Newsletter: WMJM Justice Seeker, April, 2017

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The Monthly Newsletter of the Western Methodist Justice Movement


Rise Up! Conference Boosts Movement Building

"There is an empathy deficit in this country," said Bishop Karen Oliveto, as she addressed over 150 attendees from 17 Annual Conferences and 20 ethnicities attending the "Rise Up!" conference sponsored by the Western Methodist Justice Movement held in Portland over Presidents Day weekend. Bishop Karen is the newly-elected bishop of the Western Jurisdiction and serves the Mountain Sky Episcopal Area (Montana, Wyoming, Utah, Colorado, and one church in Idaho). In her keynote sermon, she went on to describe how groups are triangulated against one another, defining who's in and who's out, building walls to keep others out, and thus "othering" those who are different. More...

In This Issue:



Just Love

At our meeting during the Rise Up conference WMJM’s Just Love Action Network determined that our top priority at this time is to support Bishop Karen Oliveto as the Judicial Council prepares to hear a challenge to the legitimacy of her election in April. We are currently drafting a letter to Judicial Council in support Bishop Oliveto and the CalledOut LGBTQIA+ clergy who were commissioned and ordained in the New York Northern Illinois annual conferences. We will seek signatures beyond WMJM, especially western jurisdiction leaders. When the letter is completed we hope you will sign and encourage members of your conference’s delegation to sign as well.

In the meantime, you can continue to support Bihsop Oliveto through the To Bishop KO With Love Facebook campaign and contributions to the Mountain Sky Area’s Acts 2 vital congregations sustentation fund. Most of all please pray for Karen, the CalledOut LGBTQIA+ clergy in New York and Illinois, and the members of Judicial Council as preparations continue for the council’s meeting April 25-28.

Documented by Love

Documented by Love is an Action network working on issues related to documentation of immigrants, Sanctuary churches; educating ourselves, our churches, Annual Conferences and jurisdiction on issues; providing resources; and recognizing human dignity of all.
Read more and find resources

Rise Up! Attendees Give Generously

During Rise Up! people generously gave more than $3,400 during several different offerings to support projects in the Western Jurisdiction and around the world. The 3 projects that were supported were Acts 2 Sustentation Fund, ICON Choir, and Building Bridges with Africa. Keep Reading

In the News

Historic CEO pay tax passes in Portland

In December, Portland, Ore., adopted the first tax penalty on corporations with extreme gaps between their CEO and worker pay. In the first two months of 2017, lawmakers have introduced similar bills in at least five state legislatures. For more details, see Institute for Policy Studies talking points (PDF).

Antiabortion Group Leaders Face Criminal Charges

On March 29, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals barred the release of videos made by the antiabortion group Center for Medical Progress. Two of the anti-abortion activists involved in the recording now face criminal charges brought by the Attorney General of California, alleging they secretly and illegally made controversial videos subsequently blamed for a spike in abortion clinic violence. Read the article at Hatewatch.

Conflict Minerals Rule

A move reportedly under consideration by the Trump administration to suspend a rule requiring companies to disclose their source for gold and other potential “conflict minerals” could enrich abusive armed groups in Africa. Details here.

Trump Dismantling Clean Power Plan

An executive order signed by President Trump on March 28, titled,  “Promoting Energy Independence and Economic Growth” directs various agencies to begin dismantling the Clean Power Plan, designed to curb greenhouse gas emissions from power plants; limits on methane emitted by oil and gas operations; and a moratorium on the troubled federal coal leasing program.

Senate Votes to Let States Block Title X Funding

On March 30, Vice President Pence cast the tie-breaking vote on a bill to let states block Title X funding from going to Planned Parenthood or any organization that provides abortions. This bill that had already cleared the House repeals an Obama rule that went into effect on Jan. 18. The president is expected to sign the legislation.

CAIR-California Co-sponsoring "Anti-Muslim Registry Bill."

CAIR-CA is co-sponsoring Senator Lara’s California Religious Freedom Act (SB 31) that prohibits a state or local agency from participating in a federal program to create a database based on a person's religious beliefs, national origin, or ethnicity for law enforcement or immigration purposes. It also prevents state and local law enforcement agencies from collecting information on the religious beliefs, practices, or affiliations of an individual except under certain circumstances. They are also co-sponsoring SB 54, the California Values Act that keeps local and state resources from being used in deportations that separate families and ensures that public schools, hospitals, libraries, and courts remain safe and accessible to all community members.

CST Symposium on Ethics of Death, Dying, and Grief

Claremont School of Theology will be hosting the 2017 Interreligious Symposium on the Ethics of Death, Dying, and Grief on Thursday, April 20. Designed for a wide range of caring professions, the morning workshop will explore the potential ethical dilemmas which can arise for some clergy and health care professionals in the current era of the End of Life Option Act. Read more and get tickets

CA Legislature Dealing with Reproductive Issues

AB 569 - Reproductive Health Non-Discrimination Act
To ensure that employees and their families can make their own health decisions, including whether, when, and how to start a family and what the size of their family should be, without fear of losing their jobs or facing retribution from their employers because of private, non-work related decisions.
SB320 - College Student Right to Access Act
To provide comprehensive reproductive health services for students at their on-campus student health centers that includes medication abortion.
SB743 - Freedom of Choice in Family Planning
To ensure that Medi-Cal managed care enrollees can receive family planning services from their qualified provider of choice. SB 743 is co-sponsored by Essential Access Health and Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California.

CA May Become A “Sanctuary State”

On Monday, April 3, the California Senate overwhelmingly approved legislation that essentially turns California into a so-called “sanctuary state” for undocumented immigrants. The legislation prohibits any state or local law enforcement agency from using resources to investigate, detain, report or arrest people for immigration violations.  County jails would not be able to allow officers from Immigration and Customs Enforcement to work inside the jails or notify them when a prisoner is being released. The bill will now move to the Assembly. Gov. Jerry Brown has not indicated whether he would sign it. More information is available here and here.

Portland City Council Pulls Investments

"In a sweeping move that follows a wave of divestment activism in Portland, Oregon, and across the country, the Portland City Council has voted  to pull all of the city's investments in corporate bonds and securities. The decision was a major victory for a broad coalition of activists who have pushed for the city to end its investments in corporations that have questionable records on the environment and human rights, including ties to the Dakota Access pipeline, the private prison industry and the Israeli occupation of Palestine" Read More

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