If you are interested in reading more about KCC in the news, please click on the links below to read stories, op-ed articles or letters to the editor.

Annual Assembly
*Kentucky Standard
Kentucky Council of Churches Annual Assembly at Nazareth
Tuesday, October 18th, 2016

http://www.kystandard.com/content/kentucky-council-churches-annual-assembly-nazareth

Child Abuse and Scams Targeting Senior Citizens
*Berea Online
Beshear Partnering with KY Council of Churches to Stop Child Abuse, Senior Scams
Wednesday, March 29th, 2017

http://www.bereaonline.com/?p=60636
*WTVQ
AG, KY Council of Churches Team Up To Stop Child Abuse, Senior Scams
Wednesday, March 29th, 2017

http://www.wtvq.com/2017/03/29/ag-ky-council-churches-team-stop-child-abuse-senior-scams/
*Fort Bend Herald
Beshear Partners with Churches to Protect Children, Seniors
Thursday, March 30th, 2017

http://www.fbherald.com/news/beshear-partners-with-churches-to-protect-children-seniors/article_d54de279-b103-58c9-be5d-b0e36806686e.html
*Kentucky News Era
Beshear Partners with Churches to Protect Children, Seniors
Thursday, March 30th, 2017

http://www.kentuckynewera.com/news/ap/article_f35496ac-381d-5c1d-a875-cb9e0fd6d228.html
*LMT Online
Beshear Partners with Churches to Protect Children, Seniors
Thursday, March 30th, 2017

*Middleboro Daily News
Beshear Partners with Churches to Protect Children, Seniors
Thursday, March 30th, 2017

http://middlesborodailynews.com/news/17162/news-in-brief-267
http://www.lmtonline.com/news/crime/article/Beshear-partners-with-churches-to-protect-11038118.php
*The Washington Times
Beshear Partners with Churches to Protect Children, Seniors
Thursday, March 30th, 2017

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2017/mar/30/beshear-partners-with-churches-to-protect-children/
*US News
Beshear Partners with Churches to Protect Children, Seniors
Thursday, March 30th, 2017

https://www.usnews.com/news/best-states/kentucky/articles/2017-03-30/beshear-partners-with-churches-to-protect-children-seniors
Criminal Justice
*Louisville Courier Journal
The Cost of doing nothing
Friday, January 20th, 2017

http://www.courier-journal.com/story/opinion/contributors/2017/01/20/cost-doing-nothing-peggy-hinds/96828708/
*Brennan Center for Justice
Voting Rights Restoration Efforts in Kentucky
Thursday, April 6th, 2017

Creation Care
*Louisville Courier Journal
Churches Mobilize to Protect Planet
Monday, June 19th, 2017
http://louisvillecourierjournal.ky.newsmemory.com/publink.php?shareid=0f31e8d37

 Education Reform
*ABC13 WBKO
Bill Would Require Bible Classes In Kentucky Public Schools
Thursday, February 16th, 2017

http://www.wbko.com/content/news/Bill-would-require-Bible-classes-in-Kentucky-public-schools-413987093.html
*CCM Magazine
Could Kentucky Schools Be Required to Have a Bible Course
Thursday, February 16th, 2017
http://www.ccmmagazine.com/news/a-bill-requiring-ky-schools-to-offer-bible-history-course-advances-to-senate/

*Education Week
Bill Would Require Bible Classes In Kentucky Public Schools
Thursday, February 16th, 2017

http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2017/02/16/bill-would-require-bible-classes-in_ap.html
*Glasgow Daily Times
Bill Would Require Bible Classes in Kentucky Public Schools
Thursday, February 16th, 2017
http://www.glasgowdailytimes.com/news/bill-would-allow-bible-classes-in-kentucky-public-schools/article_c183b6b4-f49a-11e6-8b2d-d71ac118763f.html
*Local 12
Bill would require Bible classes in Kentucky Public schools
Thursday, February 16th, 2017
http://local12.com/news/local/bill-would-require-bible-classes-in-kentucky-public-schools-02-16-2017
*Waco Tribe
Bill Would Require Bible Classes in Kentucky Public Schools
Thursday, February 16th, 2017

