North Carolina Council of Churches Opposes the Passing of HB 951, “Energy Solutions for North Carolina”
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The Sylva Herald“Our congregation is committed to protecting the health of our members, and Strive to Revive helps us take this commitment to the next level,” said the Rev. Avery Brown, church pastor. “With more than 50-75 people attending our church each week, we have the potential to save lives and make a real difference in our community.”
Strive to Revive kicked off in Charlotte in 2010 by awarding 20 organizations with AEDs and CPR training. BCBSNC, the North Carolina Council of Churches, the American Red Cross and Carney are committed to expanding the program statewide by distributing AEDs and providing CPR training to places of worship across North Carolina with the goal of reaching all 100 counties.
NC Policy Watch
This week, House Speaker John Boehner stated flatly that there will not be any conference with the bipartisan Senate immigration reform bill. We’re hearing one excuse after another about how immigration reform is too complicated and there isn’t enough time for a vote. After months of dithering, it’s clear that House leaders are hoping to run out the clock on immigration. If it holds true that the House doesn’t vote on any other immigration bills, then an amendment to deport DREAM-eligible immigrants — which passed with overwhelming GOP support in June — will be the only immigration measure to have received a vote on the floor of the House in 2013.
The Jefferson PostHave you ever gone to bed hungry? Have you ever skipped a meal so that your children could eat? Have you ever waited in a long line to take home a bag of leftover groceries that was no longer fit for store shelves?
Did you know that 1 in 6 North Carolina households reported serious problems affording adequate nutritious food at some point last year, according to new data released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture today. Of the North Carolinians experiencing this food insecurity, some 5.5 percent experienced very low food security – meaning that one or more household members had to reduce their food intake at least some time during the year.
On Sunday August 25, about a hundred Durham residents and faith leaders from seven different traditions gathered at the People’s Plaza to pray for our elected officials. As people with different stories, different colors of skin, even different faiths, we were united in our hope that Rep. Butterfield, Rep. Coble, Rep. Price and their colleagues in the House will support a just and moral immigration reform that offers a pathway to citizenship, unifies families, supports workers, and moves us forward together.
SalonEvery week prayers and gospel songs infuse the air and participants offer blessings to the latest batch of 100 or so activists entering the Raleigh General Assembly building to commit civil disobedience. If you’re not from here, it may all seem a little counter-intuitive: A movement for inclusive and just secular governance that is deeply inflected with Christian ethics and arguments.
Raleigh News & ObserverThey plan to fan out across the state visiting community centers, school gyms, churches, libraries, waiting rooms and shopping centers. Their goal: Sign up as many North Carolina residents as possible for subsidized insurance under the nation’s health care law.
The News & ObserverThese 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.
The Fayetteville ObserverSam Thompson was looking for a sunny spot to plant tomatoes. He ended up leading an award-winning community revolution. Thompson, an elder at Laurinburg Presbyterian Church, pitched the idea of a community garden to the church six years ago. What began as a creative use for otherwise empty church property was recently awarded an equipment grant by the North Carolina Council of Churches and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina. “We’re using the grant funds to dig a well,” Thompson said. “Wouldn’t you know this would be the wettest June in years.”
Winston-Salem ChronicleThe Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (BCBSNC) Foundation has partnered with the North Carolina Council of Churches to provide grants to faith-based organizations to help them supply healthy eating alternatives to their members and underserved communities.
United Metropolitan Missionary Baptist Church (UMMBC) is one of 20 faith-based organizations that have received a $5,000 Healthy Eating Equipment Grant. The church will use the grant to purchase much needed equipment and supplies to support the 10 gardens that now comprise the S.G. Atkins Community Gardens at Winston-Salem State University.
Mt. Airy NewsPiney Grove Baptist Church’s food ministries recently got a boost from the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina Foundation (BCBSNC) in the form of a $5,000 healthy eating equipment grant. The effort is a partnership between BCBSNC and the North Carolina Council of Churches to provide equipment for 20 faith-based organizations to bring healthier food to their members and communities. More than $90,000 in equipment grants are being used to provide canning and cooking supplies, expand church community gardens and increase storage for fresh produce.
Sojo.netJesus 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.
Raleigh News & ObserverThere’s no shortage of solutions in search of problems these days in Raleigh. One classic example is the proposed pink licenses for young immigrants who are granted Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. The special licenses, approved by Gov. Pat McCrory, were neither requested by law enforcement nor designed to follow what other states have done.
