Justice & Witness Ministry
Immigration Reform
Widening the Welcome
Environmental Issues



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Justice & Witness Ministry

Immigration Reform
November Update from Tyler Connoley
After three months of groundwork, it feels like things are coming together. Some projects are still ongoing, but had significant turning points.
> > > Read more

Economic Justice Cov. Program
EJCP logo

After two years of education and discussion, Shadow Rock UCC in Phoenix became an Economic Justice Covenant Congregation.
Select this link to read Shadow Rock's Covenant
Select this link to find out more about Economic Justice Covenant Program
Liana Rowe speaking on gun violence

The Rev. Liana Rowe spoke as a rep of the SWC at a rally to end gun violence on Friday, April 12, 2013.
Watch the video

John Dorhauer speaks out on LGBT rights at Phoenix City Council meeting
Feb 26: John Dorhauer spoke before the city council encouraging them to pass an ordinance protecting the rights of LGBT citizens. 
Watch the video

Interfaith Voter Rights Rally
Decrying the injustice of voter suppression

Widening the Welcome
Widening the Welcome
In 2005, a General Synod resolution, called for all churches to extend an 'extravagent welcome' to those with physical, mental and developmental disabilities. 
This page has links to resources, and information about SWC congregations working to make our churches accessible to all (A2A).
Widening the Welcome

Prison industry: Advocating for Justice

"The most eye-opening issue for me is the privatization of prisons. Arizona incarcerates more than 13% of its prisoners in private prisons, which are profit-earning businesses. They have no interest in rehabilitation; the interest is in keeping beds filled. There is a great deal more to this, and I will gladly share a handout we were given.”

Cynthia Richmond,
Moderator-Elect, Church of the Red Rocks

From the church's June 2012 newsletter

At the 2012 Southwest Conference Annual Meeting, delegates approved a resolution recommending study of the private prison industry, authorizes our agents to advocate for justice and an examination of our investments, if any, in the private prison industry.

SWC Press Release
Abolish Private Prisons

SWC 2012 Resolution:
Advocating for Justice in the Prison Industrial Complex

Enlace Institute:
Information on Enlace’s National Private Prison Divestment Campaign

Justice Policy institute study:
Gaming the System

ACLU study:
Banking on Bondage

Faith Advocates for Jobs
Become part of a nationwide network
This is a campaign that we hope Southwest Conference churches will join to support unemployed and underemployed workers. Congregations that join Faith Advocates for Jobs (FAJ Network) become part of a nationwide interfaith network of congregations committed to assist the unemployed and the underemployed and their families in their struggle to survive and look forward to a better day.

More information at: www.faithadvocatesforjobs.wordpress.com.

Bold Call for Economic Justice
UCC Economic Justice Event

On October 9-12, 2014, 30 people gathered in the UCC Church House, Cleveland, OH for the Economic Justice Leadership Event. We came representing multiple settings of the UCC -- including lay leaders, clergy, conference representatives, young adults, seminarians, historically underrepresented groups and others – to worship, learn, plan and discern a response to the suffering faced by so many in a world that we know is so blessed by God’s abundance. From this time together, we issue the following Call to join us in this ministry for economic justice. We are grieved by the economic hardships and systemic injustices that harm so many of our sisters and brothers in the U.S. and around the world and deny them the fullness of life that is God’s intention for all people.

We hear the call to work for a just economic system that provides the opportunity for everyone to thrive and live with security and dignity.

We envision a just, sustainable and resilient economy dedicated to the common good and to building the beloved community where the work of every person is valued and all share equitably in the abundance of God’s creation.

We commit ourselves to strengthening the movement for economic justice by proclaiming our vision, partnering with allies, and furthering the work of our churches and communities.

We invite individuals and organizations to join in this effort.

Please send an email to logan.marshall@asu.edu with Economic Justice League in the subject line to learn more about how you and your church can get involved.

Also visit http://www.ucc.org/justice/economic-justice/ to learn more.

UCC Creation Covenant
The SWC Executive Board has voted to affirm and live out a Creation Covenant and calls upon our covenant partners to discover ways to live this out more fully.

This covenant was written by a diverse group of UCC members who attended the national UCC's climate and environmental justice "Leaders in Koinonia" (LinK) event in Cleveland in April 2013.

The Covenant has seven detailed requests. The most urgent item on our list (#3) has to do with four "environmental" Synod resolutions. We do hope for strong leadership from the conference ministers and the conference delegations in passing these statements of moral witness.

The final three items on the list look at ways of deepening and broadening the UCC's theological reflection and practical action with regard to climate change, environmental justice and ecological sustainability.

Select to open: 'The Creation Covenant' [PDF]
Issues: Helpful Talking Points
You may find the information on the following links informative and helpful in discussions:

    IIC Principles on Immigration Reform
    Family Unity Resources
    Uniting America Family Act
   CIR Talking Points - Episcopal Church

Justice LED

Justice LED

The Justice and Witness committee of the Southwest Conference would like to schedule a weekend workshop on being Justice LED.

Justice and Witness Ministry, Christian strength and Biblical perspective are important issues to be addressed. As a Christian people, we need to be able to relate justice to the Bible and have God present in our efforts for a Just Peace society.

Learn more: Justice LED [PDF]
Our regional trainer/representative is Rev. Liana Rowe and she is ready to do this workshop! Contact the Conference office for more information.

Marriage Equality
Support the UCC's Challenge to North Carolina's Marriage Laws
Read a letter to John Dorhauer concerning this lawsuit [PDF]
New Mexico Faith Leaders Announce Support for Marriage for Same Sex Couples
New Mexico Faith Leaders Announce Support for Marriage for Same Sex Couples

May 7
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of New Mexico and Equality New Mexico (EQNM) has released a statement of support for marriage for same-sex couples signed by interfaith religious leaders in New Mexico.
Select this link to read this signed Interfaith statement

Regional Resources in the SWC
Arizona Interfaith Power and Light invites UCC congregations to join AZIPL and respond to the crisis of climate change through education, prayer, advocacy and action. There is no cost to become a member, just a commitment to be good stewards of God's creation. The Rev. Doug Bland and other members of the AZIPL Steering Committee are available to preach, lead workshops and worship, tell green faith stories and train leaders in living more sustainably.
Contact Doug Bland, doug.bland@tempeccc.com or 480-967-5266.