http://www.wacotrib.com/ap/state/bill-would-require-bible-classes-in-kentucky-public-schools/article_158489f4-9739-5b0c-bd25-ada3bfa284d2.html
*WJHL
Bill Would Require Bible Classes in Kentucky Public Schools
Thursday, February 16th, 2017
http://wjhl.com/2017/02/16/bill-would-require-bible-classes-in-kentucky-public-schools
*WKMS
KY Senate Committees Approves Bill Standardizing Bible Course, Student Civics Test
Thursday, February 16th, 2017

http://wkms.org/post/update-ky-senate-committee-approves-bills-standardizing-bible-course-student-civics-tests
*WLKY
Bill Would Require Kentucky Public Schools Offer Bible Course
Thursday, February 16th, 2017

http://www.wlky.com/article/bill-would-require-kentucky-public-schools-offer-bible-course/8942865
*WLWT
Bill would require Bible classes in Kentucky Public schools
Thursday, February 16th, 2017

http://www.wlwt.com/article/bill-would-require-bible-classes-in-kentucky-public-schools/8943253
*US News
Kentucky Considering Mandatory Bible Classes
Thursday, February 16th, 2017
https://www.usnews.com/news/kentucky/articles/2017-02-16/bill-would-require-bible-classes-in-kentucky-public-schools
*Herald & Review
Briefs
Friday, February 17th, 2017
http://herald-review.com/briefs/article_47a38add-e126-5d41-93d1-713c1f36deee.html
*WCYB
Bill would require Bible classes in Kentucky Public schools
Friday, February 17th, 2017

http://www.wcyb.com/news/kentucky/bill-would-require-bible-classes-in-kentucky-public-schools/339845969
*WDRB
Senate committee passes bill allowing the Bible to be taught in Kentucky public schools
Friday, February 17th, 2017
http://www.wdrb.com/story/34532441/senate-committee-passes-bill-allowing-the-bible-to-be-taught-in-kentucky-public-schools
*WYMT
Committee passes bill aiming to allow Bible classes
Friday, February 17th, 2017

http://www.wymt.com/content/news/committee-passes-bill-aiming-to-allow-Bible-classes.html
*Conservative Tribune
What This State Bill would Offer High School Students Will give Atheist a Stroke
Saturday, February 18th, 2017

http://conservativetribune.com/state-senate-bill-high-school/
*Freedom from Religious Formation
Action Alert
Tuesday, February 21st, 2017
https://ffrf.org/news/action/item/28763-ask-kentucky-lawmakers-to-kill-stealth-bible-course-bill
*Marshall County Daily
Four bills move one step closer to law thanks to local legislators
Friday, February 17th, 2017
http://www.marshallcountydaily.com/2017/02/17/four-bills-move-one-step-closer-to-law-thanks-to-local-legislators/
*WCPO
Bill Would Require Bible Classes in Kentucky Public Schools
Friday, February 17th, 2017
http://www.wcpo.com/news/state/state-kentucky/bill-would-require-bible-classes-in-kentucky-public-schools
*WCHS
Bill Would Require Bible Classes in Kentucky Public Schools
Thursday, February 16th, 2017
http://wchstv.com/news/local/bill-would-require-bible-classes-in-kentucky-public-schools
*The Daily Chomp
Bible Elective Bill Passes Kentucky House
Monday, February 27th, 2017
http://gatornews.org/9011/news/bible-elective-bill-passed-for-kentucky-public-schools/
*West Kentucky Star
Bill Would Standardize Bible Classes in KY Schools
Friday, February 17th, 2017
http://www.westkentuckystar.com/News/State/Kentucky/Bill-Would-Standardize-Bible-Classes-in-KY-Schools.aspx
*Christian News
Kentucky Governor Signs Bill Authorizing Elective Social Studies Courses on the Bible
Thursday, April 20th, 2017
https://christiannews.net/2017/04/20/kentucky-governor-signs-bill-authorizing-elective-social-studies-courses-on-the-bible/
Gun Violence
*WHAS 11
What's next for Matt Bevins, GOP in the legislature?
Monday, February 6th, 2017
http://www.whas11.com/news/whats-next-for-matt-bevin-gop-in-the-legislature/400279707
Health Care
*West Kentucky Star
Beshear, Churches Partner to Protect Kids, Seniors
Thursday, March 30th, 2017
http://www.westkentuckystar.com/News/State/Kentucky/Beshear-Churches
Partner-to-Protect-Kids-Seniors.aspx

