Recently, I heard a powerful message from the Rev. William Barber. Many Council folks know him. He’s the President of the NC NAACP and pastor of the Greenleaf Christian Church (Disciple of Christ) in Goldsboro. The power of his message was not in fiery delivery. It was a low-key conversation with a group of fifty or so progressive leaders, sitting in a circle in the chapel of University United Methodist Church in Chapel Hill. The power was in the profound thoughts he expressed and in the clear rightness of his words. [...]
Continue reading Reclaiming the Bible’s Prophetic Voice
NCIPL is all about helping faith communities find positive responses to climate change. It’s a big mission dealing with an extremely complex and rapidly changing problem. Science tells us that the climate has already changed and is extremely unlikely to change back to the stable conditions I was born into in the middle of the 20th Century. Our task is now to “Manage the Unavoidable” and “Avoid the Unmanageable”. In other words, there is inevitable climate change programmed into [...]
Continue reading Manage the Unavoidable and Avoid the Unmanageable
The North Carolina Council of Churches joins with our sisters and brothers in Wisconsin to mourn Sunday’s horrific actions against a Sikh faith community peacefully gathered in their house of worship. We join with them in prayer for those injured and killed, for their families and loved ones, for peace and respect of all God’s children.
Gun violence this summer has taken a tremendous toll. The Council remains committed to working with organizations seeking to [...]
Continue reading Prayers for Our Sisters and Brothers in Wisconsin
One of my friends just posted this amazing YouTube video of Severn Suzuki who, at age 12, addressed the United Nations at the first Earth Summit in Rio twenty years ago. Her words ring out with perfect clarity now as they did then, except that the world has done little to heed her child-heart call. Now instead of fighting for her own future, she is fighting for the future of her son. I challenge [...]
Continue reading Rio+20 and The Climate is Changed!
Two time-sensitive issues for advocates: 1) A vote to override the Governor’s veto of the Racial Justice Act could come up any time. 2) There is a lobby day tomorrow in opposition to fracking. We will send more information on fracking, including other related bills, later in the week. If you cannot attend the lobby day, note the suggestion below of calling your senator and representative tomorrow.
Racial Justice Act Veto Override
Raleigh Report [...]
Continue reading Raleigh Report: Racial Justice Act Veto Override and Lobby Day to Stop Fracking Bill
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 [...]
Continue reading Statement on Passage of Amendment One
Hear George Reed explain the Council’s opposition to Amendment One on Sunday morning’s News & Views hosted by Chris Fitzsimon of NC Policy Watch. The program airs at 7 a.m. on WRAL 101.5 and at 7:30 a.m. on WCMC 99.9.
For those who miss it, check the Council website on Monday for an MP3 of the full discussion. And in the meantime, visit the Policy Watch website to hear an excerpt.
–Aleta Payne, Development and [...]
Continue reading Reed Explains Council’s Opposition to Amendment One on Sunday Radio Show
The ballot referendum that could cement the definition of marriage as “the only domestic legal union” into the state Constitution has turned a political debate into a religious one — and is mustering people of faith across North Carolina to the polls. [...]
Continue reading Clergy Engage Constitutional Amendment Debate
Early voting is now under way for North Carolina’s May 8 primary. Between now and May 5, you can vote if you are already registered, and you can register and vote at the same time (one-stop voting) if you are not already registered. To find out the places and hours for early voting in your county, click here and search for your county.
You can also vote early the “old-fashioned” way by requesting an absentee [...]
Continue reading Early Voting and Amendment One
From Acts of Faith: Free Lectionary Resources for Prophetic Worship
Date: 4th Sunday after Easter, April 29, 2012
Topic: Interfaith Connections
Focus Text: John 10:11-18
From the pastoral reflection: In 21st century North Carolina we have many and various ways to come into contact with “other sheep.” Will we stick to our own kind, work to create a Christian enclave where we feel safe and secure, free from any risk? Or, will we be the welcoming face, the open hands, the purposeful feet, and the compassionate voice of Christ in the world so that all may know the love of God? [...]
Continue reading Lectionary: Interfaith Connections (4th Sunday of Easter)
It’s funny when strangers strike you as family. That is what happens, for me at least, each time I attend another Earth Sabbath Celebration. After a few months of travelling what feels like “out of town” from Durham to the monthly Celebration in Raleigh, on April 2, I found myself with the newly formed Durham Earth Sabbath Celebration.
To start us off, a frame drum procession entered the space, first encircling us and then entering into [...]
Continue reading Celebrating With My Community
My faith journey began at an early age and in a somewhat nontraditional way. I fondly remember attending weekly prayer meetings and Bible studies at my grandmother’s house in rural North Carolina. Community members would come from all around to worship together in a small, weather-beaten house at the end of a long dirt path. They would read scriptures, sing songs and tell stories of how they were able to overcome various obstacles throughout the week. [...]
Continue reading A Personal Story of Faith and Health
The deadline to guarantee lunch at the 2012 Critical Issues Seminar has been extended to April 12. This year’s seminar, Eating Well for Ourselves, For Our Neighbors, For Our Planet, takes place on April 19 from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Winston-Salem. The event offers a series of workshops focused on food as a social justice issue.
During lunch, Congresswoman Eva Clayton will speak about world hunger. Clayton, a Presbyterian lay [...]
Continue reading Deadline for Critical Issues Seminar Extended; Eva Clayton to Speak at Lunch
“My heart is moved by all that I cannot save.”
Fifty-three enthralled participants at the Earth Sabbath Celebration at Asheville’s St. Mary’s Church sang those words in February. Our hearts were opened, and many were moved to tears. Sandra Smith, founder of Holy Ground, led a remarkable celebration of interfaith spirituality that included silence, music, reflection, sharing and dance.
The historic Chapel at St. Mary’s Church framed the evening. The candlelight, voices of the [...]
Continue reading Earth Sabbath Celebrated in Asheville
Anyone who has attended an Earth Sabbath Celebration knows how special they are. Over the past year, Earth Sabbath Celebrations have occurred monthly at Community United Church of Christ in Raleigh. As NCIPL and partners prepare to launch them in Asheville, Chapel Hill, and hopefully Durham too, I recall the first Earth Sabbath Celebration that I ever attended.
As a “twenty-something,” the first thing that struck me was age. Recently graduating from school, I found [...]
Continue reading Earth Sabbath Celebrations Spread to Asheville, Chapel Hill and Durham