Faith leaders in Asheville are adding their voices to those outraged by the actions of NC legislators. Rev. Joe Hoffman, pastor of First Congregational United Church of Christ and an NC Council of Churches board member, is joining his colleagues as well as those from the non-profit community there for a press conference on Monday, May 20. Anyone interested in participating can contact him at email@example.com or on his cell at 828-777-8729.
In addition, he [...]
Continue reading Faith Leaders for a Just Society in Asheville
Pediatrician and author Perri Klass has written a powerful essay on childhood poverty as a disease. She writes in part:
Toxic stress is the heavy hand of early poverty, scripting a child’s life not in the Horatio Alger scenario of determination and drive, but in the patterns of disappointment and deprivation that shape a life of limitations.
What Klass emphasizes, what many of us know, is that investing in our children is vital to their [...]
Continue reading Childhood Poverty is a Disease
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
The Rev. Joseph Brown, Sr. is Presiding Elder, African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church. He is a former Council president and a past recipient of the Council’s Distinguished Service Award. Rev. Brown is based in Fayetteville.
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Tune in as George Reed, our Executive Director here at the NC Council of Churches, explains the legislative process in North Carolina. How can “ordinary citizens” get involved? What strategies can we use to be as effective as possible? Listen as George crams 25 years of experience into one jam-packed hour. [...]
Continue reading Legislative Process and Advocacy: Legislative Seminar Workshop
House Bills Senate Bills Notable Quotes Arizona-like Immigration Bill Introduced
In the wake of failed attempts by Congress to pass comprehensive immigration reform, states and localities have increased their own efforts to enforce current immigration laws and to implement new programs designed to reduce immigration. Many of these efforts have created a more hostile environment toward immigrants, with people – both documented and undocumented – living in fear of harassment, arrest and possible [...]
Continue reading Arizona-like Immigration Bill Introduced: Raleigh Report, May 3, 2013
A leader against economic injustice and two longtime advocates on the Council’s board have received the North Carolina Council of Churches’ highest honors. Gene Nichol received the Faith Active in Public Life Award. Barbara Volk and Sydnor Thompson II were recognized with Distinguished Service awards. All three were presented at the Council’s 2013 Legislative Seminar which took place April 11 at St. Mark’s United Methodist Church in Raleigh. [...]
Continue reading New Videos: Legislative Seminar Awards
Speaking to 200 social justice advocates, Gene Nichol delivered a powerful luncheon address at the Council’s 2013 Legislative Seminar held April 11 at St. Mark’s United Methodist Church in Raleigh. He received the Council’s Faith Active in Public Life Award at the Seminar for his “courageous, dedicated, humane and compassionate witness in the political arena.” Rev. George Reed, the Council’s Executive Director, introduced Nichol by saying in part, “To know Gene is to see [...]
Continue reading New Video: Gene Nichol Delivers Powerful Speech at Legislative Seminar
The Council’s 2013 Legislative Seminar on April 11 featured a workshop about voting rights. It was provided by Bob Hall, executive director of Democracy North Carolina, a group that advocates for voting rights and for proper safeguards against the influence of self-serving special interests in the political system. The debate over whether voters should have to show a photo ID has raged from state to state, with backers saying such IDs are needed to combat voter fraud. Nobody wants to see even one vote cast illegally, and it’s true that most voters already have photo IDs. However, those who don’t have them tend to be among society’s vulnerable. [...]
Continue reading Voting Rights NC: Legislative Seminar Workshop
In keeping with its mission of supporting peace, unity and social justice, the Council recently has signed on to three letters involving issues being addressed at the federal level. We have spoken out for a faithful budget, for preserving low-income tax credits, and for gun violence prevention and school safety.
The call for a faithful FY 2014 budget demonstrates how federal budget choices can and must reflect America’s shared values. A prominent coalition of major [...]
Continue reading NC Council of Churches Supports National Groups to Assist the Less Fortunate
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
Many of you who attended the 2013 Legislative Seminar expressed an interest in having portions of the day available online, and we have started that process. Audio from the Rev. Joe Brown’s opening worship, the Rev. Fletcher Harper’s plenary “Communicating the Values We Believe,” and Gene Nichol’s luncheon address are now available on our seminar page, along with Fletcher’s Power Point presentation. Video, additional photos and audio, as well as other resources will be posted [...]
Continue reading Legislative Seminar Page Features Podcasts, Pictures and More
There’s no telling how the tax cookies will crumble by the time the 2013 General Assembly closes shop. But chief bakers in both the House and Senate seem intent on some manner of “reform.” In sync with Gov. Pat McCrory, they’ve signaled their desire to cut income tax rates, and hopefully to replace lost revenue by revamping the sales tax to cover more kinds of transactions.
The concerns here are twofold: 1) whether a realigned [...]
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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
A misguided push in the General Assembly to get capital punishment back on track is generating a well-deserved pushback. People of Faith Against the Death Penalty, a group that for years has helped focus the case against executions, is bringing religious leaders to the Legislative Building as the debate again heats up. PFADP got its start as a program of the Council; we strongly support its stance and encourage legislators to listen with open minds [...]
Continue reading Execution Foes at Legislature