As many of you already know, Rev. William Barber and the state NAACP are organizing weekly protests at the General Assembly, voicing opposition to the direction our state is being taken during this legislative session (that direction being backwards). These protests include, for those who choose to take part, nonviolent civil disobedience and arrest. In the last three weeks, nearly a hundred people have been arrested. The call has also been for supporters, people [...]
Continue reading Moral Mondays – Clergy Issued Special Invitation for May 20
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
Rev. Fletcher Harper on values-based messaging at the Legislative Seminar. Photo by Justin Hubbard.
The Rev. Fletcher Harper is Executive Director of GreenFaith, a New Jersey-based non-profit committed to building environmental leadership among people of faith. He is also an Episcopal priest.
Download his presentation slides here.
Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 33:02 — 30.2MB)
Continue reading Rev. Fletcher Harper: Communicating the Values We Believe
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 [...]
Continue reading 2013 Legislative Seminar
Next week, the United States Senate is expected to take up legislation intended to curb gun violence. Given recent mass atrocities at the hands of gunmen along with the daily loss of life by those who turn to guns as a surrogate for civil disagreement, progress on the issue should be inevitable. But it’s not.
Lobbying by groups like the NRA has been relentless and some politicians are wavering, either out of genuine conviction or fears about reelection. Faiths [...]
Continue reading U.S. Senate Expected to Take Up Gun Legislation
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
Our state and nation are in a time of civil discord. My own preacher, the Rev. Betty Connette, challenged us a few weeks ago to be Citizens of Heaven and to live out a different set of values patterned after Jesus not Caesar…to serve others rather than lord it over them. Our voices are sorely needed in the halls of government these days, and as Betty told us later, we are called to take up the cross [...]
Continue reading Putting a Face on Legislation
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
If you are interested in attending, but have not pre-registered, you may call our office at 919-828-6501 on Tuesday, April 9 until 5:00 p.m.
Gene Nichol, Director of the Center on Poverty, Work and Opportunity at the UNC-CH School of Law will be the lunch speaker at this year’s Legislative Seminar.The day’s topic for Nichol, who is also the school’s Boyd Tinsley Distinguished Professor, is “It’s Better Not to Be Poor in NC.”
The seminar takes [...]
Continue reading Program and Registration for 2013 Legislative Seminar
One of the most insidious proposals coming up in the General Assembly session is the one to require people to show photo IDs in order to vote. It has the potential to disenfranchise hundreds of thousands of voters in NC. Proponents argue that it will prevent voter fraud, but they are unable to point to more than a handful of possible (not confirmed) cases of fraud, hardly enough to justify excluding so many voters. Opponents [...]
Continue reading What’s Wrong with Photo ID?
Gun violence has long been an issue of concern for the North Carolina Council of Churches. Every injury endured and life lost, whether on a downtown street corner or in a suburban classroom, runs directly counter to message of the Prince of Peace. As Council leaders said in their 1998 policy statement on Children and Gun Violence, “The spirit of Christ is sharply opposed to the spirit of violence and the instruments of violence.”
People of [...]
Continue reading Interfaith Call-In Day to Prevent Gun Violence Feb. 4
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
Congress is overwhelmed with lobbyists for corporations, Chambers of Commerce, AARP, the Department of Defense, etc. But those living in poverty are short on lobbyist as the so-called ‘fiscal cliff’ is debated and cuts as well as revenue sources are considered.
People of faith and compassion are being called to serve as lobbyists for the voiceless and the vulnerable. The faith community must lift a voice. If our senators hear from 100 faithful constituents each [...]
Continue reading Needed: Lobbyists for the Voiceless
Our middle son and I went to early vote on Saturday, taking advantage of his visit home for fall break. He is 18, and this is his first general election.
We have impressed upon him and his older brother that how they vote – for whom and what – is a matter of thoughtful, personal decision. That they vote is a responsibility. One that others have died for within their father’s and my lifetimes. One [...]
Continue reading Our Responsibility to Vote