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CUG 2020: Breathing New Life Into Our Nation: Repentance, Re-Formation, Reparation

Yahweh said to me, ‘Mortal, can these bones live?’ I answered, ‘O Lord God, you know.’ Then God said to me, ‘Prophesy to these bones, and say to them: O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord. Thus says the Lord God to these bones: I will cause breath to enter you, and you shall live. I will lay sinews on you, and will cause flesh to come upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and you shall live; and you shall know that I am the Lord.’

Ezekiel 37:3-6, NRSV

As racial injustices plague the country, the novel coronavirus pandemic rages nearly unchecked, and an economic crisis plunges millions into poverty, we find ourselves at a point from which we can fall into an abyss of further division, destitution, and despair, or from which we can move back from the brink, by faith, to a place of justice, restored hope and healing.  In the midst of these simultaneous crises, and as we celebrate NCC’s 70 years of public witness in the fight for justice, we invite you to join us online as we explore what churches must do to turn back the tide of chaos and embrace Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s vision of the Beloved Community.


Click here to view entire list of speakers.

Monday October 12, 2020


11:00 AM – 1:00 PM ET

Welcome and Spiritual Centering

Opening Remarks:

Dr. James. A. Forbes – Senior Minister Emeritus of the Riverside Church in New York City

Session 1: Repentance

Moderator: Rev. Dr. Leslie Copeland-Tune, Chief Operating Officer, National Council of Churches USA

Rev. Dr. Chanequa Walker-Barnes – Professor of Practical Theology, Mercer University; Author, I Bring the Voices of My People: A Womanist Vision for Racial Reconciliation

Rev. Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove – Director, School for Conversion; Associate Minister, St. John’s Missionary Baptist Church, Durham, NC; Author, Reconstructing the Gospel: Finding Freedom from Slaveholder Religion

SESSION 2 – Re-formation: Protests, Policies, Polls, and the Pandemic

1:30 PM – 4:30 PM ET
Session 2: Re-formation: Protests, Policies, Polls, and the Pandemic

Moderator: Bishop Teresa Jefferson-Snorton, Presiding Bishop of the Fifth Episcopal District, Christian Methodist Episcopal Church and Vice-Chair, National Council of Churches USA

Rev. Dr. Curtiss DeYoung – CEO, Minnesota Council of Churches
Rev. Kerri Parker – Executive Director, Wisconsin Council of Churches
Bishop Minerva Garza Carcaño – California-Nevada Conference, The United Methodist Church
LaTosha Brown – Black Voters Matter (Invited)
Rev. LaKesha Womack – Founder, #RethinkingChurch Strategies
Pastor Mike McBride – Director of LIVE FREE gun violence prevention campaign, Faith in Action and Founder and Lead Pastor of The Way Church
Father Simon (Shiryl) Mathai – Assistant Vicar, St. Mary’s West Nyack & Glen Oaks, NY, The Malankara Archdiocese of the Syriac Orthodox Church in North America

Tuesday October 13, 2020

SESSION 3 – Reparation: Looking Back, Looking Forward

11:00 AM – 1:00 PM ET
Session 3: Reparation: Looking Back, Looking Forward

Moderator: Rev. Aundreia Alexander, Esq., Associate General Secretary of Advocacy and Action, National Council of Churches USA

Dr. Jim Winkler – President and General Secretary, National Council of Churches USA
Dr. Iva Carruthers – General Secretary, Samuel DeWitt Proctor Conference
Dr. Ron Peters – Pittsburgh Theological Seminary
Rev. Dr. Betsy Miller – President, The Moravian Church Northern Province
Brenda Girton-Mitchell – Co-Chair, NCC’s ACT to End Racism Initiative, Founder & President, Grace and Race Ministries, Inc.
Rev. Dr. John Dorhauer – General Minister and President, United Church of Christ
Rev. Dr. Karen Georgia Thompson – Associate General Minister Wider Church Ministries & Operations and Co-Executive for Global Ministries, United Church of Christ
The Right Rev. Eugene Sutton – Bishop of the Diocese of Maryland, The Episcopal Church


7:00 PM – 9:00 PM ET

Presentation of Outstanding Leadership Awards

J. Irwin Miller Award for Excellence in Ecumenical Leadership – Shantha Ready Alonso

President’s Award for Excellence in Faithful Leadership – Fr. Leonid Kishkovsky

Gwynne Guibord Award for Excellence in Interreligious Leadership – Dr. Tarunjit Singh Butalia

Closing Worship and Memorial Service for Lives Lost to COVID-19

Rev. Dr. Otis Moss, III – Senior Pastor, Trinity United Church of Christ, Chicago, IL; Author, Blue Note Preaching in a Post-Soul Word: Finding Hope in an Age of Despair

Worship Service Participants:

Rev. Dr. Tammy Wiens, NCC Director of Christian Education and Faith Formation

Rev. Dr. Sheldon Sorge, General Minister, Pittsburgh Presbytery, Presbyterian Church (USA)

Dr. Jim Winkler, President & General Secretary, National Council of Churches USA

Rev. Michael Livingston, Executive Minister, The Riverside Church

Shantha Ready Alonso, Executive Director, Creation Justice Ministries

Very Rev. Fr. Leonid Kishkovsky, Director of External Affairs, Orthodox Church in America

Rev. Margaret Rose, Deputy for Ecumenical and Interreligious Relations, The Episcopal Church

Dr. Tarunjit Singh Butalia, Executive Director, Religions for Peace USA

Bishop Frank M. Reid, III, Ecumenical Officer, Presiding Bishop 3rd Episcopal District, African Methodist Episcopal Church

Rev. Ebony Grisom, Co-Chair, Joint Action and Advocacy for Justice and Peace Convening Table & Interim Director of Protestant Christian Ministry, Georgetown University

Yn. Arpi Kouzouian, Director of Youth, Holy Trinity Armenia Church of Greater Boston

Rev. Barbara Carter, NCC Finance Chair & Apostle, Council of Twelve, Community of Christ

Joseph Parrish, Graduate Student, The Juilliard School

Rev. Dr. J. Herbert Nelson, Stated Clerk, Presbyterian Church (USA)

Fr. Nicolas Kazarian, Ecumenical Officer, Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America

Dr. Kirsten Oh, Professor of Practical Theology, Asuza Pacific University

Rev. Eddy Alemán, General Secretary, Reformed Church in America

Rev. Dr. Loida Martell, NCC Racial Justice Task Force & Vice President for Academic Affairs/ Dean, Lexington Theological Seminary

Rev. Dr. W. Franklyn Richardson, Chair, Conference of National Black Churches & Senior Pastor, Grace Baptist Church, Mt. Vernon, NY

Bishop Elizabeth Eaton, Presiding Bishop, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

Rev. Wil Brown, Pastor, First American Baptist Church, Hobart, OK

Rev. Dr. John Dorhauer, Chair of NCC and President and General Minister, United Church of Christ

Rev. Dr. Otis Moss, III, Senior Pastor, Trinity United Church of Christ, Chicago, IL

Surya-Isis Ndedi, Student, Loyola University New Orleans

Bishop W. Darin Moore, Immediate Past Board Chair, NCC & Bishop, Mid-Atlantic District African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church

Metropolitan Tikhon, Archbishop of Washington, Metropolitan of All America and Canada, Orthodox Church in America