PHW Honors Helen Livingston

PHW -- Helen Livingston

Meet one of our community leaders, Helen Livingston, of Scotland County. I first met Helen through the phone when I started with PHW, and almost instantly we were kindred spirits. She was the reason PHW had our first webinar, and she continues to be a strong asset for the Central South-East Region where I work. She was recently honored by the Scotland County NAACP Youth Council. Because of  the NC Council of Churches’ work with the NCNAACP, and because Helen Livingston is such a strong community leader in Scotland County, I wanted to…

Cary Congregation with Liberian ties Collects Medical Supplies

Rock Hands

We have all been touched by news of the growing Ebola crisis in Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea, and Nigeria, a crisis that so far has resisted efforts at containment. Those of us with even brief personal ties to West Africa (I spent a couple of weeks in Togo and Burkina Faso in 1974) will never forget the people there and are especially moved by this unfolding crisis. The August 7 e-newsletter from the Southern Conference (SOC) of the United Church of Christ contains information about a connection between the SOC…

2014 Faith & Health Summit – Register Now!

2014 Faith & Health Summit

Please join the North Carolina Council of Churches at the 2014 Faith and Health Summit, which will be held on Friday, October 10, 2014 at Ardmore Baptist Church in Winston-Salem (501 Miller Street). The program will run from 9:30am to 3:30pm, with registration starting at 8:30. Arrival snacks and coffee will be provided. The conference theme is “We’re Better Together” and the focus text is Ecclesiastes 4:9-10a. Click here to register by Monday September 29. After registering, please make your $15 payment by: 1) sending a check to PHW, 27 Horne Street,…

Cy King’s Noble Example


Cyrus Baldwin King, a gentle spirit with an iron resolve, was a hero of North Carolina’s peace and justice movement. The Council of Churches is honored to join in the many tributes that have come his way at his passing. Cy died on June 25 at the age of 91 – after a life of deep commitment to principles that lie at the Council’s bedrock. He worked to advance the cause of a world free of weapons of mass destruction, a world in which disputes could be resolved without bloodshed….

David Gushee on “The State of Things” and in Raleigh — Tuesday


Tune in to WUNC’s “The State of Things” on Tuesday, June 24, to hear David Gushee ahead of his evening presentation in Raleigh. “The State of Things” airs at noon, and Dr. Gushee is currently scheduled to be on from 12:20 until 12:40. If you live beyond the broadcast range of WUNC-FM, you can listen online by clicking on Listen Live at the very top of the page. The Council is pleased to be co-sponsoring Tuesday evening’s program featuring Dr. Gushee, a leading faith-based advocate for an end to torture by our…

Gushee, Powery, Cowger Discussion Marks Torture Awareness Month


June is Torture Awareness Month, and we are gearing up for a presentation by David Gushee, Distinguished University Professor of Christian Ethics and the Director of the Center for Theology and Public Life at Mercer University. The event takes place on June 24 at 7 p.m. at Raleigh’s Pullen Memorial Baptist Church. Joining Dr. Gushee are Rev. Luke Powery, Dean of Chapel and Associate Professor of the Practice of Homiletics at Duke University, and Dr. Christina Cowger, Coordinator for North Carolina Stop Torture Now. Dr. Gushee served on a blue-ribbon Task Force on Detainee…

David Gushee: Coming to Terms with Torture: Truth, Accountability, and Renunciation

barbed wire

“This nation admits its errors, as painful as they may be.”  — Sen. Dianne Feinstein, April 3, 2014. On June 24, noted theologian David P. Gushee will speak at Raleigh’s Pullen Memorial Baptist Church, presenting his thoughts on “Coming to Terms with Torture: Truth, Accountability, and Reconciliation.” Dr. Gushee is the Distinguished University Professor of Christian Ethics and the Director of the Center for Theology and Public Life at Mercer University. He served on a blue-ribbon Task Force on Detainee Treatment convened by the bipartisan Constitution Project. That task force issued a…

