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
Rev. Fletcher Harper on values-based messaging at the Legislative Seminar. Photo by Justin Hubbard.
The Rev. Fletcher Harper is Executive Director of GreenFaith, a New Jersey-based non-profit committed to building environmental leadership among people of faith. He is also an Episcopal priest.
Download his presentation slides here.
Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 33:02 — 30.2MB)
Continue reading Rev. Fletcher Harper: Communicating the Values We Believe
Raleigh News & Observer
We would not have chosen to be a part of an issue like this, but we are. The world is watching North Carolina to see what we will do. There is compelling evidence that conspiracy to commit kidnapping and torture were committed by Johnston County’s Aero Contractors. The state should investigate these claims and determine their validity. [...]
Continue reading Compromising values
Carrying excess weight poses a number of health and other problems, but who knew such problems could extend past death? According to a recent report by MSNBC, many donation programs are refusing corpses that weigh more than 200 to 300 pounds because they simply do not have the equipment or manpower to handle them. East Carolina University’s Brody School of Medicine in Greenville, NC has even stricter weight requirements – they will not accept a [...]
Continue reading Obese Corpses Rejected for Medical Research
The debate over whether to place morbidly obese children in foster care or to leave them in an unhealthy home environment resurfaced a few days ago when a 200-pound eight-year-old boy from Ohio was removed from his home.
Case workers grew concerned when their attempts to work with the mother to reduce the child’s weight proved unsuccessful after more than a year, resulting in allegations of medical neglect. Workers blamed the child’s excessive weight on his [...]
Continue reading Placing Obese Children in Foster Care: Does the Punishment Fit the “Crime”?
In his recent Washington Post op-ed article entitled “The Values Debate We’re Not Having,” Richard Cizik highlights the disconnect between an individualist market-first ideology and the Christian calling to love our neighbors. Cizik represented the National Association of Evangelicals in the corridors of power in Washington DC for 10 years. I think he’s raising some crucial questions for all people of faith, across the political spectrum. [...]
Continue reading The Values Debate We’re Not Having
In my non-work life, I have the pleasure of serving on the advisory board for the Raleigh-area Episcopal Campus Ministry. It is a privilege to serve with the other board members in support of the diocese, the ministry led by the Rev. Deborah Fox, and the wonderful young people from NC State, Peace, Meredith and Shaw who participate in it.
That it happens to align well with my professional life is always a bonus, and particularly [...]
Continue reading Two Kinds of Religion
As I write this note, it is 12:30PM and I’m sitting comfortably in my office at the NC Council of Churches. At 3PM, though, I will be in the gallery at the NC Legislature, and by late this afternoon I may find myself in jail.
[Editor's note: David was arrested on Tuesday around 4pm.]
The current legislature is making a host of decisions which are contrary to the teachings of Christianity, and I feel called [...]
Continue reading Why I Am in Jail
Friends of the NC Council of Churches in Western North Carolina will be fasting on Good Friday in solidarity with the poor, and in recognition that budgets are moral documents. They call upon Congressman Shuler to work with his colleagues find a way to balance the federal budget that does not place the burden for doing so on the shoulders of those vulnerable Americans who are least able to bear that burden. [...]
Continue reading Good Friday Fast for Hunger
This is an article I wrote for www.patheos.com on why the church needs art…
A few months ago, my wife’s grandmother, known to the family as Grandma Polly, came to the end of a long and fascinating life. I was asked by the family to preach at the funeral. I struggled with whether or not to accept the invitation, but in the end realized that if I did not accept, the funeral would be organized [...]
Continue reading Why the Church Needs Art
NC Policy Watch
In recent days, the Internet has been abuzz with revelations brought to us by “Wikileaks” of comments that were never intended to be public. Meanwhile, George W. Bush is touring to promote his new book, enthusiastically admitting that he violated international and US law. As the US government calls for accountability for Mr. Assange of Wikileaks, it must consider the applicability of its own words to other situations. [...]
Continue reading The Tortured Truth
There have been no shortage of condemnations of the pastor in Florida who threatened to burn Korans. Those condemnations are effectively demolition work. Sometimes dangerous structures need to be torn down, and I’m not necessarily criticizing that. Demolition is most useful, though, when it makes space to build something new and constructive. I heartily celebrate the building of relationships and the expressions of respect and support that have come in response to this. [...]
Continue reading Building and Burning Down
NC Policy Watch
Three students go on a hunger strike outside a U.S. Senator’s office. Two young children wave a tearful goodbye to their father, not knowing when they will ever see him again. Hundreds march in the streets of Charlotte, Greensboro and Raleigh. And all of these events occurred because our broken immigration system continues to undermine families across the state. What lessons can we learn from this summer’s immigration debate? [...]
Continue reading Immigration reform can’t wait any longer
Raleigh News & Observer
I appreciated the Aug. 22 article about Ben Roberts, owner of Foundation Fitness in Greensboro, who traveled between Raleigh and Greensboro challenging employees to be physically active. When working with different groups, Roberts stresses the simplicity of living a healthy, active lifestyle. Small changes during the work day such as taking the stairs, using a pedometer to track the number of steps taken and keeping hydrated can help boost energy levels and overall confidence. [...]
Continue reading Health Stewardship
In an op-ed, published in USA Today, Mallory McDuff offers an enticing look at the popular book and movie, “Eat, Pray, Love” through the eyes of a Christian environmentalist. [...]
Continue reading Eat, Pray, Love: A New Green Gospel