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 [...]
Continue reading U.S. Senate Expected to Take Up Gun Legislation
In 2008, the Council co-sponsored an event called Jesus for President, which took place at First Baptist Church on Wilmington Street in downtown Raleigh. About 500 twenty-somethings came together to talk about the social justice and environmental issues that are defining their generation. At its core, the national movement called for Christians to reconsider their political choices to reflect the Jesus of the Beatitudes.
Shane Claiborne, one of Jesus for President’s leaders and the co-author [...]
Continue reading Shane Claiborne’s Challenge to Christians
Jesus was a peacemaking, blessed child of God, but he also was an “other.” Reviled and persecuted, he was the paperless son of displaced immigrant parents. The prophetic iconoclast. That guy who hung out with those people, the type most modern leaders would not associate with, except for a photo opportunity at a Thanksgiving Day soup kitchen. Let us remember on Sunday when we celebrate his resurrection, that Jesus was crucified because he was an outsider whose way of doing things scared and angered the powers-that-be. [...]
Continue reading Preparing the Way: Blessed are the Peacemakers
From the Palm Sunday chapter of Preparing the Way: A Social Justice Study for Lent. We’re offering this free resource to you and your congregation as we walk through the season of Lent together. Download the full PDF here.
Scripture: Matthew 21:1-11 (NRSV)
And when they drew near to Jerusalem and came to Bethphage, to the Mount of Olives, then Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, “Go into the village opposite you, and immediately you will [...]
Continue reading Preparing the Way: The Price of Faithfulness
If ending gun violence were easy, nightmares like Sandy Hook would never happen. Young lives would not end on urban streets in a hail of bullets. We wouldn’t need to parse the difference between automatic and semi-automatic. Just as taking away guns does not inherently make us safe from harm, we need to move beyond the lie that minimal regulation of those guns makes us any safer either. Some leaders in North Carolina seem more threatened by [...]
Continue reading National Gun Violence Prevention Sabbath — March 15-17
As you probably know, the Voting Rights Act is being challenged in the US Supreme Court, and General Assembly leaders in Raleigh are renewing their push to pass laws that will make voting harder, especially for African Americans, seniors who no longer drive, people who don’t own a car, and other low-income voters.
These legislators would create a new barrier for voters by requiring them to show a current driver’s license or other government photo [...]
Continue reading Resources for Voting Rights Sunday
Are you interested in what other faith-based communities are doing in terms of climate change? Do you want to invite them to your events? Do you have questions that others might be able to answer, such as how they started their congregational garden or what they do in terms of recycling?
NCIPL is creating a series of regional listservs to help you connect with other people of faith working to respond to climate change.
Continue reading Online Community for Faithful Climate-Change Activists
If you are interested in reducing your congregation’s utility bills, increasing your congregation’s efforts to care for creation, and taking a positive action in response to climate change, we invite you to participate in NCIPL’s upcoming webinar, How to Obtain a Free NCIPL Energy Savings Analysis for your Congregation.
The webinar will be on Tuesday, March 12, from 11-11:30 a.m. Registration is required.
NCIPL offers professional-level energy savings analyses (“energy audits”) for congregations at [...]
Continue reading Upcoming Webinar- Congregational Energy Savings Analyses
On March 1, new federal cuts will begin to take effect. If nothing is done, many hundreds of thousands of people will be hurt by across-the-board cuts to education, job training, home heating assistance, public health, and social services, to name only a few areas. In NC, 18,300 children and mothers would lose WIC nutrition aid and 2,855 families would lose rental housing vouchers. In addition, NC would lose services for people with disabilities and services to [...]
Continue reading Protect the Vulnerable Against Federal Cuts
If you haven’t discovered The Green Bible yet, you are in for a joyous surprise. This 2008 edition of the New Revised Standard Version of the Bible is made unique by its emphasis on ecological and environmental themes. Using the technique we all remember from the red letter versions of the King James translation, The Green Bible editors have made green all the verses in the Old and New Testaments which pertain to the Earth, [...]
Continue reading The Green Bible is a Must Read
From the Introduction of Preparing the Way: A Social Justice Study for Lent. We’re offering this free resource to you and your congregation as we walk through the season of Lent together. Download the full PDF here.
Lent is the season of the Christian Year that includes the six weeks from Ash Wednesday until the eve of Easter. Traditionally, it represents the 40 days that Jesus spent fasting in the desert before beginning his ministry. [...]
Continue reading Preparing the Way for Lent: Introduction
Gun violence has long been an issue of concern for the North Carolina Council of Churches. Every injury endured and life lost, whether on a downtown street corner or in a suburban classroom, runs directly counter to message of the Prince of Peace. As Council leaders said in their 1998 policy statement on Children and Gun Violence, “The spirit of Christ is sharply opposed to the spirit of violence and the instruments of violence.”
People of [...]
Continue reading Interfaith Call-In Day to Prevent Gun Violence Feb. 4
You probably already know that the General Assembly goes into session on Wednesday, January 30. They’ve already had a one-day organizational meeting. You probably also already know that this will be a difficult session for those of us who have worked for years (or even decades) for justice for all North Carolinians, especially the most vulnerable in our midst. Because of that, there are two important events I hope you’ll put on your calendars and plan [...]
Continue reading Important Upcoming Events for NC Social Justice Advocates
Register for the 2013 Conference on the Common Good set for Monday, February 18 at Wake Forest Divinity School. [...]
Continue reading 2013 Conference on the Common Good — February 18
When I found out that the current issue of Unbound focuses on “Hope for Eco-Activists: Discovering an Environmental Faith,” I joyfully, yet naively thought, “of course, another article on faith and the environment.”
I say “naively” because while I work day-in and day-out on the intersection of climate change and faith, sometimes I forget that the rest of the human population isn’t doing the same. That’s not to say that the world isn’t full of [...]
Continue reading Good News for All Creation