Lord, Please Keep Making Me

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With the Sidewalk Prophets singing “Keep Making Me” in the background, I sit here contemplating how to start the many blog posts running through my head. I am overcome with a wave of love that begins in my belly, funnels to my heart and out through my head.  I get lost in the words of the song, “I’m completed when you are with me…Lord please keep making me. “ I knew I would confront trials, I just didn’t think it would involve four cherished family members dying within weeks of…

Prayers and Letters for Children at the Border

Week of Prayer for Christian Unity

The issue of unaccompanied children at the border has caused great concern about the thousands of refugee children who have fled violence and poverty to seek a safe haven here in the U.S. The presence of these same children has also prompted feelings of resentment, hatred and xenophobia, as communities are divided over who their neighbors are. I believe that as people of faith, we are called to respond to these children with love and support. We must move away from a national conversation of hostility to one of compassion and…

National Priorities — What Would Jesus Say?

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“Inequality for All,” a documentary with former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich, considers the priorities of the US over the last century and offers some interesting observations. When has our country prospered and created the most comfort for the most people? How have government regulations affected different people? Who has been helped by the rules and who has been hurt?  Although the film is not presented from a faith perspective, after viewing it three times, I find myself thinking about the sheep and goat story in Matthew 25 with my eyes…

Internship with PHW More than Expected

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From this internship with Partners in Health and Wholeness, my main expectations were to strengthen my employment applications after graduation by adding additional experiences. However, after my first day in the field with Joy Williams, my expectations have changed. Seeing her passion and commitment to her calling has made me realize how important this internship truly is and how blessed I am to be a part of Partners in Health and Wholeness. My expectations for this brief internship have changed from just gaining work experience to embracing the needs of…

Capital Clash over Education, Health

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North Carolina legislators faced with vexing conflicts over a new state budget spent a solid week pawing and snorting at each other without a lot of movement on the main sticking points. Another case of partisan gridlock? Well, one could say so – except this is a standoff between members of the same party. The stakes are so big, in terms of both policy and politics, that Gov. Pat McCrory has joined the fray, siding with one set of his fellow Republicans against the other. Here, then, are the contending…

PHW Success Story – Mount Nebo Pentecostal Holiness, Ramseur

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Mount Nebo Pentecostal Holiness Church in Ramseur, NC received a grant earlier this year from the Randolph Hospital Community Health Foundation to build a walking track, which has since been completed. Such efforts to increase access to opportunities for physical activity can improve a community’s overall health. Partners in Health and Wholeness would like to congratulate Mount Nebo – under the pastoral leadership of Sharon W. Belk and PHW Liaison Minister Elworth Cheek – on this award as well as for achieving our highest level of health certification. They are…

Twists, Turns on Teacher Pay

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If this year’s session of the N.C. General Assembly were a work of drama for stage or screen, the plot would be coming to a head. And we in the audience would be perched on the edge of our seats as the actors resolved the mystery: Will the state’s public school teachers get a raise, and if so, how big? There’s little doubt that the state capital powers-that-be – Gov. Pat McCrory and his Republican allies who control the House and Senate – have decided teacher pay is an issue…

“A Conspiracy of Sunlight and Sugar”

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Blueberries, blackberries, persimmons and plums!  What is your local fruit IQ?  Do you know when local fruit is in season and where to get it?  The blog  below, written by Barth Anderson, is about his discovery of in-season local fruit. I found it entertaining, enlightening and encouraging. It was also a humorous reminder that if you don’t eat the healthy, delicious local fruit that is in season, someone else will! He writes: wherever you are, whatever climate or altitude, I guarantee there is a conspiracy of sunlight and sugar being committed behind…

Celebrating Our Shared History & Continued Prosperity

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As we head into a long Independence Day weekend, most Americans are anticipating a Friday off from work and a time to spend with their families celebrating the largest secular holiday in the United States. However, as American citizens celebrate their nation through fireworks, parades, and picnics, many would consider the topic of immigration to be “anti-American” during such a patriotic holiday. Yet immigrants and their contributions to the American economy are important to consider as we honor democratic values such as hard work, devotion to family, perseverance and loyalty,…

Cy King’s Noble Example

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Cyrus Baldwin King, a gentle spirit with an iron resolve, was a hero of North Carolina’s peace and justice movement. The Council of Churches is honored to join in the many tributes that have come his way at his passing. Cy died on June 25 at the age of 91 – after a life of deep commitment to principles that lie at the Council’s bedrock. He worked to advance the cause of a world free of weapons of mass destruction, a world in which disputes could be resolved without bloodshed….

Lake Chatuge GreenFaith Team to Launch Energy Saving Campaign

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The Lake Chatuge GreenFaith Team, a group of environmentally concerned churches from Northern Georgia and Western North Carolina  will be publishing environmental tips in local papers and radio outlets as well as church bulletins to show how simple energy-saving practices can save money and make a big difference in reducing environmental damage due to carbon emissions. The group is an NCIPL regional partner. “If every home would institute just a few energy saving practices, we would reduce the need for fossil-fuel generated electricity by as much as all the energy…

2014 PHW Youth Conference is July 12

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I hope that you have saved the date for the 2014 Youth Conference in Wadesboro. Partners in Health and Wholeness is joining Empowering Word Ministries to create a spectacular day filled with spiritual growth and health education. Last year, more than 200 participants attended, drawn from multiple counties and including a group from Pennsylvania. This year, we hope to have you with us for the full day of events, including organic and locally raised veggies and fruits as well as homemade yogurt to snack on, produced by young people in North Carolina. And youth from Edgecomb County…

The Moral Evil of Torture: Awareness and a Call to Action

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This past Tuesday evening, the Council co-sponsored an event on the topic “Coming to Terms with Torture: Truth, Accountability, and Renunciation” at Pullen Memorial Baptist Church in Raleigh.  The primary speaker was Dr. David Gushee, Professor of Christian Ethics and Director of the Center for Theology and Public Life at Mercer University. Dr. Christina Cowger of North Carolina Stop Torture Now and the Rev. Dr. Luke Powery, Dean of Duke Chapel, also spoke. This program was scheduled to coincide with Torture Awareness Month in June and sought to bring back into public…

Protesters’ Last ‘Salute’ as Legislators Wrangle

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With one final gathering that on June 25 drew more than 1,000 people to the heart of North Carolina’s state government, the NC NAACP and its allies say they have concluded the latest round of Moral Monday protests that focused national attention on policies of the General Assembly and Gov. Pat McCrory. With rare exception, leaders of the Republican-controlled legislature outwardly paid little heed to the protests, which peaked last summer with crowds that could fairly be described as massive. Still, in keeping with the old rule of watching what they…

David Gushee on “The State of Things” and in Raleigh — Tuesday

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Tune in to WUNC’s “The State of Things” on Tuesday, June 24, to hear David Gushee ahead of his evening presentation in Raleigh. “The State of Things” airs at noon, and Dr. Gushee is currently scheduled to be on from 12:20 until 12:40. If you live beyond the broadcast range of WUNC-FM, you can listen online by clicking on Listen Live at the very top of the page. The Council is pleased to be co-sponsoring Tuesday evening’s program featuring Dr. Gushee, a leading faith-based advocate for an end to torture by our…