We Rejoice in Baptism, We Reject Torture


I was baptized a Baptist as a child, confirmed an Episcopalian as an adult.  I stood by as three of my own dozed through being “marked as Christ’s own forever” and have attended a multitude of services in other churches as the babies and children of friends were welcomed into the family of God. Here’s what I know about baptism – it is about joy and grace, a new and pure beginning for a beloved child of God. Here’s what I know about torture – it is ugly and brutal…

Please Thank Sen. Burr

Photo by Flickr user Skakerman

Please join us in thanking Sen. Burr for his vote to release portions of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence’s report on torture. Many of you have joined us over the last several months in calling for Sen. Burr to vote for transparency and the ability of each of us to see the findings for ourselves. On Thursday he did that.  You can send an e-mail through the Senator’s website or call his office directly at (202) 224-3154 to offer your thanks. The work for full release of the report…

Please Call Senator Burr

A vote is imminent on releasing the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence report on torture, and we need you to contact Sen. Richard Burr and urge him to support the release. North Carolina people of faith signed a letter last summer urging the Senator to do just that. Progress has been slow, but Sen. Dianne Feinstein, Chair of the Senate Committee, has announced that she plans to hold a vote this week (March 24-29). And so there is urgency in reaching out to Sen. Burr, who is one of 15…

Soul Repair: Recovering from Moral injury after War — What Faith Communities Can Do


The North Carolina Soul Repair conference took place March 6 and 7. It was sponsored by many faith communities, including the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in North Carolina, Quaker House, and the North Carolina Council of Churches. Speakers included VA clinicians, chaplains and staff, and Rev. Dr. Rita Nakashima Brock, co-director of the Soul Repair Center, as well as Col. Kimberly Olson (founder of Grace after Fire). A suggestion to churches was to embrace a more welcoming atmosphere for veterans suffering after returning from war. But the number one gift churches…

Becoming a More Peaceful Nation

U.S. Capitol Building

Bipartisanship between North Carolina’s Senators Burr and Hagan does occasionally show through — but why and for what?  The willingness of our NC Senators and others in Washington to come together in support of war with Iran, and maintaining a budget with more than 50% of discretionary funds spent on the Pentagon is not what we would hope for. Meanwhile the protracted disagreement over funding much-needed domestic programs, such as extending unemployment benefits, shows how we fall short as a peaceful nation. As John Heuer, Director of NC Peace Action, notes…

Outer Banks Half Marathon, Part 2

Legs of a young man running

In the opening scene of the holiday movie Love Actually, Hugh Grant’s character has a beautiful monologue that begins, “Whenever I get gloomy with the state of the world, I go to the arrivals gate at Heathrow airport.” He continues to talk about the greetings, farewells, and love that is shared at the airport — welcoming and sending off loved ones: family, friends, and significant others. He says this is a reminder of the love in the world, and its power to outshine the hate. Standing at the finish line of the Outer…

Advent Worship Resources on Peace

Photo by Flickr user Skakerman

Date: Advent 1 – Dec. 1, 2013
Topic: Peace
Focus Text: Isaiah 2:1-5
To take Isaiah’s words to heart is to envision a world without hunger, poverty, war, violence, or fear. The prophet’s oracle challenges our endless pursuit for bigger and better weapons, the perpetuation of hatred and violence, the ever-widening gap between the rich and poor, and our insatiable appetite for more resources and power.

NC Faith Leaders Call on Sen. Burr for Report’s Release


More than 190 faith leaders from across North Carolina have sent a letter to Senator Richard Burr, asking his support for release of the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI) report on the use of torture after 9/11. Among the signatories are 18 bishops and other denominational executives, including Bishop Michael Curry of the Episcopal Diocese of North Carolina, Bishop Michael Burbidge of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Raleigh, Bishop Hope Morgan Ward of the North Carolina Conference of the United Methodist Church, and Bishop William DeVeaux of the Second…


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