Voting Rights NC: Legislative Seminar Workshop

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The Council’s 2013 Legislative Seminar on April 11 featured a workshop about voting rights. It was provided by Bob Hall, executive director of Democracy North Carolina, a group that advocates for voting rights and for proper safeguards against the influence of self-serving special interests in the political system.

The debate over whether voters should have to show a photo ID has raged from state to state, with backers saying such IDs are needed to combat voter fraud.

Nobody wants to see even one vote cast illegally, and it’s true that most voters already have photo IDs. However, those who don’t have them tend to be among society’s vulnerable.

Resource on Tax Fairness

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From Jerusalem to Jericho: Christian Witness on the Tax-Sustained Road Click here to download. This compelling 13-page document draws current tax policies into conversation with Scripture passages, Church theologians, and denominational statements. From the Introduction Few of us, I imagine, like to pay taxes, whether it’s income tax withheld from your paycheck or a sales tax added on at the cash register. Yet, taxation provides for public services that benefit us all and that contribute to the well-being of communities. Whether public education, safety, roads, mental health care, or agricultural…

Sí, se puede: Celebrating Holy Week & National Farmworker Awareness Week

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Holy Week this year is also National Farmworker Awareness Week (March 24-31). It seems like no accident that the week in which we celebrate Jesus’ service and sacrifice for humanity is the same week that we celebrate the extraordinary gifts that farmworkers offer to our communities. It’s a time when we both remember and look for hope even in the midst of oppression, new life even in the midst of dehumanization. Farmworkers do some of the hardest, most dangerous work in our society, yet often go unrewarded. We believe that every worker,…

Preparing the Way: A Social Justice Study for Lent (free download)

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Click here for a free download of our new 2013 social justice study for Lent: Preparing the Way. This simple 10-page document combines traditional Lenten themes and Bible passages with contemporary issues including hunger, care of creation, and immigration. We invite you to join us in this season of reflection and preparation.

2013 Ecumenical Prayer Calendar

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This Prayer for Unity and monthly ecumenical prayer calendar include by name the judicatories and congregations that are members of the North Carolina Council of Churches and the names of their current leaders. Your prayers for reconciliation are invited for all Christian bodies in and beyond the state. Click here to download a PDF of the Prayer Calendar. A Prayer for Unity Holy One, whose love has been poured into our hearts through Jesus Christ in the Holy Spirit, and who by the power at work within us is able…

Farmworkers’ Vital Contribution to North Carolina’s Economy

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Agriculture serves as the economic backbone for North Carolina, and farmworkers’ hand labor is needed to produce crops that bring in billions of dollars to the state’s economy each year. Despite this fact, farmworkers remain one of the state’s most economically disadvantaged and unprotected group of laborers.

Christian Scriptures and Farmworkers

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From the laws and histories of ancient Israel to the life of Jesus and the letters of Paul, themes related to the treatment of farmworkers emerge consistently throughout the Judeo-Christian scriptures. Many of these passages suggest that a community’s relationship with God is in fact defined at least in part by its treatment of foreigners, laborers, the poor, and the marginalized. Below is a brief selection of Bible verses that support the idea that farmworkers should be treated fairly.

New Pilot Program: Neighbors Together

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Practicing Hospitality, Building Bridges, Making Friends The debate about immigration policy continues to divide people of good will across our nation and our state. Immigration divides us, in part, because of both the breadth and the depth of the issues involved – from powerful global economics to fast-changing local cultures, from the complex world of international politics to family histories intricately woven across borders, from worldwide patterns of migration to the very heart of American identity. What does it mean to be “American”?  Are immigrants generally intruders to be feared…

Connecting Faith Communities and Farmworkers

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Perhaps the greatest challenge is helping a congregation begin to see farmworkers as created in God’s image and thus full members of our community. In theological terms, we might use the language of “strangers no longer” and “brothers and sisters in Christ.” We’ve found that most of the controversial conversations about farmworkers are based on myths or misunderstandings. Many of these myths can fracture communities and pit one group against another. You may want to explore these in your congregational discussions as a way of moving members to a better understanding of our farmworker neighbors.