A leader against economic injustice and two longtime advocates on the Council’s board have received the North Carolina Council of Churches’ highest honors. Gene Nichol received the Faith Active in Public Life Award. Barbara Volk and Sydnor Thompson II were recognized with Distinguished Service awards. All three were presented at the Council’s 2013 Legislative Seminar which took place April 11 at St. Mark’s United Methodist Church in Raleigh. [...]
Continue reading New Videos: Legislative Seminar Awards
Rev. Michael Kinnamon (School of Theology and Ministry, Seattle University)
Where does this leave us today? How can the ecumenical impulse be revitalized in such an era as ours? The answer to this may be suggested in the distinction between optimism and hope. Optimism involves the expectation of a better future based on a reading of present circumstances; hope involves the trustful anticipation of genuine newness, perhaps beyond our imagining, based on the promises of God. [...]
Continue reading The Ecumenical Journey
It has been a difficult week for anyone who lives from a place of compassion. For people of faith who believe in a kind and loving God and who may recently have celebrated the resurrection of the Prince of Peace, the tragedies have seemed endless.
Horror in Boston, devastation in Texas, decisions around gun violence grounded in elections rather than protection and made blasphemously in the shadow of the sixth anniversary of the massacre at [...]
Continue reading Believing in Goodness and Mercy After a Very Hard Week
We are grateful to all who attended the 2013 Legislative Seminar. It was a wonderful day, graciously hosted by St. Mark’s United Methodist Church in Raleigh. From the powerful and prophetic speakers to the opportunity for 200 faithful advocates for social justice to be together, we appreciate your participation.
Over the next several weeks, we will be posting podcasts, videos, pictures and resources from the Legislative Seminar as many of you who took part [...]
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In 2008, the Council co-sponsored an event called Jesus for President, which took place at First Baptist Church on Wilmington Street in downtown Raleigh. About 500 twenty-somethings came together to talk about the social justice and environmental issues that are defining their generation. At its core, the national movement called for Christians to reconsider their political choices to reflect the Jesus of the Beatitudes.
Shane Claiborne, one of Jesus for President’s leaders and the co-author [...]
Continue reading Shane Claiborne’s Challenge to Christians
Jesus was a peacemaking, blessed child of God, but he also was an “other.” Reviled and persecuted, he was the paperless son of displaced immigrant parents. The prophetic iconoclast. That guy who hung out with those people, the type most modern leaders would not associate with, except for a photo opportunity at a Thanksgiving Day soup kitchen. Let us remember on Sunday when we celebrate his resurrection, that Jesus was crucified because he was an outsider whose way of doing things scared and angered the powers-that-be. [...]
Continue reading Preparing the Way: Blessed are the Peacemakers
If ending gun violence were easy, nightmares like Sandy Hook would never happen. Young lives would not end on urban streets in a hail of bullets. We wouldn’t need to parse the difference between automatic and semi-automatic. Just as taking away guns does not inherently make us safe from harm, we need to move beyond the lie that minimal regulation of those guns makes us any safer either. Some leaders in North Carolina seem more threatened by [...]
Continue reading National Gun Violence Prevention Sabbath — March 15-17
From the Introduction of Preparing the Way: A Social Justice Study for Lent. We’re offering this free resource to you and your congregation as we walk through the season of Lent together. Download the full PDF here.
Lent is the season of the Christian Year that includes the six weeks from Ash Wednesday until the eve of Easter. Traditionally, it represents the 40 days that Jesus spent fasting in the desert before beginning his ministry. [...]
Continue reading Preparing the Way for Lent: Introduction
The 40 days of Lent are a wonderful time for Christians to explore deeply our relationship with God and God’s creation. Everything we need to survive and thrive is on this planet, this blessed and beautiful gift, yet it is in peril because we have collectively forgotten to be grateful and to honor and care for our Earth home. Lent is an opportunity to become increasingly aware of the impacts our decisions have on the [...]
Continue reading Lent and Getting Back to Basics
You probably already know that the General Assembly goes into session on Wednesday, January 30. They’ve already had a one-day organizational meeting. You probably also already know that this will be a difficult session for those of us who have worked for years (or even decades) for justice for all North Carolinians, especially the most vulnerable in our midst. Because of that, there are two important events I hope you’ll put on your calendars and plan [...]
Continue reading Important Upcoming Events for NC Social Justice Advocates
Register for the 2013 Conference on the Common Good set for Monday, February 18 at Wake Forest Divinity School. [...]
Continue reading 2013 Conference on the Common Good — February 18
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 [...]
Continue reading 2013 Ecumenical Prayer Calendar
The Graymoor Ecumenical & Interreligious Institute has prepared material for the celebration of this year’s Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, which runs from January 18-25, 2013. You will find prayer services, prayers of the faithful and musical suggestions at their website. The theme for 2013 is “What Does God Require of Us?” (cf. Micah 6:6-8). In North Carolina, there will be several observances of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. [...]
Continue reading Celebrate the 2013 Week of Prayer for Christian Unity
Across denominations and faiths, we have come together to speak out against gun violence and to call for meaningful change from our leaders. We enter this season of peace heartbroken by what our nation has lost and continues to lose on a daily basis. But we also enter this time committed to a better way, a safer path, and a true solution.
By adding our names to the NC Council of Churches’ sign-on statement we are affirming [...]
Continue reading Speaking Up and Out Against Gun Violence
Because the season of Advent is a time of awaiting the Christ child and the risen Christ, it is a perfect time to think about social justice issues. Christ’s ministry, which is explored in other seasons of the Christian year, focuses on lifting up those whom society regarded as worthless or weak, including the poor, the ill, the foreigner, women, and children. Social justice was at the core of Jesus’ ministry. Based on the Advent [...]
Continue reading Advent Guide Focuses on Social Justice