Raising the Faith Voice Regarding Climate Change Now

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People of faith are coming together in more and more impactful ways to help create the future that we want with clean air, clean water, clean energy, and with greater equity for all our children and the children of all species. An opportunity is rising now that will culminate in September. Faith traditions are issuing declarations and launching campaigns. To mention only a few examples, the Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life created a “Jewish Environment and Energy Imperative” declaration. Rabbis from the Conservative, Orthodox, Reconstructionist, Reform and Renewal movements…

Food, Fairness and Faith

Courtney Ward

“How is this equal?!” I often articulate this simple phrase whenever I take a look at the world these days. Sometimes I mutter the sentence under my breath in disbelief, and sometimes I exclaim it with disgust or utter shock. The question of equality always surfaces whenever I acknowledge the issues we humans face, particularly with simple necessities like food. Although I personally have had some hard times, I never once worried about where my next meal would come from during my childhood. I grew up under a household where…

World Breastfeeding Week, August 1–7

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Local North Carolina organizations are joining the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in celebrating World Breastfeeding Week, August 1-7. According to the WHO website, “World Breastfeeding Week is celebrated every year in more than 170 countries to encourage breastfeeding and improve the health of babies around the world. It commemorates the Innocenti Declaration signed in August 1990 by government policymakers, WHO, UNICEF and other organizations to protect, promote and support breastfeeding. Breastfeeding is the best way to provide infants with the nutrients they need….

What Would Radical Hospitality at the Border Look Like?

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This past week I have been focusing on the crisis of the thousands of refugee children at the border who are being held in detention centers. I have blogged about praying for these children and sending them letters, and distributed an e-bulletin about ways your congregation can support them. All of these suggestions are centered around showing hospitality to children who have crossed into the United States without their families. My suggestions have included donating money, clothes, writing letters and holding them up in prayer. But what if we were called to do…

Another Spirit-filled Weekend with Partners in Health and Wholeness

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Partners in Health and Wholeness co-hosted a youth conference on Saturday, July 12, with Empowering Word Ministries in Wadesboro.  I was honored to be able to participate as a PHW intern. Empowering Word Ministries Church held a spirit filled-praise and worship service with groups from the community and surrounding counties on Friday night, which I attended. In addition to the worship service, Empowering Word Ministries Church and Partners in Health and Wholeness were able to partner in a healthy lifestyle ministry the next day.  Participants were able to share in the…

The Earth and Its Fullness: NC Public Citizens’ Hearing

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We wanted to share Rev. Richard Eden’s words of welcome from the hearing hosted by United Church of Chapel Hill: “First, welcome to United Church of Chapel Hill and the NC’s Public Citizen’s Hearing on EPA’s Clean Power Plants Rules. We are glad we could assist your hosts this evening: NC Interfaith Power & Light, Clean Air Carolina, Environment NC, National Wildlife Federation, and Sierra Club NC Chapter. Two of the world’s faith traditions have used the words of Psalm 24 over three millennium: “The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness…

PHW Welcomes Courtney Ward

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Courtney Ward is a summer intern with the Alliance of Baptists, working with Pullen Memorial Baptist Church and lending her aid to the Partners in Health and Wholeness Initiative. Born and bred in Frederick, Maryland, Courtney received a Bachelor’s degree in History and a Bachelor’s degree in Religion (both concentrating in American Studies) from Hood College. She has five years of experience working with non-profit organizations and is progressing to make a career out of her past experience. Her passion for cultural studies and social diversity has helped her to…

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…

Here’s Johnny!

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It is my pleasure to introduce you to PHW Intern Johnny Rogers. He is a UNC-Pembroke student, and you can read more about him in the staff section of the Council’s home page. Johnny has completed three weeks of this internship, and he hit the ground running hard. He will be serving mostly Robeson County, however, he will be accompanying me on selected trips in other parts of the eight counties I serve, as well. If you live in Robeson County and would like to meet Johnny, please contact me at joy@ncchurches.org….

Internship with PHW More than Expected

PHW Intern Johnny Rogers Blog

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…