2014 Advent Guide

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The Council’s 2014 Advent Devotional Guide is now available as a free download. Each year, Council staff take a social justice theme as a focus for these guides to be used during the season of Advent or Lent. For this Advent season, that focus is the care and well-being of children. As we say in the introduction: As we enter Advent, that time of excited, exquisite anticipation, may we never lose sight of that season’s reality. Jesus, the one we await, was the poor, paperless child of immigrant parents, specifically an unwed, teenage…

Religious Leaders Meet with EPA Administrator McCarthy

Religious leaders and EPA meeting

This week, representatives from 17 religious organizations met with Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Gina McCarthy to deliver more than 10,000 public comments and highlight the support of the faith community on rules to address carbon pollution from power plants. There are currently no limits on carbon pollution from these plants. But now, the EPA has proposed first-ever standards for carbon pollution from the nation’s existing power plants.This proposal will limit emissions from power plants by 30% by 2030, compared with 2005 levels. The comment period for this rule ends on December 1….

Environmental Responsibility Knows No Boundaries

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This week, President Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping – leaders of the world’s two biggest polluters – announced a “historic agreement.” Each country committed to reducing its nation’s carbon emissions: The US will reduce emissions by 26-28% below 2005 levels by 2025, while China agreed to peak its carbon dioxide emissions by 2030, with 20% of its energy coming from renewable sources. These actions alone are not nearly enough, friends – but they signal a hopeful chapter in global climate negotiations and represent the progress we can make over…

Conservatives, Riding High, Can Heed Cooler Heads

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There’s no getting around the fact that when North Carolinians went to the polls on Nov. 5, they gave a thumbs-up to the conservatives who’ve been in charge at the General Assembly for the last four years – doing damage that calls to mind the proverbial elephant in a china shop. Republican victories might not all have been overwhelming (putting aside those districts rendered virtually immune from competition by GOP gerrymandering), and in a handful of cases Democratic challengers emerged on top. But when the dust settled, the rightward tilt…

Council Post-Election Road Shows to Charlotte and Asheville

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What do Tuesday’s elections mean for North Carolina? How can people of faith in the state continue to affect positive change? Join the staff of the North Carolina Council of Churches as we visit Charlotte and Asheville to discuss ways our programs are providing a progressive, faithful voice for issues facing NC residents and how you can be involved. We hope you’ll join us: Monday, November 17, Noon-2 p.m. Park Road Baptist Church 3900 Park Road, Charlotte Bring a bag lunch and join us at 11:30 a.m. for fellowship. We…

Hope for Our Future: The EPA Clean Power Plan

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More than 40% of carbon pollution comes from power plants. Yet incredibly, there are currently no limits on greenhouse gas emissions from these plants. But now, the EPA has proposed first-ever standards for carbon pollution from the nation’s existing power plants. This proposal will limit emissions from power plants by 30% by 2030, compared with 2005 levels. Make your voice heard before the comment period ends on December 1, and tell the EPA to move forward with strong carbon standards for power plants. There is a limited time that the EPA will be accepting…

Worship Resources on Sustainable Living

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Date: Christ the King – Nov. 23, 2014
Topic: Sustainable Living
Focus Text: Ezekiel 34:11-16, 20-24

In North Carolina, we have begun to pay more attention to the quality of our air and water and how our daily practices, both individually and corporately, can contribute either to environmental degradation or restoration. But my time in India impressed upon me the reality that my concern for clean air and water cannot stop at the state line.

Reflections from the People’s Climate March

Susannah at the Climate March

Many Interfaith Power & Light folks, from NC and all over the country, took to the streets of New York City this past weekend for the People’s Climate March. It was an exhilarating time, and we left feeling more inspired and connected. Estimates are that more than 400,000 people were at the march, making it what we had all hoped for: the largest action on climate, ever. Many well-known individuals attended, including Al Gore, Leonardo DiCaprio, Ban Ki Moon of the UN, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, and African musician Angelique Kidjo. But, as the…

NCCC Eating Well Curriculum is a National Resource

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If you haven’t had a chance to take a look at the Council’s curriculum, “Eating Well: For Ourselves, For Our Neighbors, For Our Planet,”  I urge you to do so. You will find food justice interwoven with all of the Council’s areas of work. You will see how eating well affects your body, environment, farmworkers, and even peaceful relations. And you will join the many folks across our nation who are on this journey. If you have participated in “Eating Well” and are looking for other such resources, the organizers of National Food Day have put…

The Right Step At Home—A New Fitness Guide

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Forget the yoga mats and fitness tapes, and step your way to health in your home, while using less toxic products. I enjoy the work of Partners in Health and Wholeness and I get excited about how we are connected to all the other programs at the Council. I appreciate even more when we can combine our programs in unique ways. Here is an idea that combines PHW and NCIPL–walking and reducing the toxic materials used in the home. I have always loved walking but love it even more when I walk and multi-task,…

NC’s Plan to Improve Health in Rural Communities

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I had the pleasure of serving on the North Carolina Institute of Medicine’s (NCIOM) Task Force on Rural Health, which was charged with creating a roadmap for better health in rural parts of our state. This plan includes strategies that do not require additional funding to support, but rather stronger partnerships across different sectors, such as health care, education and economic development. People of faith who live in rural areas are encouraged to review the North Carolina Rural Health Action Plan, which is now available for free download from the…

Power Surge Hits Streams, Constitution

Photo by Flickr member yashmori

The N.C. General Assembly during its 2014 session – a session so rife with disputes among the majority Republicans that it smoldered on and on – has left many sour tastes in many mouths. There was, of course, the updated and unpalatable state budget, short of revenue because of rash tax-cutting. In order to give public school teachers a long-overdue raise, education programs across the board had to be cannibalized. For that matter, veteran teachers whose “raises” amount to chicken feed might well suspect legislators were trying to tell them…

Watershed Discipleship — Radical and Urgent Change

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The Watershed Discipleship Course was held June 16-20 at in Warren Wilson College in Swannanoa.  This conference was sponsored by the Food, Faith, and Religious Leadership Initiative at Wake Divinity with support from Kalleiopeia Foundation. Four of PHW’s influential liaisons came together along with other powerful minds to confront the “interlocking crises of deepening climate change, resource exhaustion, and social disparity” that are embedded. One of the most profound statements that circled this conference was, “to truly face these crises is to commit ourselves, as Christians and citizens, to radical and urgent…

Connect and Share with Others in Planning for the People’s Climate March in September!

People's Climate March

The People’s Climate March is bringing together people with the urgency and power needed to address the climate crisis. Read more here. It is happening in New York and simultaneously in locales around the world. Major organizations such as 350.org are arranging a climate tour of four East Coast Cities. The National Religious Partnership is calling for local prayer vigils. Other coordinating gatherings and events are listed here. Are you going to NY for the People’s Climate March? Let us know! With this link, you will also have the option to…

PHW Honors Helen Livingston

PHW -- Helen Livingston

Meet one of our community leaders, Helen Livingston, of Scotland County. I first met Helen through the phone when I started with PHW, and almost instantly we were kindred spirits. She was the reason PHW had our first webinar, and she continues to be a strong asset for the Central South-East Region where I work. She was recently honored by the Scotland County NAACP Youth Council. Because of  the NC Council of Churches’ work with the NCNAACP, and because Helen Livingston is such a strong community leader in Scotland County, I wanted to…