NH Council of Churches E-lert, November 13

New Hampshire Council of Churches

New Hampshire Council of Churches
November 13 2013 

Nov. 24 Preach In Sunday
Oppose the SAFT Act
Join Our Mailing List


"...that all may all be one." 
John 17:21





   Recent Op Ed from Rev. Jonathan Hopkins

  President, NH Council of Churches


           I have always been against the death penalty. Since I was a kid it just didn't make any sense to me. We are going to kill someone so we can show that killing people is wrong? As I grew up and studied the issue more I realized that there was no statistical evidence to say that the death penalty actually prevents crimes. I also began to learn that some people have received the death penalty only to be found innocent by DNA evidence. It would be a travesty if we killed an innocent person. It also cost more to kill someone then to keep them in prison for the rest of their lives. For all these reasons and some others I believe that the death penalty simply does not make sense. Even though I am a pastor I never had a particular religious view about this issue.

                But that has changed recently. I have come to see not the religious implications but the spiritual issues involved when we decide to take a human life. God does not desire a continuation of violence through retribution. In my own faith tradition I have come to see how God sets out to do away with retaliatory violence. Consider that after Cain killed Able God forbid anyone to touch Cain. The Bible actually reduces the use of death as away to settle scores. Not to mention that as a Christian it was the state sanctioned death penalty that killed Jesus.

                On November 24th, Christ the King Sunday, there will be a preach in supported by Bishop Peter Anthony Libasci of the Roman Catholic diocese, Bishop Rob Hirschfeld Episcopalians, Bishop James Hazelwood (my Bishop) of the New England Synod of the ELCA, and Rev. Gary Schulte conference ministry of the United Church of Christ. On that day we will talk about the spiritual issues involved when addressing the death penalty. How the use of retaliatory violence only continues the cycle. The need for redemption, forgiveness, healing, compassion, and reconciliation are all spiritual truths that should help us to come to conclusions about the death penalty.

                In 2014 we have a chance in NH to be the 19th state to abolish the death penalty. We have a chance to do away with an expensive, non effective, non spiritual way of fighting crime. We have a chance to send a real message that violence in any form is never the answers to the problems we face.




Oppose the SAFT Act 
National Call-In Day to Congress on
November 13



The Strengthen and Fortify Enforcement (SAFE) Act (H.R. 2278) is an immigration reform bill pending in the United States House. The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops opposes the SAFE Act for several reasons, including because it would place faith-based charities and Good Samaritans at risk of criminal prosecution.

  • Provisions in the SAFE Act would criminalize religious leaders and houses of worship that provide humanitarian assistance to all persons regardless of immigration status.
  • The Act would permit state and local law enforcement officers, untrained in federal immigration law, to issue an immigration hold and detain an individual indefinitely, resulting in prolonged detention for United States citizens and lawful permanent residents.
  • The detention policy proposed in the SAFE Act calls for an increase in the number of detention facilities, an increase in the population to be detained, and an increase in funding for state and local governments to detain individuals in local jails. These proposals would lead to an increased cost to taxpayers nearing $1 billion/year.

How to Take Action:

  • Participate in the Justice for Immigrants National Call-In Day to Congress on Wednesday, November 13 by calling 1-855-589-5698. On that day, callers dialing into the toll-free number will hear a short recording instructing them to give the following message to their member of Congress: "Support a path to citizenship and oppose the SAFE Act." After the recording, callers will then be prompted to enter their zip code on their telephone keypad and will be connected directly to their Representative's Washington office.
  • If you are not available to call on November 13, contact your Representative directly to oppose the SAFE Act. To find your Representative, visit www.house.gov and enter your zip code in the box on the top right corner.



New Hampshire Council of Churches 
125 Airport Road                                 PO Box 1087 
Concord, NH  03301                Concord NH  03302
info@nhchurches.org                 www.nhchurches.org 
Office hours:  Monday through Thursday, 9-3