By Eric Ginsburg, YES Weekly
Dozens of organizations and hundreds of people from throughout the area came together in Greensboro last week to talk about an issue central in everyone’s lives: food. The Come to the Table conference, held at UNCG, was designed to assemble people who are working on and concerned with food issues to learn, network and organize around food access and justice.
Public News Service – NCWeight loss is the most popular New Year’s resolution being made by North Carolinians and people around the country, according to new data from the University of Scranton. The goal of being healthier is even making its way into churches around the state, through a program sponsored by the North Carolina Council of Churches.
Baptist PeacemakerGoogle “care for creation” and you’ll find it’s a panreligious movement. If nothing else, this demonstrates that all major religions—Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, Catholic, Protestant, Evangelical and Baptist—all agree on at least one thing. Can I get an “amen” to that?
It’s good that this is the case. Reconciliation between a planet needing stewardship and inhabitants who often refuse to see that need will require everything from global to grassroots activity.
WFMY News 2HDRamsuer, NC – What if your chances of surviving a heart attack, or sudden cardiac arrest, depended on the neighborhood you lived in? According to a new study, it just may. The New England Journal of Medicine suggests CPR by a bystander is less likely in low-income areas. They go on to say there is a direct relationship between household income and the racial makeup of a neighborhood.
Winston-Salem ChronicleBlue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina, the North Carolina Council of Churches, the American Red Cross and State Rep. Becky Carney have selected Winston-Salem’s Mt. Zion Baptist Church as one of 150 places of worship across the state to participate in Strive to Revive.
UCC NewsParkway United Church of Christ is now ready to take action if someone in the building shows signs of a heart attack. Through the North Carolina Council of Churches’ Strive to Revive program, the Winston-Salem congregation qualified for a free automated external defibrillator (AED) and CPR training, and the Rev. Craig Schaub made sure his church took advantage of the opportunity.
Placing defibrillators in houses of worship — including eight in Winston-Salem — is part of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of N.C.’s strategy for extending the reach of health care into community gathering places.
The insurer and churches hope there will be a pay-it-forward element from the free CPR training that goes along with the automated external defibrillators.
“Most people don’t want to be in a helpless place when they see someone having a cardiac arrest,” said Bruce Hayes, associate pastor at Reynolda Church.
Durham-Herald SunDURHAM – Over the next three years, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina will fund 150 Automated External Defibrillators and training for places of worship across the state, with 33 already lined up. BCBSNC President and CEO J. Bradley Wilson made the announcement Tuesday at First Calvary Baptist Church in Durham along with Strive to Revive partners the American Red Cross, the North Carolina Council of Churches and N.C. Rep. Becky Carney (D-Mecklenburg).
WUNC 91.5 North Carolina Public RadioEric Hodge: Several state organizations are banding together give churches the tools to save lives. Gurnal Scott reports.
The News & ObserverDeath penalty opponents and advocates of the state’s Racial Justice Act have embarked on an intense petition drive, letter-writing and email campaign, targeting five Democrats in the state House of Representatives.
The goal is to persuade the representatives to sustain the governor’s Thursday veto of the legislature’s overhaul of the Racial Justice Act.
Sojourners | God’s PoliticsThe recent ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court should put to rest any notion of North Carolina trying to enact an Arizona- or Alabama-style immigration bill. While we remain concerned that the ruling could leave the door open for legalized racial profiling, the Court has made clear that immigration policy and enforcement should be left up to the federal government.
Goldsboro News-ArgusImmigration is not just a political issue — it is about life and death, an advocate who works with churches told Wayne County clergy Tuesday. Chris Liu-Beers, program associate with the North Carolina Council of Churches, met with 17 local religious leaders during a special breakfast designed to encourage conversations about the topic and how churches can play a role. One of those sharing his experiences with the immigrant community was the Rev. John Richardson, a regional minister with the Christian Church, Disciples of Christ. He equated the immigration issue to the story of the Good Samaritan in the Bible.
Durham Herald-SunThe 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.
BCBSNC FoundationMy 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.
Richmond County Daily JournalThe Pee Dee Baptist Educational Congress, an auxiliary to the Pee Dee Baptist Educational Association, will conduct the Annual Christian Educational Institute from March 19 to 23, 2012, at the Pee Dee Educational Building in Dobbin Heights.
