The Council Welcomes Your Support

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The North Carolina Council of Churches could not do its work without the support of faithful individuals who share in our commitment to prophetic vision of social justice. With our fall appeal underway, Executive Director George Reed’s message to Council friends is excerpted below. His entire letter can be found here. As George explains, donations from individuals have never been more important to the Council. We welcome your contribution, either online or by mail to NCCC, 27 Horne St., Raleigh, NC, 27607. There is good happening at and around the…

Crossroads for Food Aid

Photo from the Office of Governor Patrick

Does hunger cause people to work harder, or to make better decisions as to how to spend what little money they may have? OK, let’s say the pangs of an empty stomach – or the thought of one’s children enduring those pangs – might engender focus on doing what one needs to do. “Les Miserables” comes to mind. Just as likely, however, is that hunger causes a loss of concentration and that sense of purpose often accompanying successful completion of a task. As a motivational tool, hunger leaves a lot to…

Advent Worship Resources on Responsible Leadership

Painting by Michael Splho

Date: Advent 2 – Dec. 8, 2013
Topic: Responsible Leadership
Focus Text: Psalm 72:1-7, 18-19
If we are willing to read Psalm 72 with the early church as pointing to Christ and his kingship, we may see in the ministry of Jesus concrete steps which the church can take in serving the poor and needy among us in our local communities. In Jesus’ ministry and teaching, we come to glimpse a picture of the Kingdom of God with its eternal justice for the poor.

Saints of the Council

Evelyn and Paz

My morning devotional was about All Saints’ Day, a time for remembering those who have come before us. There is no doubt that Christians have a great inheritance from those who have worked tirelessly on important social justice issues, have given themselves to enriching the world, and who led faithful lives filled with faithful service. The North Carolina Council of Churches has many saints that have come before us. If you read the Council’s history you will find the names of many faithful men and women who took a stand…

Shutdown Scenario: The Hunger Brink

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The political stakes and motives are plain to see. President Obama and his Democratic allies on Capitol Hill are locked in a desperate struggle with the Republicans who control the U.S. House. Neither side wants to be painted as villains in the sorry saga of the partial federal government shutdown, or even worse, in any default on U.S. government debt. Each wants to take credit for whatever solution to the impasse finally emerges. At the same time, while hoping to spin the situation to their political advantage – or to…

Holy Discontentment: Lifting Your Voice and Letting Your Little Light Shine

U.S. Capitol Building

“Is not this the fast that I choose: to loose the bonds of injustice, to undo the thongs of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke? Is it not to share your bread with the hungry, and bring the homeless poor into your house; when you see the naked, to cover them, and not to hide yourself from your own kin? Then your light shall break forth like the dawn…” Isaiah 58:6-8a (NRSV) Prophets in the Hebrew Bible share an overwhelming proclamation: discontentment with…

Conversations Today or Crisis Tomorrow

Peletah Ministries

I spent August 2011 through August 2012 working as a chaplain resident at Wake Forest Baptist Health in Winston-Salem. During my residency I took care of the everyday pastoral care needs of my clinical units, and responded to crisis and bereavement calls. Among many other tasks and responsibilities of this educational program, I facilitated conversations about Advance Directives with patients and their loved ones. I also helped them complete the documents, down to calling the notary and finding witnesses — two for each document, and they could not be related to the…

Federal Spending: Are You Concerned, Confused or Both?

U.S. Capitol Building

Congress is back in session.  Are you concerned about how your federal tax dollars are being spent, are you confused or both? President Obama notes that the average CEO has gotten a 40% raise since 2009, but the average American earns less than he or she did in 1999. Does this matter to you? Would you like to be an advocate for our country’s most needy people?  Some clarifying information about what is going on in Washington is available from the Coalition on Human Needs. Sequestration cuts are still in place…

Resisting Oppression – Advent 3

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Sign up below to receive free worship resources in your inbox (1-2 per month): Focus Text: James 5:7-10 Be patient, therefore, beloved, until the coming of the Lord. The farmer waits for the precious crop from the earth, being patient with it until it receives the early and the late rains. You also must be patient. Strengthen your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is near. Beloved, do not grumble against one another, so that you may not be judged. See, the Judge is standing at the doors! As an…

Interreligious Prayer Service Saturday

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Bishop Michael F. Burbidge of the Catholic Diocese of Raleigh is inviting people of faith to an Interreligious Prayer Service for Peace in the Middle East.  It takes place Saturday, September 7, at 11 a.m. at the Catholic Community of St. Francis of Assisi, 11401 Leesville Road, Raleigh. For additional information, e-mail Brother William J. Martyn, SA, Diocesan Ecumenical Officer. Clergy are requested to wear their appropriate robes and to send an e-mail if they are attending. –George Reed, Executive Director

Passing of Bishop Gossman

Bishop Gossman

Bishop Joseph Gossman, who died yesterday, was a great friend of the North Carolina Council of Churches. He led the Diocese of Raleigh into full membership in the Council in 1977, when Catholic membership in ecumenical organizations was very unusual. He supported our work for social justice as he believed strongly in Jesus’ call to minister to the least of these AND in the importance of creating systems which lifted people out of poverty and vulnerability. And he believed in doing it ecumenically, with his brothers and sisters in Christ….

Lessons in Liberty: A Guide to Religion and Constitutional Law in NC Schools

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Click here to download now. The American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina, in partnership with the North Carolina Council of Churches, Action for Children-NC, The Covenant with North Carolina’s Children, NAACP-NC, the North Carolina Justice Center, and Southern Coalition for Social Justice, has created a new resource focused on the intersection of religion and North Carolina public schools. This free booklet is sponsored by the above organizations and intended for North Carolina public school officials and others who wish to learn about existing constitutional law related to various issues concerning religion and government in…

Lessons in Liberty: A Guide to Religion and Constitutional Law for NC Government

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Click here to download now. The American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina, in partnership with the North Carolina Council of Churches, NAACP-NC, and Southern Coalition for Social Justice, has created a new resource focused on the intersection of religion and constitutional law. This free booklet is sponsored by the above organizations and intended for government officials in North Carolina and others who wish to learn about existing constitutional law related to various issues concerning religion and government throughout the state. Table Of Contents Religious Speech By Private Individuals Street Preaching Religious…

How NC Tax-reform Plans Could Fray Safety Nets

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The News & Observer

These are difficult times. We pray that our lawmakers and governor will demonstrate compassion for our fellow North Carolinians who need food, clothing, health care and shelter and for the many charitable nonprofit organizations that provide this support.

Why I Went to Jail for Justice on June 24, 2013

Susan Cummings and Sandy Irving (right), at Moral Monday, June 24

NCCC Volunteer Program Associate Sandy Irving was arrested at the June 24 Moral Monday. Thirty-five years ago today, I became a mother—and in these last 35 years, I’ve spent a lot of time with children—as a mother, a grandmother, an aunt, and as a friend and neighbor. Currently, I’m a Sunday School teacher of young children, and the lesson we try to emphasize with our Sunday School children is to “love your neighbor as you love yourself” …”Do unto others as you’d have them do to you.” This lesson is…

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2014 Critical Issues Seminar on Public Education Register Here