*Children Defense
Op-Ed: The Honorable Mitch McConnell
Wednesday, March 22nd, 2017
http://www.childrensdefense.org/library/data/childrens-group-letter.pdf
*Kentucky Voices for Kentucky
Op-Ed: Honorable Mitch McConnell United States Senate
Tuesday, March 21st, 2017
https://static1.squarespace.com/static/56cb3afbf055e927c42f4954/t/58d506bcff7c501d4435cb78/1490355901021/InsureKY+Letter+to+Sen+McConnell+re+AHCA+3.23.17+FINAL.pdf
Immigration
*Human Rights First
NGO-Letter- To-Johnson-Increased-Detention
Monday, October 31st, 2016
http://www.humanrightsfirst.org/sites/default/files/NGO-Letter-To-Johnson-Increased-Detention-2016-10-31.pdf
*ACLU
NGO Letter to Johnson Increased Detention
Monday, October 31st, 2016
https://www.aclu.org/sites/default/files/field_document/ngolettertojohnson_increaseddetention_2016_10_31.pdf
*The J (Jewish Louisville)
Jews, Muslims, Christians Express Support with “Circles of Love”
Friday, February 3rd, 2017

https://jewishlouisville.org/faiths-gather-support-muslims-friday-worship
*
WDRB.com
Local Religious Community Holds Prayer Circle in Peaceful Protest of President Trump's Executive Order
Friday, February 3rd, 2017

http://www.wdrb.com/story/34423485/local-religoius-community-holds-prayer-circle-in-peaceful-protest-of-president-trumps-executive-order
*Wave 3
Interfaith ' Circle of Love' formed at local mosque
Saturday, February 4th, 2017
http://www.wave3.com/story/34424427/interfaith-circle-of-love-formed-at-local-mosque
Justice
*Lexington Herald-Leader
Gov. Matt Bevin vetoes three bills and part of another
Tuesday, March 28th, 2017
http://www.kentucky.com/news/politics-government/article141199498.html
*Insider Louisville
Gov. Bevin vetoes three bills and part of another
Wednesday, March 29th, 2017
https://insiderlouisville.com/metro/gov-bevin-vetoes-three-bills-and-part-of-another/
*Kentucky News Era
Kentucky Council of Churches Condemns Acts of Violence
Friday, March 3rd, 2017
http://www.kentuckynewera.com/opinion/voice_of_the_people/article_6347bd32-007c-11e7-a161-c3b501a1849c.html
*WMKY
Churches add voice to prayers for social justice, unity
Friday, February 17th, 2017
http://wmky.org/post/churches-add-voice-prayers-social-justice-unity
*Berea Online
Faith Leaders Speak Out on Reforming KY's Justice System
Wednesday, February 8th,2017
http://bereaonline.com/?p=58986
*The Times Reader
Council of Churches members pray for Kentucky workers
Wednesday, January 11th, 2017
http://www.timesleader.net/lifestyle/council-of-churches-members-pray-for-kentucky-workers/article_62c47b68-d767-11e6-b31f-579db9c89e68.html
*The Presbyterian Outlook
Moral Revival Makes a Stop in Louisville
Wednesday, October 5th, 2016
http://pres-outlook.org/2016/10/moral-revival-makes-stop-louisville/
*Baptist News
Progressive Christians counter agenda of the Religious Right
Thursday, September 14th, 2016
https://baptistnews.com/article/progressive-christians-counter-agenda-of-the-religious-right/#.WL4M1jvyvIU
*State-Journal
Kentucky Council of Churches to March to Capitol Monday
Saturday, September 10th, 2016
http://www.state-journal.com/2016/09/10/kentucky-council-of-churches-to-march-to-capitol-monday/
Moral Governance
*Presbyterian Mission
Ground Moral Day of Action
Monday, September 12th, 2016
http://www.presbyterianmission.org/story/kentucky-council-churches-joins-higher-ground-moral-day-action/
*Presbyterian Mission
Moral Revival Makes a Stop in Louisville
Saturday, October 24th, 2016
http://www.presbyterianmission.org/story/november-2/
Nonpartisanship
*Non-Profit Law Blog
Take Action Today to Protect the Nonprofit, Religious, and Foundation Communities!
Monday, March 20th, 2017
http://www.nonprofitlawblog.com/protect-charities-from-partisan-politics
Prayer in Action Days
*Union-Church
Legislative Updates from the Kentucky Council of Churches
Thursday, February 23rd, 2017
http://www.kycouncilofchurches.org/council-statements/
*Public News Service
Churches Add Voice to Prayers for Social Justice, Unity

