The United Church of Christ has long supported the work of the International Criminal Court, as reflected in our 2005 General Synod resolution. Our support for the ICC is a reflection of our faith values that calls us to defend the most vulnerable, uphold human rights, and build a world in which peace and justice are intertwined (Psalm 85:10) in the vision of Just Peace.
At a time in which human rights and international institutions are under attack, we must speak out to affirm such values and institutions, asserting with clarity our commitment to building a Just World for All. Read More
More than 65 million people, nearly one third of the U.S. population, are family caregivers that provide unpaid care for a loved one. On Thursday, October 18, Duet: Partners In Health & Aging will host the 3rd annual Family Caregiver Symposium—an event meant to equip, empower and celebrate family caregivers. The event will take place from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at First Christian Church of Phoenix, 6750 North 7th Avenue in Phoenix and costs $20 for family caregivers and $40 for professionals. Read More
As people of faith we know that the face of God is in every refugee, asylum-seeker and sojourner in our midst, and we must make sure that our Members of Congress do everything they can to hold the Administration accountable for meeting the 45,000 refugee admissions goal for 2018 and urge the Administration to commit to resettling at least 75,000 refugees in fiscal year 2019. Read More
Peace events, Widening the Welcome, International Day of Peace, Our Faith Our Vote, Neighbors in Need, and more. Read More
by Kathryn Andrews, a member of the Southwest Conference’s Widening the Welcome Committee and Desert Palm United Church of Christ
“What if you raised a child who grew up sunny, loved, and loving, perhaps unaccountably talented, a source of family joy, only to watch that child slowly transform in adolescence into a mysterious stranger, shorn of affect, dull of gaze, unresponsive to communication – and perhaps worse?” This is one of wrenching questions author Ron Powers asks in “Nobody Cares About Crazy People,” the story of his schizophrenic sons.
The book is more than a chronicle of one family’s struggle with a serious mental illness. It also serves as an indictment of our national approach to dealing (or not dealing) with mental illness. Read More
Rev. Sandi Britton invites all to attend this free event. Be sure to stop by the Valley Hope Treatment Centers booth; she is the chaplain to the Outpatient Treatment Center of Valley Hope in Tempe, Arizona. Read More
On behalf of the Southwest Conference UCC Disaster Ministries I extend our prayers and concerns to our congregations and their communities who are in the path of Hurricane Florence. The hurricane is expected to make landfall during the next couple days along the North Carolina coast. Due to the size of the storm, its anticipated path and its expected “stalling” along the coast, several states will be severely impacted. If you have family and friends in any of these locations, I would strongly encourage that they heed the local and regional warnings being issued by emergency management officials.
You and your congregation may want to extend your compassion and assistance to the areas affected. Read More
Arizona Faith Network is now recruiting for a permanent executive director.
Interested persons should submit their cover letter, resume/curriculum vitae and three references to the address indicated by 4 p.m. on Monday October 1, 2018. Read More
My name is Bill Lyons and I am the faith leader for the United Church of Christ in the Southwest – Arizona, New Mexico and El Paso, Texas. I am here today because the Bible has much to say about how people treat parentless children. None of what the Bible says includes caging or criminalizing them. The Bible calls us to CARE for children – all children – especially parentless children. Care, not cages! Care, not detention! Care, not family separation. Care! Family separation and child detention traumatizes children rather than caring for them. It must stop.
This is what caring for kids looks like: Read More
Interfaith Power & Light, United Church of Christ, and United Methodist Women are working on a campaign to support the Clean Car Standards. This effort is focusing on the Ford Motor Co. and some details are in this article along with a link to the petition (where there is a sign up button for individuals and a sign up button for clergy and faith organization leaders).
We’ve got one week to get as many additional signers as possible. Feel free to send this along to other state-based faith organizations for high level clergy and (faith) organizational leader sign-on.
