This Millennial’s Response to the Pew Research Center Study

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I am a millennial. I was also born and raised in the church and have continued to participate in church my entire life. I am soon to be married in the church, and if my partner and I have children, I plan to raise them in the church. I also went to seminary and currently work with churches all across the state. The results of the Pew Research study released this week were not new to me — churches are shrinking and fewer and fewer people are calling themselves “Christian.”…

Register for 2015 Legislative Seminar — Updated with Workshops and Presenters

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Join us on April 14 at Greenwood Forest Baptist Church in Cary for the Council’s 2015 Legislative Seminar. Held every two years, the Seminar equips people of faith with the information they need to be advocates on issues before the NC General Assembly. Registration with workshop options is below. Please scroll through the registration section for a full list of topics and presenters. The cost is $15 for students, $25 for all others, and that includes a light breakfast underwritten by Partners in Health and Wholeness, and a boxed lunch prepared by the Interfaith…

In Mourning

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The deaths of Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha, Yusor Mohammad Abu-Salha, and Deah Shaddy Barakat are an unspeakable tragedy. Whether officials eventually decide that they were murdered because they were Muslim, because they were faithful, or because of a parking spot, their generous and gracious lives have been brutally cut short. We will never know all the good they would have done. We pray peace for all those impacted by this horrible act and pray that we as a society will deeply, fervently consider why we so often turn to violence.  

Join us for HKonJ 2015

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In these challenging days in North Carolina, there is nothing more important for people of faith who support progressive and prophetic public policies to do than to take part in the annual Historic Thousands on Jones Street (HKonJ) march and People’s Assembly. It happens this coming Saturday, Valentine’s Day, in Raleigh.  Please do everything you can do to attend and bring others with you. People will gather near Memorial Auditorium (2 East South Street, for you GPS people) and Shaw University in downtown Raleigh at 9:00, with the march to…

Remembering Sydnor Thompson

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We received word last week of the passing of Sydnor Thompson Jr. less than a month shy of his 91st birthday. There are few people who have a longer history or greater involvement with the NC Council of Churches. When Sydnor received the Council’s Distinguished Service Award in 2013, he noted that he had been around long enough to remember when Collins Kilburn came to work here and to have known Sam Wiley before him. Sydnor was an attorney of great influence, a local and appellate judge, and a leader…

2015 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…

2015 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. 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 to accomplish far more than we can ask or imagine,…

Cary Congregation with Liberian ties Collects Medical Supplies

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We have all been touched by news of the growing Ebola crisis in Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea, and Nigeria, a crisis that so far has resisted efforts at containment. Those of us with even brief personal ties to West Africa (I spent a couple of weeks in Togo and Burkina Faso in 1974) will never forget the people there and are especially moved by this unfolding crisis. The August 7 e-newsletter from the Southern Conference (SOC) of the United Church of Christ contains information about a connection between the SOC…

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…

Theological Conference on Public Policy — April 12

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The call to people of faith through Moral Mondays continues to be felt. On April 12, a daylong conference takes place at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, 7000 Creedmoor Road, Raleigh. “Forward Together — God’s Work, Our Hands, Faith in Action” is a theological conference exploring the public policy issues raised by Moral Mondays. The keynote speaker is the Right Rev. Michael Curry of the Episcopal Diocese of North Carolina. Break-out sessions will feature experts on voting rights, education, poverty, and class and racial justice. The Rev. Dr. James Thomas is…

April Event Celebrates Legacy of Lex Mathews

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The Episcopal Diocese of North Carolina is sponsoring a “Day of Diocesan Story-Telling and Celebration,” focusing on Lex Mathews’ time as Director of Christian Social Ministries from 1975 until 1985. Longtime activists with the NC Council of Churches will remember Lex’s many involvements with the Council. I’m proud to say that he and I were unindicted co-conspirators on several adventures, though it was all before I was with the Council. I came to NC in 1978 to work in the social justice office of the Baptist State Convention and, pretty…

Faithful Activism — Part 1

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I had two conversations recently with members of a congregation which was voting on whether or not to join the HKonJ Coalition. Those conversations have reminded me that it’s helpful from time to time to review the concept of the separation of church and state and to discuss the tax status of churches. Those are two separate issues, and I will deal with them in two separate blogs. For any of you not familiar with HKonJ, let me give you some background. First, “HKonJ” is shorthand for “Historic Thousands [K]…

Pray with Us on Friday, March with Us on Saturday

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Join the NC NAACP, the North Carolina Council of Churches, and coalition partners for this weekend’s Moral March on Raleigh and HKonJ People’s Assembly. Events include: A Mass Meeting and Worship Service Friday, February 7, 7 p.m. Abundant Life Christian Center 4400 Old Poole Road, Raleigh Keynote speaker is Bishop W. Darin Moore, Presiding Prelate of the Western Episcopal District and the NC Conference of the Eastern North Carolina Episcopal District, with NC NAACP President Rev. Dr. William J. Barber presiding. The service is open to people of all faiths…

2014 Conference on the Common Good–February 17

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The Christian Unity Committee of the North Carolina Council of Churches is proud to announce this year’s Conference on the Common Good on the topic “The Church’s Witness to the Common Good in a Pluralist Society.”  Mark Monday, February 17 on your calendar.  The conference will be held at Duke Divinity School, 9:30 a.m.-3 p.m.  There will be a presentation by Dr. Luke Bretherton, Associate Professor of Theological Ethics at Duke Divinity School and Senior Fellow, Kenan Institute for Ethics. Registration is $25 (/Duke Universtiy and Divinity School students may register for  $8). …