Cary Congregation with Liberian ties Collects Medical Supplies

Rock Hands

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


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


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


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


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


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

Rock Hands

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). …

2014 Ecumenical Prayer Calendar

Christian Unity

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…

Worship Resources on the Unity of the Church

Photo by Flickr member thefost

Date: Epiphany 3 – Jan. 26, 2014
Topic: The Unity of the Church
Focus Text: 1 Corinthians 1:10-18
The list of issues facing the Corinthian church included ethnic diversity, economic disparity, geographical and cultural difference, allegiances to different spiritual leaders, and theological disagreements as well as sinful behavior like idolatry and sexual immorality. Despite the historical gap between Paul’s day and the present, these remain common challenges to church unity.

The Unity of the Church – Epiphany 3

Photo by Flickr member thefost

Sign up below to receive free worship resources in your inbox (1-2 per month): Focus Text: 1 Corinthians 1:10-18 Now I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you should be in agreement and that there should be no divisions among you, but that you should be united in the same mind and the same purpose. For it has been reported to me by Chloe’s people that there are quarrels among you, my brothers and sisters. What I mean is that each…

Saints of the Council

Evelyn and Paz

My morning devotional was about All Saints’ Day, a time for remembering those who have come before us. There is no doubt that Christians have a great inheritance from those who have worked tirelessly on important social justice issues, have given themselves to enriching the world, and who led faithful lives filled with faithful service. The North Carolina Council of Churches has many saints that have come before us. If you read the Council’s history you will find the names of many faithful men and women who took a stand…

Catholic Dioceses Withdraw from Council Membership

Christian Unity

I come with sad news. Bishop Michael Burbidge and Bishop Peter Jugis, bishops of the two Catholic dioceses in North Carolina, communicated to the Council early this year their plan to withdraw from membership at the end of December. This is not a hasty decision on their part; we and they have been engaged in dialogue for about four years. These conversations included a face-to-face meeting between the two bishops and the Council’s full Governing Board. But we have been unable to resolve differences regarding issues on which we are…

Disturbing the Peace


Rev. Cody Sanders, Ph.D. candidate in Pastoral Theology and Pastoral Counseling at Brite Divinity School

There is something in these furious, feverish words that beckons beyond a simple description of what life will be like if you choose to follow a peculiar call from Jesus and your closest friends and family don’t. Beyond description, there is something of a call in this passage trying to work its way inside of us. These words beckon us beyond a recounting of our inevitable losses on the journey, to embrace our sacred calling to disturbers the peace.

Passing of Bishop Gossman

Bishop Gossman

Bishop Joseph Gossman, who died yesterday, was a great friend of the North Carolina Council of Churches. He led the Diocese of Raleigh into full membership in the Council in 1977, when Catholic membership in ecumenical organizations was very unusual. He supported our work for social justice as he believed strongly in Jesus’ call to minister to the least of these AND in the importance of creating systems which lifted people out of poverty and vulnerability. And he believed in doing it ecumenically, with his brothers and sisters in Christ….

The Lord’s Mission Pushes On

Sprinkler Rainbow

PHW Liaison, Sarah Dean, is a dynamic individual who runs a successful health ministry at her church in Anson County.  She applied on behalf of her church, Ebenezer Missionary Baptist Church, for a Blue Cross and Blue Shield Healthy Eating Equipment Grant. Although they were not one of the grantees, Ms. Dean says, “I do give praise and honor to my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. God is still in control. We do plan to keep pushing forth. We did Pink Sunday on the fourth Sunday and applauded all five…