Easter Greeting from the Council

Crocus Easter 2014

Revival, Renewal, Resurrection Blessings of Easter from George, Rose, Willona, Aleta, Donna, Susannah, Collins, Joy, Shannon, Marnie, Trinh, Crystal, Sandy, Steve, Lauren, Amanda, and John

Lex, Rufus and Peter

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I recently took a wonderful walk down Memory Lane for me, though it was also poignant at times. On a Saturday, the Episcopal Diocese of North Carolina sponsored a remembrance of Lex Mathews. Lex was the first Christian Social Ministries Director for the Diocese, serving from 1975 until his untimely death in 1985. Just about anybody who was engaged in social justice in North Carolina during that time, whether with the Council or not, knew Lex. The conference was organized by the Diocese’s historian and archivist. They had prepared a two-sided,…

Leading and Following

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One thing that was strongly emphasized at Duke Divinity School by my New Testament professor, Dr. C. Kavin Rowe, was that Christian knowledge ultimately consists in discipleship. Knowing Jesus entails following him. And we need others to show us the way. These words crossed my mind today, as my supervisor at the North Carolina Council of Churches, Farmworker Advocacy Network veteran Chris-Liu Beers, celebrated his last day at the Council. An advocate for immigrant justice, farmworker rights, and the dignity of the most vulnerable members of our society, Chris will be dearly…

Job Opening — Development Assistant

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The NC Council of Churches seeks a part-time Development Assistant to help grow our current outreach to donors including individuals, organizations, foundations, congregations, and other faith communities. With nearly eight decades of progressive activism, the Councils remains the leading faith-based ecumenical voice for social justice in North Carolina. As an organization, we are particularly concerned about people who are vulnerable and may be marginalized. Our work includes programs dedicated to legislative advocacy, immigration, farmworkers, care of creation, voting rights, food, peace, and making churches and congregations healthier places for faith leaders and…

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]…

A New Adventure

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Dear Friends,

I will be leaving the NC Council of Churches at the end of March to focus full-time on Tomatillo Design, my new communications shop that works with nonprofits to create amazing, affordable websites.

Since I began working at the Council as an intern in the summer of 2006, I’ve had the incredible privilege of working with the most dedicated, talented and likable group of coworkers imaginable. From its founding more than 75 years ago to today, the Council has worked on a wide range of progressive causes and I’m proud to be a small part of that legacy. Every day at the office I felt encouraged by the witness of recent saints like Sister Evelyn Mattern and Collins Kilburn.

Steve Smith Receives Honor

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Congratulations to Steve Smith for being named as recipient of the 2013 Joseph Branch Professionalism Award, presented by the Wake County Bar Association. Steve is a close personal friend of mine and a friend of the Council of many years’ standing. He and his wife Rachel, a hospital chaplain and pastor, are long-time members and leaders at Pullen Memorial Baptist Church, one of our member congregations. In the mid-2000s, Steve served as a volunteer staff member at the Council, focusing on health care access and GLBT issues. His willingness to serve…

Voting Rights and Faith

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Elections in the United States must be carried out in line with rules meant to ensure honesty and accuracy, and to expose candidates to timely judgments about their merits. But those rules cannot be used to set up unreasonable barriers to the polls – barriers that serve the rule-writers’ purposes by making it unnecessarily hard for certain voters to help choose their leaders. Strangely and disappointingly, North Carolina in the 21st century’s second decade finds itself entangled in a new web of voting laws that undermine what we all should…

Be An Angel — Make a Year-End Gift

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As 2013 draws to a close, the Council welcomes your year-end gift. Donations made online must be received no later than December 31. Those made by check will be counted for 2013 if they are dated on or before December 31 and received in our office by January 10. Our address is 27 HORNE St., Raleigh, 27607. To all of those who have given, as judicatories, congregations, organizations, or individuals, we are profoundly grateful.

Christmas Greetings from the Council

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Emmanuel Brown baby boy Poor paperless precious Come to save us from ourselves If we will only heed your cries Blessed are you his mother Who ponder all things in your heart Young unwed immigrant God chose you ~Aleta Payne, Christ the King Sunday, 2013 With warmest wishes for a joyous and blessed holiday season from George, Rose, Chris, Willona, Aleta, Donna, Susannah, Collins, Joy, Shannon, Marnie, Trinh, Crystal, Sandy, Steve, Lauren, Amanda, and John  

Support Artisans and the Council

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The Council is excited to hold a shopping event at the Raleigh Ten Thousand Villages. Come visit with Council friends and finish some of your holiday shopping at a store committed to supporting artisans from 38 developing countries. These artisans depend on Ten Thousand Villages to sell their products and share their stories. A portion of the sales from 6 to 8 p.m. on December 12 will be donated to the Council. Help two great causes at once! The Cameron Village store is located at 435 Woodburn Road.

Thanksgiving Greetings from the Council

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This Thanksgiving let those of us who have much and those who have little gather at the welcome table of the Lord. At this blessed feast, may rich and poor alike remember that we are called to serve one another and to walk together in God’s gracious world. With thankful hearts we praise our God who like a loving parent denies us no good thing. Today and every day, it pleases God for us to sit as brothers and sisters as we share the bounty of the earth and the…

The Council Welcomes Your Support

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The North Carolina Council of Churches could not do its work without the support of faithful individuals who share in our commitment to prophetic vision of social justice. With our fall appeal underway, Executive Director George Reed’s message to Council friends is excerpted below. His entire letter can be found here. As George explains, donations from individuals have never been more important to the Council. We welcome your contribution, either online or by mail to NCCC, 27 Horne St., Raleigh, NC, 27607. There is good happening at and around the…

Catholic Dioceses Withdraw from Council Membership

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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…

NCCC Board Statement on Syria

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The following statement was adopted by the Council’s Governing Board at its September 10 meeting in Chapel Hill: We are called by our faith to turn swords into plowshares. The NC Council of Churches, while made up of denominations and individuals who are pacifist and others who believe war can occasionally be justified, has always supported the peaceful resolution of conflicts, rather than violence. Those within the Council who would allow the use of violence do so only as a last resort. Recognizing the moral anguish involved in such decisions,…

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