Men’s Health Week and Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Month

Gevetta Lawrence_3

There’s lots to celebrate this month. Besides my birthday (smile), the month of June is when we observe Men’s Health Week and National Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Month. These two issues, each important enough on their own, also overlap as men are encouraged to eat nutritious, well-balanced meals in order to remain healthy and strong. Our nation’s dietary guidelines are updated every five years, with the most recent set of guidelines released in 2010. In this report, the US Department of Agriculture advises both men and women to…

April Event Celebrates Legacy of Lex Mathews


The Episcopal Diocese of North Carolina is sponsoring a “Day of Diocesan Story-Telling and Celebration,” focusing on Lex Mathews’ time as Director of Christian Social Ministries from 1975 until 1985. Longtime activists with the NC Council of Churches will remember Lex’s many involvements with the Council. I’m proud to say that he and I were unindicted co-conspirators on several adventures, though it was all before I was with the Council. I came to NC in 1978 to work in the social justice office of the Baptist State Convention and, pretty…

HKonJ 2014 — Moral March and People’s Assembly


A cross-section of North Carolinians and progressives from other states flooded downtown Raleigh on Saturday as part of HKonJ 2014. Longtime activists from across the state walked with college students, parents pushed young children in strollers, old friends renewed acquaintances, and new relationships were forged. The day began with an interfaith Service of Repentance and Consecration, organized by the Council for lay leaders and clergy. About 50 people gathered in front of the General Assembly Building before heading to Shaw University to take part in Shabbat services conducted by area Jewish leaders and…

Advent Worship Resources for Vulnerable Mothers


Date: Advent 4 – Dec. 22, 2013
Topic: Vulnerable Mothers
Focus Text: Matthew 1:18-25
Drawing on the Old Testament, James speaks of the prophets who endured suffering and, for their steadfastness, are called “blessed.” This is the same word used in the beatitudes, another text which brings comfort to those who are suffering or longing for justice in light of God’s future reign. James also goes on to invoke Job, a proverbial figure of faithfulness and long-suffering in times of trial. These figures exemplify faithfulness even in the face of oppression.

Vulnerable Mothers – Advent 4


Sign up below to receive free worship resources in your inbox (1-2 per month): Focus Text: Matthew 1:18-25 Now the birth of Jesus the Messiah took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been engaged to Joseph, but before they lived together, she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. Her husband Joseph, being a righteous man and unwilling to expose her to public disgrace, planned to dismiss her quietly. But just when he had resolved to do this, an angel of the Lord appeared to…

The Nation is Watching NC and Moral Mondays


The impact of Moral Mondays continues to extend beyond North Carolina. Two recent articles and an editorial in “The New York Times” are reaching a national audience. One of the articles is by Peter Carman, pastor of Binkley Baptist Church, a Council member congregation. Alliance of Baptists: ‘Not One Step Back’: Moral Mondays in Raleigh, N.C. Sojourners: Moral Mondays The New York Times: The Decline of North Carolina Moral Mondays are scheduled to continue on July 15. –Aleta Payne, Development and Communicaitons

UCC Divests from Fossil Fuels

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As a lifelong member of the United Church of Christ (UCC), I feel so proud of my denomination’s actions on July1 when the national synod voted to divest from fossil fuels. The United Church of Christ has a tradition of leading in matters of faith and social change. Right here in Warren County, the UCC commissioned the study that launched the national environmental justice movement. The UCC has also led in matters of racial equality, women’s equality and LGBT equality. Now the UCC has become the first major denomination in…

David LaMotte: Celebrating Dad’s Day By Taking Mine to Jail

John LaMotte1crop

David LaMotte, the Council’s Consultant for Peace, celebrated Father’s Day last Sunday with his four-year-old son and 82-year-old dad. David then traveled to Raleigh with his father so that the Rev. Dr. John LaMotte could become one of those arrested at Moral Monday. Having already been arrested in an act of conscience, David explained in his blog the significance for his father, a third-generation North Carolinian. He wrote, in part: Tomorrow, I will take my father to jail, and I’ve never been prouder of him than I am right now….

Lectionary: Gender Equality (Proper 6)

Gender Equality

From Acts of Faith: Free Lectionary Resources for Prophetic Worship

Date: Proper 6 – June 16, 2013
Topic: Gender Equality
Focus Text: Luke 7:36-8:3

From the pastoral reflection: “When I applied to divinity school thirty years ago, I was asked by my interviewer, “Why don’t you just be a good church member and serve the church that way?” That is, I was being advised to continue the traditional role of being a supportive woman to the men doing the “real work” of ministry. Ignoring that advice, I enrolled, and when I graduated and sought a call to ministry, the response was, “We don’t think our congregation is ready for a woman minister.”

Free AEDs and CPR Training for Select Counties

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The NC Council of Churches, American Red Cross and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of NC are partnering together to provide more Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) and CPR training to places of worship in select counties. To date, 183 congregations have received an award.

To learn more or to complete an application, please click here. The deadline to apply is Friday, May 24.

Update on Free AED and CPR Program


In the spring of this year, the NC Council of Churches and our partners, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of NC and the American Red Cross, awarded 34 free Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) and CPR training to congregations across the state. This was done in an effort to reduce the number of deaths from sudden cardiac arrest in places where large numbers of people gather. Since that time, the Council has distributed an additional 149 grants, bringing the total to 183 AEDs and CPR training provided in 2012 alone. Our…

Statement on Passage of Amendment One


In light of yesterday’s vote to add a discriminatory amendment about marriage to our state’s constitution, it is important to consider what was accomplished through this campaign and what it tells us about progress. First, the fine work of a committed group of people has resulted in alliances and coalitions that hadn’t existed before. People with very different political beliefs spoke together against Amendment One. Secular and religious groups worked side by side to defeat it. Individuals who may not believe in gay marriage have come to realize that they…