Monday February 13th,2017
http://www.publicnewsservice.org/2017-02-13/civic-engagement/churches-add-voice-to-prayers-for-social-justice-unity/a56328-1
*Naswky
Lobby Day 2017, Stand Up, and More!
Thursday, January 12th, 2017
http://naswky.com/news/lobby-day-2017-standup
*The Kentucky Annual Conference; The United Methodist Church
Church Leaders and Advocates Gather to Pray and Advocate for Kentucky Workers
Monday, January 9th, 2017
http://www.kyumc.org/newsdetail/7219116
*88.9 WEKU (Stu Johnson)
Religious Leaders Plan Weekly Frankfort Visits
Wednesday, January 4th,2017
http://weku.fm/post/religious-leaders-plan-weekly-frankfort-visits
*NKY Tribune
Church Leaders to Gather at Frankfort Capitol for Prayer in Actions Days Each Tuesday During Session
Tuesday, January 2nd, 2017
http://www.nkytribune.com/2017/01/church-leaders-to-gather-at-frankfort-capitol-for-prayer-in-action-days-each-tuesday-during-session/
*Forward Ky
News Roundup:  2017-01-02
Monday, January 2nd, 2017
http://forwardky.com/news-roundup-2017-01-02/
*Daily Independent
Church Leaders to Gather at the Capitol for Weekly Prayer in Action
Thursday, December 21st,2016

http://www.dailyindependent.com/news/church-leaders-to-gather-at-the-capitol-for-weekly-prayer/article_4a622d40-c7f9-11e6-a067-a7009c8db126.html
Religion and Politics
*Baptist Joint Committee
Faith Groups to Congress: Do Not Politicize Our Houses of Worship
Wednesday, April 5th, 2017
http://bjconline.org/communitynotcandidates/
Stewardship
Kentucky Together
Opinion: How We Spend Reflects Who We Are
Wednesday, October 12th, 2016
http://www.kentuckytogether.org/opinion-how-we-spend-reflects-who-we-are/
Thanksgiving
*Berea Online
Op-Ed Submission for Thanksgiving From KY Council of Churches
Tuesday, November 21st, 2016
http://bereaonline.com/?p=56690#more-56690
Unity
*Lexington Herald-Leader
Council of Churches Members Pray for Kentucky Workers
Wednesday, January 11th, 2017
http://www.kentucky.com/opinion/op-ed/article116546978.html
*KY Forward
Commentary: The American Church's new mission? Maybe it's about healing and reconciliation
Monday, November 7th,2016
http://www.kyforward.com/commentary-the-american-churchs-new-mission-maybe-its-about-healing-and-reconciliation/
*Lexington Herald-Leader
Churches must help heal political divide
Wednesday, November 8th, 2016
http://www.kentucky.com/opinion/op-ed/article113390343.html
*NKY Tribune
Commentary: Thoughts toward what next as the election results loom-time to start healing
Wednesday, November 8th, 2016
http://www.nkytribune.com/2016/11/commentary-thoughts-turn-toward-whats-next-as-election-results-loom-time-to-start-healing/
*NKY Tribune
Commentary: Thoughts Turn Toward What’s Next as Election Results Loom – Time to Start Healing
Wednesday, November 8th, 2016
http://www.nkytribune.com/2016/11/commentary-thoughts-turn-toward-whats-next-as-election-results-loom-time-to-start-healing/
Welfare Reform
*Frac
Naho Signers List 2017
Wednesday, March 1st, 2017

http://frac.org/wp-content/uploads/naho-signers-list-2017.pdf

 

