At the Legislature, a Fateful Crossing

Photo by Flickr member yashmori

With its self-imposed April 30 “crossover” deadline, the General Assembly can sidetrack bills that haven’t gained enough support to make them worth fussing with during the remainder of the legislative session. A bill that makes the deadline by gaining approval in either the state House or Senate stays alive – for better, or as happens too often these days with Republican conservatives in charge, for worse. So, with the crossover dust now settling, North Carolinians have a clearer sense of what this year’s legislative damage toll might include. Some lowlights:…

Healthy North Carolina 2020: Are We Gaining or Losing Ground?


Healthy North Carolina 2020 is a health improvement plan for our state. It addresses a wide range of issues that impact our health, such as tobacco use, physical activity and nutrition, mental health, and injury and violence. Optimal goals have been established in each of these areas, with a 2020 deadline for achieving them. So where does North Carolina currently stand? Out of the 40 original health goals, we’ve achieved 3 of them, 13 have improved but are not at the set target, 21 have gotten worse, 2 were not…

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…

Pray with Us on Friday, March with Us on Saturday


Join the NC NAACP, the North Carolina Council of Churches, and coalition partners for this weekend’s Moral March on Raleigh and HKonJ People’s Assembly. Events include: A Mass Meeting and Worship Service Friday, February 7, 7 p.m. Abundant Life Christian Center 4400 Old Poole Road, Raleigh Keynote speaker is Bishop W. Darin Moore, Presiding Prelate of the Western Episcopal District and the NC Conference of the Eastern North Carolina Episcopal District, with NC NAACP President Rev. Dr. William J. Barber presiding. The service is open to people of all faiths…

HKonJ 2014 — Saturday, February 8


It’s now just four weeks until this year’s HKonJ People’s Assembly. There is nothing more important for people of faith to do this winter as we work for prophetic social justice than to attend HKonJ and encourage  others to join us. Participants will assemble at Shaw University at 9:30 a.m. with the march set to begin at 10:30 a.m. I hope to see you there.  

Tragic Combination: Guns and Mental Illness


Let’s hope this isn’t the case, but recent history suggests that President Obama is not done with a duty that surely is among the most difficult and heart-wrenching aspects of his job. When groups of innocent Americans are gunned down in the all-too-familiar pattern we refer to as mass shootings, the president – whether Obama or anyone else – steps forward as a national mourner-in-chief. The scene played out again on Sept. 22, when Obama spoke at ceremonies honoring the 12 men and women slain days earlier by a gunman…

Worship Resources on Gun Violence


Date: Proper 26 – Nov. 3, 2013
Topic: Gun Violence
Focus Text: Habakkuk 1:1-4; 2:1-4
What poverty of spirit causes Americans to so glorify their guns – in movies, on television, in video games, on the streets of our neighborhoods and in the halls of Congress? Where are the prophets who will condemn the religion of the second amendment which preaches a sacred right to own any and all kinds of firearms? Why are people of faith and conscience not protecting the sacred trust of children’s lives as vehemently as Congress protects the gun lobby? It is time for pastors, priests, rabbis, and imams to speak out against the blasphemy of gun violence.

Call Legislative Leaders About Gun Measures


We will never know if George Zimmerman would ever have gotten out of his car if he hadn’t had a gun. We do know that countless children of God have died in the last year alone because of gun violence. More guns and easier access to them do not inherently make us safer. Gail Neely with North Carolinians Against Gun Violence has put out an urgent call for folks to contact members of the NC House today before noon to ask for support to repeal Stand Your Ground and support…

Arizona-like Immigration Bill Introduced: Raleigh Report, May 3, 2013

NC General Assembly building in Raleigh

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 deportation. To read more about the Council’s work on immigration issues, click here. To read our statements…

NC Council of Churches Supports National Groups to Assist the Less Fortunate


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 national religious organizations and leaders support it as an expression of the faith community’s priorities…

Believing in Goodness and Mercy After a Very Hard Week


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 Virginia Tech, poisoned letters in lieu of civil discourse. While the plant explosion near Waco…

Interfaith Call-in Day to Prevent Gun Violence April 9


The National Council of Churches, Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, and others are sponsoring an Interfaith Call-in Day to ensure that the voices of faithful Americans are heard throughout the halls of Congress on April 9. You can call NC Senators Hagan and Burr at 1-888-897-0174 and urge them to act to prevent gun violence. As the President of the Christian Conference of Connecticut wrote following the passage of historic legislation there last week, “It was an historic day in Connecticut as the legislative houses debated and passed the most comprehensive…

U.S. Senate Expected to Take Up Gun Legislation


Next week, the United States Senate is expected to take up legislation intended to curb gun violence. Given recent mass atrocities at the hands of gunmen along with the daily loss of life by those who turn to guns as a surrogate for civil disagreement, progress on the issue should be inevitable. But it’s not. Lobbying by groups like the NRA has been relentless and some politicians are wavering, either out of genuine conviction or fears about reelection. Faiths Against Gun Violence continues to urge people of faith to contact their elected officials on the…