Obama Unveils Immigration Plan: “We Were Strangers Once, Too”

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Yesterday, President Obama took a courageous and controversial step toward reforming our country’s immigration system. He announced his plan to allow millions of undocumented immigrants to apply to stay in this country without the fear of deportation. One significant change allows for an expansion of the Deferred Action for Early Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program to include the parents of children who are US citizens or legal residents and have been in the country for more than five years without a criminal record. This will provide much-needed, temporary relief for approximately five million…

Council’s Fall Appeal is Underway

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In his final fall appeal letter, Executive Director George Reed offers his thanks for those who have supported the Council over the years and helped it grown into the organization it has become. He writes in part: The Council is an amazing organization, one I am honored to have been associated with for these years. Your gifts – from the $5 sent in regularly by a retiree to multiple thousands of dollars sent by a few friends of justice with the wherewithal to give that generously – have kept us going…

Expand Medicaid? Now’s the time

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The decision last year by the conservatives who control North Carolina’s state government not to expand the state’s Medicaid program has left an estimated half-million residents out in the cold when it comes to health insurance – that’s the number cited by the N.C. Institute of Medicine. These folks typically are among the state’s working poor, with incomes that might rise above the poverty line but not by much. As a practical matter, the lack of health insurance means they simply do without the kind of routine medical care that…

ACA Open Enrollment Kicks Off November 15 — Events Planned Statewide

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Open enrollment for the Affordable Care Act kicks off November 15 and continues through February 15, 2015. The Council has a long history of supporting universal health care as a justice issue  As people of faith, we believe that all our brothers and sisters deserve access to the medical care they need. Re-enrollment, while not required for those already in the ACA, is highly encouraged to update consumer information and because new plans have entered the market in North Carolina with the potential for improved coverage and lower rates. The deadline for…

Environmental Responsibility Knows No Boundaries

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This week, President Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping – leaders of the world’s two biggest polluters – announced a “historic agreement.” Each country committed to reducing its nation’s carbon emissions: The US will reduce emissions by 26-28% below 2005 levels by 2025, while China agreed to peak its carbon dioxide emissions by 2030, with 20% of its energy coming from renewable sources. These actions alone are not nearly enough, friends – but they signal a hopeful chapter in global climate negotiations and represent the progress we can make over…

Lifting Up the Mexican Children and Students

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As I have been traveling across the state educating clergy about immigrants in their communities and facilitating discussion through the Clergy Breakfast tour, I have heard from some amazing people: health workers, school outreach workers, community organizers, pastors and attorneys. This past week at the Clergy Breakfast in Black Mountain I was blessed to hear from Natalie Teague, an immigration attorney in Asheville. Natalie had just returned from Artesia, New Mexico, where she had been working with a group of attorneys to serve women and children who are being detained…

Celebrating the Lives, Deaths, and Contributions of NC Farmworkers

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Last week, advocates joined with farmworkers from across the state to remember fallen farmworkers who have died in the fields of North Carolina. The event took place on November 1, which is Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) in Mexico and All Saints’ Day for Christians around the world. While these two celebrations differ, they also have a lot in common. It is important to note that they fall at the end of the harvest season, when the days shorten and the trees shed their leaves — the natural world…

Council Staff Hit the Road to Visit Charlotte, Asheville

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Members of the NCCC staff are looking forward to visiting Charlotte and Asheville in November and hope our friends there and in neighboring communities will join us for fellowship and conversation. Please come and feel free to bring someone new to the Council! Monday, November 17, Noon-2 p.m. Park Road Baptist Church 3900 Park Road, Charlotte Bring a bag lunch and join us at 11:30 a.m. for fellowship. We will supply drinks and dessert. Tuesday, November 18, 9-11 a.m. First Baptist Church 5 Oak Street, Asheville Join us for light…

Conservatives, Riding High, Can Heed Cooler Heads

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There’s no getting around the fact that when North Carolinians went to the polls on Nov. 5, they gave a thumbs-up to the conservatives who’ve been in charge at the General Assembly for the last four years – doing damage that calls to mind the proverbial elephant in a china shop. Republican victories might not all have been overwhelming (putting aside those districts rendered virtually immune from competition by GOP gerrymandering), and in a handful of cases Democratic challengers emerged on top. But when the dust settled, the rightward tilt…

Council Post-Election Road Shows to Charlotte and Asheville

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What do Tuesday’s elections mean for North Carolina? How can people of faith in the state continue to affect positive change? Join the staff of the North Carolina Council of Churches as we visit Charlotte and Asheville to discuss ways our programs are providing a progressive, faithful voice for issues facing NC residents and how you can be involved. We hope you’ll join us: Monday, November 17, Noon-2 p.m. Park Road Baptist Church 3900 Park Road, Charlotte Bring a bag lunch and join us at 11:30 a.m. for fellowship. We…

Hope for Our Future: The EPA Clean Power Plan

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More than 40% of carbon pollution comes from power plants. Yet incredibly, there are currently no limits on greenhouse gas emissions from these plants. But now, the EPA has proposed first-ever standards for carbon pollution from the nation’s existing power plants. This proposal will limit emissions from power plants by 30% by 2030, compared with 2005 levels. Make your voice heard before the comment period ends on December 1, and tell the EPA to move forward with strong carbon standards for power plants. There is a limited time that the EPA will be accepting…

The Bounty of Fall: The Wisdom of Seasonal Eating

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The slight nip in the air during the early morning hours as I make my way to an 8:00 am class tells me that summer is over. Fresh strawberries, abundant cucumbers and zucchinis are giving way to pumpkins, butternut squash, acorn squash, cabbage, kale, crisp apples, and luscious pears. The golds, reds and oranges that color the world, and my yard, tell me that it’s time for our family to make our yearly trip to our favorite apple orchard. With the changing of the season, each member of my family…

Job Posting — PHW Program Director

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North Carolina Council of Churches Program Director for Partners in Health and Wholeness Position Description   Hours: Full-time, program-level position, based in Raleigh and requiring some in-state travel Reports to: Executive Director Salary: $52,000 – $58,000, depending on experience and qualifications Benefits: Excellent vacation/leave time. Health insurance (50% paid by employer), short-term disability (100% paid by employer), and reimbursement of approved travel expenses JOB RESPONSIBILITIES                      The Program Director will have principal responsibility for the North Carolina Council of Churches’ Partners in Health and Wholeness (PHW) initiative, which is designed to…

Worship Resources on Sustainable Living

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Date: Christ the King – Nov. 23, 2014
Topic: Sustainable Living
Focus Text: Ezekiel 34:11-16, 20-24

In North Carolina, we have begun to pay more attention to the quality of our air and water and how our daily practices, both individually and corporately, can contribute either to environmental degradation or restoration. But my time in India impressed upon me the reality that my concern for clean air and water cannot stop at the state line.

Voter Protection Hotline

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We are coming to the end of the time for voting. Early Voting ends this Saturday, November 1. (Check with your local board of elections for the places and hours for Early Voting in your county.) Election Day is Tuesday, November 4. Polls will be open across the state from 6:30 a.m. until 7:30 p.m. Our friends at Democracy NC operate a toll-free Voter Protection Hotline. If you or anyone you know encounters problems with being allowed to vote, call immediately for help. Write down the phone number and take it with you…

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