 

What’s a pastor to do?

by Peggy Hinds

Last week in Portland, Oregon, three men were attacked for defending two teenage girls from a verbal, anti-Muslim assault. The same week a Christian radio personality called for “a more violent Christianity.” ISIS claimed yet another deadly bombing aimed this time at Coptic Christians in Egypt.

What is a pastor to do in times like these? How do we lead our congregations amid the hate, violence, and fear-mongering?  Events like these, and the rhetoric that accompanies them suggests for me the passage from Joshua, “choose this day whom you will serve” (24:15). In this statement, Joshua is calling Israel to a renewed covenant to be God’s faithful people. He publicly pledged his family’s total allegiance and challenged all the others to follow his example.

Hate, violence, and fear-mongering have no place in Christ’s Church.

What is a pastor to do? Here are some thoughts …

  1. Call our congregations to a time of prayer and spiritual discernment to seek God’s guidance for the months and years ahead.
  2. Preach love, peace, compassion, and hope.
  3. Stand up to bullies when they sow discord or lead people away from the foundations of our faith—kindness, mercy, and humility.
  4. Resist those who encourage negativity, blaming, name-calling, and personal attacks.    
  5. Be prophetic in a way that is challenging and loving.
  6. Get involved, and encourage our congregants to get involved with local civil discourse, interfaith relationships, and political advocacy. Be informed and share opinions about policy.
  7. Listen, listen, and listen some more—to the Spirit, to our congregants, and to the community.
  8. Increase involvement with organizations like KCC where we can find support, challenge, and resources.
  9. Pay attention to our own spiritual, physical, emotional, and mental health. It takes a healthy person to lead a congregation in such chaotic times.

Some consider the Kentucky Council of Churches (KCC) to be a progressive, even liberal, organization. However, KCC is a diverse community of communions. Even though congregations or members do not agree with all of our policies or the advocacy we take in Frankfort, KCC’s diversity makes us unique. Our unity makes us strong. I celebrate both.

I am grateful that the denominations and churches that make up the Council are faithful followers of Jesus Christ, who care for the poor, vulnerable and marginalized, and who promote peace, love, and mercy. We choose to serve the God of grace, love, and redemption. As we consider the paradox of our time and the many voices trying to tell us what it means to be “Christian,” I pray that we will continue to choose to serve the God we know in Jesus Christ. May this be a time of renewed covenant and energy for Christian unity and social justice ministries.

 

A Personal Note from Peggy …

As I complete my interim service to the Council (this will be my last newsletter), I pray that God will continue to hold our denominations together and bless the Council with a strong united voice of peace, compassion, and hope. I am grateful for the opportunity to have served KCC these past two years, and for all the support I have received from our membership and the partners we work with in Frankfort. I believe that KCC is in a unique position to bring a strong moral voice to public discourse, break down racial and other barriers, and strengthen our member congregations.

Though I will no longer be on staff, I will still be a KCC supporter and an involved citizen. Maybe I’ll see you at the Capitol next session.

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” (Romans 15:13)

Peace and Blessings, 

Peggy 


OPENING HEARTS OPENING HOMES

Governor Asks Congregations to Get Involved

By Peggy Hinds, Interim Executive Director

Several weeks ago, I attended the Open Hearts Open Homes Summit hosted by Governor and Mrs. Bevin and the Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS). Gov. and Mrs. Bevin have a heart for children and particular those who await adoption. The Open Hearts Open Homes campaign is intended to encourage more families to consider providing foster care and adoption. He is inviting faith communities to become involved in foster care family support and community education.