We’re working with Michigan Interfaith Power & Light to deliver the petition to Ford later in September, so we need all sign-ons by Sept. 20th. Read More
by Trish Herron, St. Paul's UCC
Saturday the 25th of August, St. Paul’s was represented by four people interested in finding out how justice for immigrants in New Mexico was faring. Read More
Thursday, September 20, 2018, 6:30 – 8:30 PM MST
Church of the Beatitudes, Nelson Hall
555 West Glendale Avenue, Phoenix, AZ 85021
This session examines religious intolerance and how people of faith can resist intolerance in a constructive way. Sponsored by Arizona Faith Network Theological Dialogue Commission and Next Steps Subcommittee, this session will include an open dialogue where we will discuss the reasons why we so often demonize others, the ways our faith traditions contribute to or challenge intolerance, and whether or not there are limits to tolerance. Participants will be asked to commit to adopting one or more actions to resist intolerance in their daily lives. Read More
On a steamy morning in the Arizona sunshine, more than 50 people of faith walked in the footsteps of migrants who traversed the Sonoran Desert in search of a better life. The UCC's Faithful Witness at the Border participants braved 100 degree temperatures on a hike of more than a mile to mark a journey that sometimes ends in death. Read More
A brave woman and mother from Central America shared her family's story with a group of migrant justice advocates from several Conferences and Churches across the the United Church of Christ over dinner last week. The conversation with almost 100 people, brought together by the Southwest Conference's Faithful Witness at the Border, took place over a shared meal at the host church, Good Shepherd United Church of Christ, Sahuarita, Ariz. Read More
Image credits: Martha Phillips, Rebecca Dickinson, Rev. Traci Blackmon, Rev. Bekah Krevens, Rev. Kelley Dick, and Rev. Jay Deskins
Do you have photos for this gallery? Submit them to Wende! Read More
Over one hundred church people from a mix of denominations, from all over the country - clergy and lay people gathered at the Good Shepherd UCC and on both sides of the border. This Witness at the Border program is a response to the separation of migrant and asylum seeker families, and the public outcry for action to support these families, to stop the separations at the border, and place pressure on our elected officials to stop the violence perpetrated on this vulnerable population by our US immigration policies and practices. Read More
First Church UCC is partnering with The Islamic Speakers Bureau of Arizona for the 7th Annual Multi-faith Food Drive to support two small food banks, the Cultural Cup Food Bank and Extended Hands Food Bank. Read More
A service of communion on the Mexico side of the United States Border Wall on Tuesday, August 28, underscored the stark realities of current U.S. immigration policies and border militarization for more than 80 people of several faith traditions participating in the United Church of Christ’s Faithful Witness at the Border. Hours following that sacred vigil, a time of witness, with a demonstration at the U.S. Border Patrol Offices in Nogales, Ariz., as participants prayed for the detained children, their parents, border patrol agents and issued a moral demand — that families be reunited. Read More
This story has been difficult to write because it doesn't yet have an ending, and in all likelihood, it will not be a happy one.
Two weeks ago Juan, a friend of several people in the United Church of Santa Fe (including me), left his house to go to work at a job site. He stopped to get gas and a few minutes later, he was picked up by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and transported to a detention center in El Paso, Texas, three hundred miles away. Because his cell phone was confiscated, he had no way of contacting his wife and children for several days. Read More
More than 100 people from seven Conferences in the United Church of Christ, joined by members of three ecumenical partner Churches, are converging on the border town of Sahuarita, Ariz., for several days of study and service around immigrant justice.
The Rev. Bill Lyons, Conference Minister of the Southwest Conference UCC, the Rev. Randy Mayer, pastor of the host church, Good Shepherd UCC, and a half dozen members of the National Staff welcomed a majority of the participants during a Sunday evening supper August 26, to talk through understandings of Border/Immigration Ministries, review current U.S. immigration policy, and to share an itinerary that includes a trip to Nogales, Sonora, Mex., a communion service at the Border Wall, and a walk along migrant trails in the desert. Read More