussion here.
Registration Now Open! Christian Unity Gathering (CUG)
Oct. 10-11, 2022
Virtual on Whova | Registration Fee $25
The inspiration for this year's Christian Unity Gathering (CUG) theme, "The Challenge of Change: Serving a Never Changing Christ in an Ever-Changing World," comes from two passages of scripture:
I am about to do a new thing; now it springs forth; do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert (Isaiah 43:19, NRSVue); and
So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; look, new things have come into being! (2 Corinthians 5:17, NRSVue).
Together, we will spring forth to do a new thing! Session topics will include Christian leadership in unchartered waters, the impact of trauma, responding to humanitarian crises, the future of faith formation, how to uproot racism/Christian nationalism/White supremacy, and how to deal with domestic unrest and dramatic change.
The annual event will be held virtually to make it easier to attend, provide scheduling flexibility, eliminate travel barriers, reduce the event’s carbon footprint, and be more inclusive. The fee to attend on the Whova platform is $25 per attendee. The recorded sessions will be available within Whova for viewing for a period after the event.
Register Now! We look forward to seeing you at CUG 2022!
The Ohio Council of Churches will observe Anti-Racism Sunday on Oct. 9, 2022. This event will support Christians and other faith communities across the State of Ohio in demonstrating God’s love and vision of unity and justice. This is a holy and necessary occasion to encourage us all to focus and rededicate ourselves to detecting, disrupting, and dismantling racism as part of our faith practice.
We are led this year by the Ohio Council of Churches Anti-Racism Team (ART), an ecumenical statewide committee of dedicated volunteers who wish to move forward faith-based anti-racism activities. We are so pleased to welcome such a widely diverse group of churches to participate in this worthy endeavor and honor the observance of Anti-Racism Sunday. We all have a stake in addressing and redressing our shared history of racism. It is our Christian calling and duty.
Local congregations and organizations are invited to participate by:
Joining the Council’s pre-recorded 45-minute virtual worship experience on Oct. 9 via Facebook live at 3 p.m. Sunday afternoon. The preacher for the service is Rev. Dr. Renee Wormack-Keels, a member of the ART committee.
Designing their own service to focus on the call to join the Beloved Community during their worship time Oct. 9 or at some other time that matches their religious schedule. This can include incorporating pieces of the pre-recorded service or using the resources provided by the Ohio Council of Churches available here.
Providing resources to members from the list the Council provides as they develop their understanding of God’s call to respond to this national issue that is so spiritually relevant.
Using their marquee and social media to announce they are observing Anti-Racism Sunday and ringing their church bells at 3 p.m. to be heard around the state, and planning activities for their youth.
20th World Day Against the Death Penalty – Death Penalty: A Road Paved with Torture
Observed every Oct. 10, the World Day Against the Death Penalty unifies the global abolitionist movement and mobilizes civil society, political leaders, lawyers, public opinion, and more to support the call for universal abolition of capital punishment. The day encourages and consolidates the political and general awareness of the world-wide movement against the death penalty. Learn more here.
Oct. 18 | 10 a.m.-noon EST
President Kristina M. Johnson, PhD
Ohio State University
Topic: “Leading with Mind and Heart: Creating an Inclusive Culture in a Time of Divisiveness and Skepticism”
Kristina M. Johnson is many things: a trailblazer in the classroom, the boardroom, and the research lab; a dedicated public servant who served at the highest levels of government; a survivor of Hodgkin’s lymphoma; and a role model and advocate for women in STEM. Most of all, Dr. Johnson is an innovator and inventor, a leader who is constantly seeking new solutions to the most seemingly intractable challenges. These qualities enabled Dr. Johnson to successfully lead Ohio State University at the height of the coronavirus pandemic immediately after becoming the school’s 16th president in August 2020. In 1999, Dr. Johnson was named dean of Duke University’s Pratt School of Engineering, where undergraduate enrollment increased 20 percent under her leadership. In 2007, she became the senior vice president for academic affairs and provost at Johns Hopkins University. In 2009, President Barack Obama selected her to serve as undersecretary of energy in the U.S. Department of Energy. She helped the White House pinpoint the magnitude of the Deepwater Horizon spill, the largest marine oil spill in U.S. history. President Johnson earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees and a PhD from Stanford. Before accepting the role at Ohio State, President Johnson served as the 13th chancellor of the State University of New York, the largest comprehensive system of public higher education in the United States. Over the span of her professional career, Dr. Johnson has received a number of awards and recognitions and holds 118 U.S. and international patents.
Cincinnati's Interfaith Community Educating, Collaborating, and Advocating for Racial Justice!
An Invitation to hear the Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II speak on Oct. 24 at 7 p.m. at XU Cintas Center.
Christ Church Cathedral’s Taft Lecture Series will feature remarks by Rev. Dr. William Barber, Co-Chair of the Poor People’s Campaign. A Mighty Stream and the Brueggeman Center for Dialogue are among the co-sponsors. The event is free but requires registration. There is limited seating, so don’t delay. Register here.
Bishops Call for Rejecting ‘Idolatry of Guns’
During their online meeting Aug. 26, United Methodist bishops unanimously affirmed a statement addressing gun violence. To stop the gun violence epidemic in the United States and around the globe, bishops are urging United Methodists and other Christians to raise their prayers to God and contact their elected leaders.
The bishops also plan to send a letter to Congress and the White House to advocate for more gun regulations, including a proposed assault weapons ban. Read more here.