To that end, I have been in contact with CHFS to get more information to share with you. Social Service Specialist Michelle Jones sent the following:

Many times, there are meetings that need to be held either for foster parents, a foster parent training, or a case planning meeting for a family that our agency is working with. We are reaching out to churches to see if we could utilize any meeting rooms they might have that might be available for these types of things

Also, if a congregation is interested in learning more about how members can become foster or adoptive parents, we would be able to come to the church and conduct a meeting just with that specific congregation.

There are many different types of moves that can occur when a child is placed in out of home care. When they are removed from their birth home, they may move to a foster home. During their time in out of home care, they might move from foster home to foster home. They could also move from foster home to an adoptive home.  When they are moved, they often have to carry their belongings from placement to placement in garbage bags. We never want any child to feel like they are trash, but can you imagine the message this sends. In an effort to ensure that no child ever has their belongings placed in a garbage bag, we are asking churches to have a Duffle Bag Fundraiser. We do ask that each bag be new and unused.

For more information on how your congregation can help support foster care and adoption, or participate in a Duffle Bag Fundraiser, contact Michelle Jones at 502-564-2147 ext. 3579.  She will put you in touch with a CHFS representative for your region of the state. Visit the KY foster care and adoption website at http://adopt.ky.gov. 


Legislative Update –

March 7, 2017

 We are coming to the end of another General Assembly. Tomorrow is the last day of the regular session, but the work continues with work days and concurrence meetings.

 Our advocacy work continues as well. We have one more Prayer in Action Day. Next Tuesday, Rev. Donna Aros and folks from Kentucky Refugee Ministries will lead our time together focusing on immigrants and refugees. Just this week, President Trump issued another order. Come hear what you can do to advocate for immigrant rights. We will meet in Annex Room 111 at 9:30 am.

 SB 120, now being called a re-entry bill, has passed the Senate and the House Judiciary Committee. You can help make this bill a reality by contacting your representative TODAY. Encourage him or her to vote “yes” on SB 120. If you know which Representative is yours, you may email them through the Legislature's webste by clicking here. They are listed by county at that link. If you are unsure, or if you prefer to leave a voice message, please call the Legislative Message Line at 1-800-372-7181 (or 1-866-840-6574 to leave a message in Spanish). The operator will be able to get the message to the correct Representative based on your address.

Here are some talking points to use when communicating to your senator:

•        SB 120 does not change criminal sentences.  It is now a modest re-entry bill. 

•        The public wants more reform than SB 120, but this has to pass to do more.

•        Poor people who cannot pay costs and fees should not go to jail for being poor.

•        The single biggest predictor of recidivism is opportunity upon release. By providing job training and work release to inmates, SB 120 improves public safety.

•        For offenders being supervised in the community, SB 120 strikes a balance between increased     penalties for non-compliance and increased incentives for compliance

•        A reformed felon should be able to get professional licenses.

 SB 7, that would allow concealed carry without a permit, is still in committee. Hopefully, it will not go any further this session.

 Juvenile justice bills SB20 and SB195 have made some progress, and are currently in committees. SB 195, expungement for juvenile ex-offenders, will be heard by the House Judiciary Committee tomorrow.

 Bills concerning payday lending and “son of payday” loans seem to be stalled in committees as well. KCC will continue to advocate for a 36% interest rate cap and tougher penalties for companies that break the rules. We will also continue to oppose “son of payday” loans. These loans are even more predatory than the normal ones because individuals can borrow more money each time with the same high interest rates.

 Tim’s Law, HB 79, which would enact court-ordered mental health treatment will be heard by the House Judiciary Committee this week. We support this bill because of the dangers posed by mentally-ill persons who refuse treatment that would keep them and their loved ones safe.  Contact your Representative about this bill TODAY.

 The bill to offer Bible classes in public schools is moving forward, while the death penalty bills are stagnant.

 You can search and view all bills at http://www.lrc.ky.gov/lrcsearch.  

 On the federal scene, Kentucky Voices for Health has sent an update on the new proposal for healthcare coverage. Read here: http://us2.campaign-archive1.com/?u=a4c247a98254d1c059c850555&id=5573bd4eef.