Lutherans Sponsor Conference to Ponder Justice and Faith

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When the line to check in at a church-sponsored conference on a beautiful Saturday morning in April stretches out the door, it’s a sign that the event has generated an impressive level of buzz. For the North Carolina Lutherans, their faith partners and other friends who turned out in strength on April 12, those more predictable Saturday pursuits of grass-mowing, grocery shopping and golf would just have to wait. The event at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Raleigh had an ambitious theme: “Navigating Public Policy Issues Guided by a Moral…

Recording of Shared Use Agreement Webinar Now Available

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If you were unable to join the March 28th webinar on Shared Use Agreements, you missed a real treat. However, it’s not too late to learn how your congregation can promote physical activity in your local community by allowing outside groups and individuals to use your facilities. For a copy of the slides, please contact me by email at willona@ncchurches.org. To access the recording, call (605) 562-3099 and use access code 131286 and reference number 54. The recording will be available through June. Please help spread the word!

PHW Community Hero: Helen Livingston of Scotland County

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Meet one of our community leaders: Helen Livingston of Scotland County. I was able to get her to tell us a bit about herself and her community involvement. Joy: Ms. Helen, could you tell us a bit of a bio of your life and ways that you have contributed to the community? Helen: I grew up in Laurinburg, both sides of my family having been in the area for generations. My parents instilled in me a love of nature, and I appreciate the clean air and water that are so valuable in…

Lex, Rufus and Peter

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I recently took a wonderful walk down Memory Lane for me, though it was also poignant at times. On a Saturday, the Episcopal Diocese of North Carolina sponsored a remembrance of Lex Mathews. Lex was the first Christian Social Ministries Director for the Diocese, serving from 1975 until his untimely death in 1985. Just about anybody who was engaged in social justice in North Carolina during that time, whether with the Council or not, knew Lex. The conference was organized by the Diocese’s historian and archivist. They had prepared a two-sided,…

ACA Update: Numbers, Enrollment Periods, and Exemptions

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As open enrollment for the health insurance marketplace comes to a close, so does my internship at the NC Council of Churches. In less than two weeks, I will complete my classes and move on to awaiting graduation. Before I take my leave, I want to express what a pleasure it has been to work at the Council, especially in doing outreach for health insurance enrollment, and to share some important information about enrollment in Marketplace health insurance plans during the months before the next open enrollment period begins. Latest Enrollment…

PHW Book Club Discussion: The Circle Maker, Chapter Six

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Thank you for joining the Partners in Health and Wholeness Book Club. You can officially sign-up here. Through it, we hope to engage people of faith in discussions over why our health matters. Just look for the picture of the apple on the books and you will find past Book Club entries. Our current choice of reading is “The Circle Maker” by Mark Batterson. While prayer is not a replacement for good health choices and appropriate medical care, as people of faith, we believe prayer plays an essential role in our lives. In…

A Chance to Enjoy God’s Creation

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Last week Rev. Sally Bingham, founder of Interfaith Power & Light, simply asked: “Do you remember what it was like to be a child and play in the great outdoors?” This question came in her response to the release of the first comprehensive report produced by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) since 2007. The report warned us again of the devastating impacts of climate change, from increased public health risks, to threatened food and water supply, and worsening extreme weather events. Rev. Bingham shared her memories of listening to…

Ending Hunger Through Bread for the World

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I’ve learned over the last year as I’ve worked to complete my Masters of Social Work degree that health and the availability of nutritious food are justice issues with global proportions. Having just completed an extensive research project about international food aid in partnership with a U.S. non-governmental organization for my capstone requirement, I have witnessed first-hand the positive impact nutritious food has on global communities that are affected by chronic hunger. So, when I heard about the recent “Ending Hunger: Compassion Igniting Justice” conference at Christ United Methodist Church in…

Deadline for Voters — April 11

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There’s an election in the offing, and over the next few weeks candidates and their allies will be ramping up the rhetoric. North Carolinians settling in to watch some television might want to buckle their seat belts while they ride out the onslaught of campaign commercials. This year, though, there’s a catch. To vote in the May 6 primary, people who aren’t already registered with their county board of elections have to meet a deadline of Friday, April 11, to sign up. Otherwise, they’ll be out of luck – no…

April is National Minority Health Month

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Differences in health currently exist between minorities and non-Hispanic whites in the U.S., with people of color suffering disproportionately from chronic diseases, many of which are preventable. During the month of April, your congregation is invited to commemorate National Minority Health Month by hosting events and working to improve the health of all God’s children, regardless of race. As noted in a recently released statement by Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the health gap in our country is persistent but there are glimmers…

Scrambling for the Bench

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Are judges politicians? And why – even in a state such as North Carolina, where judges are elected by the public – does the concept of judges who also function as politicians seem curious, if not troubling? Beyond honesty, intellect and knowledge of the law, perhaps a judge’s most important characteristic is a commitment to being impartial. Rulings must go where the law leads. They must not be geared to curry favor with voters, to advance a policy agenda or to please campaign contributors. The problem, of course, is that anyone…

Welcome Jennie Wilburn

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I am delighted to announce that our Governing Board has elected Jennie Wilburn to the position of Program Associate for Immigrant and Farmworker Rights. Jennie is a 2009 cum laude graduate of Rice University with a major in Hispanic studies and sociology. At Rice, she was a recipient of the Barbara Jordan Scholarship, awarded for work that builds bridges between cultural, racial, and ethnic groups. She will be graduating in May with a Master of Divinity from Duke and a Master of Social Work from UNC-Chapel Hill. During this dual-degree…

Palm Sunday: Poverty & Education by Gene Nichol

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In recognition of our faithful call and of this time in history, the Council’s annual Lenten guide focuses on poverty and the ways we can respond to our sisters and brothers of low-income. We hope you and your family will find cause for reflection and inspiration for action as you share this intergenerational resource together. May we continue building as a nation toward a place where God’s love is felt by everyone through the meeting of basic human needs and the extension of true opportunities for progress. Click here to…

Alecia’s Home

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I’ve been engaged with Habitat for Humanity since its earliest days. In my previous life with the Baptist State Convention, I helped to promote this pathway to home ownership when it was in its first two or three years of existence. My wife and I supported Habitat financially, as best we could. And Millard Fuller, Habitat’s founder, always remembered us and greeted us as if we were his biggest supporters. (We weren’t.) In the early 2000s, I parlayed my friendship with Millard and my relationship with Rick Beech, then the…

Please Thank Sen. Burr

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Please join us in thanking Sen. Burr for his vote to release portions of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence’s report on torture. Many of you have joined us over the last several months in calling for Sen. Burr to vote for transparency and the ability of each of us to see the findings for ourselves. On Thursday he did that.  You can send an e-mail through the Senator’s website or call his office directly at (202) 224-3154 to offer your thanks. The work for full release of the report…

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2014 Critical Issues Seminar on Public Education Register Here