Complicated Answers to Different Questions


The offices for the NC Council of Churches sit half a block from Hillsborough Street—the street that automatically conjures up images of NC State, as well it should since the campus looms large along Hillsborough for about 10 blocks. These weeks, as the media have consistently reminded us, are the days of orientation and the start of a new school year for colleges around the Triangle. But for the first time in nearly twenty years, my life is not marked by these events, except for the need to deliver my…

First Days on the New Job

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Jennifer is pictured on a spring break trip with students to Nome, Alaska. Monday, August 3, was my first day at work. The staff laughed with me when hearing that announcement since I’ve been having “first” days since the first week of June. The most important first was spending invaluable time with George Reed, who ranks among the best predecessors I’ve ever succeeded. He continues to explain the minutia, clarify the confusion, and remember the details. But he has yet to tell me how to do the job when we both know he is…

Statement on the Shootings in Charleston


With people across the world, the North Carolina Council of Churches grieves with the congregation of Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, SC. This kind of violence against people of faith in other parts of the world has recently and rightfully been called terrorism. Indeed, the people of Emanuel AME have experienced a terrorist act. Fear and violence invaded their space of grace and hospitality while they were together for the faith filled purpose of prayer and worship. As they welcomed the stranger into their midst, an act of…

George’s Retirement Luncheon — Thanks to All~


There were so many hands, heads, and hearts that made the retirement luncheon for George Reed a joyful event, that it’s impossible to thank all involved. The short list of those deserving of appreciation includes: The staff of Highland United Methodist Church in Raleigh, especially Tom Lamb The catering team at the Irregardless Café The participants in the program The team of volunteers who greeted, parked, registered and otherwise made the day flow more smoothly For those who could not attend, photos and a video will be available online soon….

Congratulations to Harriette Thompson

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Photo via In my decades in North Carolina, first with the NC Baptist State Convention and then with the NC Council of Churches, I’ve known and worked with lots of remarkable and newsworthy people. But probably nobody more so than Harriette Thompson. I came to know Harriette through her spouse, Sydnor Thompson, himself no slouch in the newsworthy department. Sydnor was one of the state’s leading attorneys and a judge on the Court of Appeals. He was also a leader in the NC Council of Churches over a period…

Leadership and Hope at the Margins


By Wayde Marsh, Duke Divinity School Intern This past Tuesday, more than 200 people celebrated the career of NC Council of Churches Executive Director George Reed before his retirement at the end of this month. While I have only known George for about two weeks, I have seen the positive impact he has had on North Carolina in his years of service. At his retirement luncheon, I was blessed to hear accounts from legislators, religious leaders of many faiths, friends, colleagues, and family members about the humble leadership of George…

Retirement Luncheon — Directions


We look forward to seeing those of you who will be joining us for George Reed’s retirement luncheon on June 2. While the program begins at noon, we encourage you to arrive early. Doors open at 11:30 a.m. Directions to Highland United Methodist Church are as follows: Take the Wade Avenue Exit into Raleigh. Coming in on Wade Avenue from the west, take a left on Ridge Road. Coming in on Wade Avenue from the east, take a right on Ridge Road. Highland United Methodist Church is located at 1901 Ridge Road, at…

What Can We Say? An Invitation to Write to George


George Reed’s retirement luncheon is set for Tuesday, June 2. This is a short five weeks from now.  Of course everyone will miss him in his role as Executive Director, but this gathering is a way to celebrate his work and to wish him well in the next part of his journey. There will certainly be a bounty of good friends, family, and respected colleagues attending this celebration. In the press of the crowd, you may not get an opportunity to speak to George that day. So you are invited to share…

The Venue Is Important

Greenwood Forest Sanctuary

Two events this month have reminded me of how fortunate the Council is to have congregations willing to host our events. The first was the Faith and Immigration Summit, held on a Saturday at Durham’s First Presbyterian Church. The church was easy to find, with plenty of free parking just outside. The sanctuary is beautiful and, in spite of how large the church facilities are, all of our program was held in the sanctuary and just a few steps away. Marilyn Hedgpeth, an associate pastor and the interim head of…

Welcome Jennifer Copeland as Executive Director

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  I’m exceptionally pleased to announce that the Rev. Dr. Jennifer Copeland has been named by the Council’s Governing Board to be the next Executive Director of the North Carolina Council of Churches. Jennifer has served as the United Methodist campus minister and executive director of the Wesley Fellowship at Duke University since 1999. (Pictured above, she’s on a spring break trip with students to Nome, Alaska. Jennifer is standing behind the orange sign.) A native of South Carolina, she earned BA, MDiv, and PhD degrees from Duke. Prior to coming…

Retirement Luncheon for George Reed — June 2

George at HKonJ

Please join us at Raleigh’s Highland United Methodist Church as we wish Executive Director George Reed well in his retirement. The buffet lunch will be catered by The Irregardless Café and takes place from noon to 2 p.m. on Tuesday, June 2. Doors open at 11:30 a.m. You can RSVP and pay below, by e-mailing, or by calling 919-828-6501. In order to guarantee lunch, please respond by May 26. The cost is $25, and the church is located at 1901 Ridge Road. Use the scroll bar to the right…

2015 Legislative Seminar — Directions


We are delighted to have so many of you joining us for Tuesday’s Legislative Seminar. Directions are below. We will be able to accommodate some additional registrations prior to the seminar but can no longer guarantee lunch. Please e-mail or call 919-828-6501. Directions to Greenwood Forest Baptist Church 110 SE Maynard Road, Cary, NC 27511 (919) 467-0481 The church is at the intersection of Kildaire Farm Road and SE Maynard Road From I-40 take, Exit 291 Travel West on Cary Towne Boulevard (Cary Towne Center mall will be on your left)…

Easter Greeting


Lo, the fair beauty of earth, from the death of the winter arising, every good gift of the year now with its Master returns. Excerpted from Hail Thee, Festival Day, Venantius Fortunatus  Blessings of this Easter season from the NC Council of Churches George, Rose, Aleta, Susannah, Jennie, Ashley, Monica, Joy, Shannon, Donna, Steve, Sandy, David, Collins, Reuben, Kyle, and Marcus

Support the NC Council of Churches through AmazonSmile


The North Carolina Council of Churches is now partnering with AmazonSmile, a program launched by Amazon that automatically gives a portion of your online purchases back to the charity of your choice, with no extra charge to you. We invite you to join us in registering the Council as your AmazonSmile organization. To begin shopping with AmazonSmile click here.