Where to Go for Voting Info

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Perhaps the N.C. chapter of Americans for Prosperity was just trying to be helpful when it mailed out a bunch of “official application forms” to prospective voters. Thanks a lot, guys. The State Board of Elections tells news organizations it has been hammered with queries and complaints about the forms, which include confusing misstatements about the voter registration process. If being helpful was its real intent, Americans for Prosperity would have done better simply to direct folks to the state board’s website. The board offers accurate, clear instructions for registering…

2014 Faith & Health Summit: Registration Deadline Extended

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The deadline to register for the 2014 Faith and Health Summit has been extended until this Friday, October 3. More than 200 people have already reserved their space at this important event, but there’s still room for you! Click here to take advantage of this special opportunity. The Summit will take place on Friday, October 10 at Ardmore Baptist Church in Winston-Salem (501 Miller Street) from 9:30am to 3:30pm, with registration starting at 8:30. Special parking instructions will be provided early next week. Please stay tuned!

Breastfeeding Collaborative Awards First Mini-Grant

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Congratulations to Doorkeeper International Ministries, of Raleigh for being recognized as a breastfeeding-friendly congregation by the Partners in Health and Wholeness Breastfeeding Collaborative. They were also presented with a $5000 mini-grant, the first to be awarded by the Collaborative. Congregations in the Breastfeeding Collaborative are recognized for signing on to the breastfeeding-friendly congregations statement, distributing written materials to their congregation about the health benefits, and choosing a breastfeeding champion, who then starts a support group at the congregation’s place of worship. These congregations are qualified to apply for a mini-grant of up…

Reflections from the People’s Climate March

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Many Interfaith Power & Light folks, from NC and all over the country, took to the streets of New York City this past weekend for the People’s Climate March. It was an exhilarating time, and we left feeling more inspired and connected. Estimates are that more than 400,000 people were at the march, making it what we had all hoped for: the largest action on climate, ever. Many well-known individuals attended, including Al Gore, Leonardo DiCaprio, Ban Ki Moon of the UN, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, and African musician Angelique Kidjo. But, as the…

Voting Rights Update for Pastors and Other Faith Leaders

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November 4 is Election Day. Because of changes in election laws, it is important that people in our pews know when and where they can vote. All of the following are important:  October 10 is the last day citizens can register to vote. To avoid any problems, your parishioners should be sure they are registered at their current address by October 10. Please consider announcing this from the pulpit on Sunday, October 5, and put it in your newsletter for that week. Or send it out by Facebook and Twitter…

Educating the Littlest and the Least

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Recently, several counties in North Carolina have begun passing resolutions discouraging undocumented children, including unaccompanied minors, from attending schools in these counties. These children, who often have no family in the United States and do not speak English, are the most vulnerable and the “least of these.” These counties are making it clear that unaccompanied minors are not welcome here and will receive no support. Even though the children are already here among us, such resolutions would put up additional barriers to make life impossible for them in this country….

PHW Success Story – Paradise Outreach Ministry, Greenville

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We at Paradise Outreach Ministry are making great strides in involving our congregation in healthy initiatives. It is a pleasure to announce that we just completed our 2nd Annual CPR and First Aid Training Class! As a member of the Health Ministry, we are in the process of organizing a walk-a-thon to improve health awareness and spread the good news of Jesus Christ. One challenge we are facing is reaching a larger population in our community. I truly believe the PHW mini grant will help us with marketing and advertisement…

Judges Ponder Rules to Vote By

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North Carolina’s upcoming general election – Election Day is Nov. 4 – will be the first held under a revamped set of rules making it less convenient for some citizens to vote. Or, conceivably, the old rules will apply after all. That’s because the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which has appellate jurisdiction in federal lawsuits arising from North Carolina and four other states, has agreed to hear arguments as to why the election law changes enacted last year should be put on hold. A three-judge panel of the…

Two Former NCCC Presidents Among Faith Leaders Meeting with US Labor Secretary

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On September 16, two former NC Council of Churches President were among a select group of 13 religious leaders who met with US Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez to discuss how faith groups and the administration can work together to protect workers and provide greater economic opportunity for all. Stan Kimer, the Council’s Immediate Past President, represented the NCCC, and the Rev. Sékinah Hamlin, Council President from 2007-2009, was there on behalf of her current organization, the Ecumenical Poverty Initiative.  Read Stan’s recently published blog for details and photos.

Fun Ways to Drink More Water

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We can all relate to the desire to drink more water. However, the reality is that it just doesn’t happen for most of us. We forget it. Or some of us find the taste of water to be boring or off-putting. I personally love water. I am grateful that it helps to clear my skin and helps me to feel good. However, I do struggle to drink enough of it. I hope some of the ideas below will help you. For a party, jazz up the appearance of water by…

NCCC Eating Well Curriculum is a National Resource

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If you haven’t had a chance to take a look at the Council’s curriculum, “Eating Well: For Ourselves, For Our Neighbors, For Our Planet,”  I urge you to do so. You will find food justice interwoven with all of the Council’s areas of work. You will see how eating well affects your body, environment, farmworkers, and even peaceful relations. And you will join the many folks across our nation who are on this journey. If you have participated in “Eating Well” and are looking for other such resources, the organizers of National Food Day have put…

Clergy Breakfasts on Immigration in October

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This year, the NC Council of Churches is continuing its successful statewide series of “Clergy Breakfasts” on immigration. These events are geared towards busy religious professionals and faith leaders, and they provide an overview of immigration issues in the context of a great networking event (and free breakfast)! Below is the information for first two of five breakfasts that will be taking place across the state (more in the Western part of the state coming in November). This “clergy breakfast” series on immigration revolves around sharing a meal together and hearing from knowledgeable people…

An Election-Year Call to Faith Leaders

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Our time to choose North Carolina’s 2014 general election will be held on Tuesday, November 4. Although this is an “off-year” election, without contests for president or governor, many important races will be decided. The state’s voters will choose one of their two U.S. senators and all 13 of their representatives in Congress. Several seats on the state’s two highest courts will be filled, as will every seat in the General Assembly – 50 in the Senate and 120 in the House. Counties will choose commissioners who make decisions about…

2014 Faith & Health Summit: Calling All Volunteers

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The NC Council of Churches’ 2014 Faith and Health Summit is now less than a month away, and we are delighted to have people of faith, public health professionals, faith and health experts, and other community members from all across the state joining us. The event will be held on Friday, October 10 at Ardmore Baptist Church in Winston-Salem. If you have not yet registered to attend, please do so today!  Click here to complete your registration by the September 29 deadline. We are also in need of volunteers to…

Healthy Eating Equipment Grants Are Cooking Up Thanks

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Partners in Health and Wholeness and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina Foundation partnered together to offer twenty churches Healthy Eating Equipment Grants. These churches received up to $5,000 to buy equipment that will help them provide healthy food options within their places of worship. Church of God of Prophecy of Morven and St. James Baptist in Greensboro, offered letters from individuals about how this equipment has fostered a healthier worship environment. A 13-year-old church member from Morven wrote, “I am so appreciative and hope that this program will…

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