There will be classes for church officers and each department in the church.
Durham Herald-SunPilgrim United Church of Christ will host a community series this month on “Faith and the Marriage Amendment,” about the proposed North Carolina Amendment 1. If the ballot measure passes May 8, the only valid domestic union recognized by the state will be marriage of a man and a woman.
Read more: The Herald-Sun – Pilgrim UCC hosting series on Amendment 1
The Washington PostWILMINGTON, N.C. — As the only Southern state without a constitutional amendment barring same-sex marriage, North Carolina is the next battleground, with religious groups on both sides bracing for a high-stakes fight on May 8.
Against a recent string of gay-marriage victories in California, Washington state and Maryland, North Carolinians will be asked to vote on a constitutional amendment on May 8, the same day as the state Republican primary.
Same-sex marriage has been illegal in the Tar Heel State since 1996; Minnesota also has a marriage amendment planned for a vote in November.
Charlotte ObserverEven in February, there’s a lot happening in the community garden at Central United Methodist church in east Charlotte.
A few of the 24 plots still have winter vegetables to harvest. Gardeners are building pea trellises and clearing the ground to start planting early crops.
Langston Denny, a prayer leader at the church, is building a new compost bin. He’s arranged for a local restaurant to give him its lettuce, coffee grounds and eggshells that would otherwise go to waste.
Central United is part of a growing movement among faith groups – in Charlotte and around the nation – that embrace environmental conservation as a way to care for God’s creation and for neighbors in need.
Raleigh News & ObserverWe 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.
IndyWeek.ComGovernor Bev Perdue kicked off the 2012 budget debate today — and (unofficially) kicked off her 2012 re-electon campaign — with a call for increased school funding. Specifically, she wants 3/4ths of that temporary 1-cent sales tax for education back temporarily.
Raleigh News & ObserverA gathering on a hillside outside a church in West Raleigh late Sunday marked the one-year anniversary since a shooting in Tucson, Ariz., left a federal judge and five other people dead and 13 injured, including U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.
Organizers used the occasion to highlight a shifting focus in what has been a decades-long effort to promote legislation aimed at limiting people’s access to guns.
Instead, there is a growing focus on using churches and other faith-based efforts to promote a change in how the American culture views guns, they said. It’s also an acknowledgement that work in legislatures across the country have been met with resistance to many anti-gun measures.
Raleigh News & ObserverAs we enter this holiday season of feasting, we need to be honest about how our food is produced. America has always relied on cheap labor to make agriculture work. The source of much of that labor used to be slave ships making the Middle Passage. Today it’s no longer slaves but immigrant workers, primarily undocumented people from Mexico and Latin America, whose cheap labor makes possible both low prices at the grocery store and high profits for agribusinesses.
Thanks to all of those who supported Abraham Jam and the wonderful performers who made it happen. We hope to have links to additional video from the concert soon, but for now, here’s a sneak peek provided by the Duke Chronicle.You can also listen to Frank Stasio’s interview with musicians David LaMotte, Dan Nichols, and Dawud Wharnsby from the Nov. 16 edition of WUNC’s The State of Things.
BladenJournal.comJoy Williams of Partners in Health and Wholeness, a Christian-based organization, will collaborate with churches and the parish nurse on Monday, Nov. 28, at 5:30 p.m. in the fellowship hall of Elizabethtown Presbyterian Church at 800 W. Broad St. (across from the Municipal Building), to make local churches healthier for the glory of God.
The Sanford HeraldGiang said N.C. MedAssist representatives wanted to travel to each county to meet with eligible residents and explain the enrollment process. The organization contacted the North Carolina Council of Churches and expressed interest in partnering with faith-based organizations willing to host one-day enrollment programs. The Rev. Mechelle Myers of Sanford’s New Endland AME Zion Church received an e-mail from the Council about the initiative and was the first person to respond.
Raleigh News & ObserverThe N.C. Council of Churches has been working for decades to improve conditions for farm workers in our state. Sadly, too much remains unchanged over that time. Field and poultry workers do backbreaking work, but they don’t have the same protections on the job that everyone else has. Now with the recent filing of a complaint against the N.C. Department of Labor, it appears that even the few laws on the books designed to protect farm workers have been systematically ignored (“Dirty jobs,” Oct. 15 editorial).
NC Policy WatchIt’s no wonder why our political leaders are scrambling to find solutions, even while bumping heads in the process. Both sides want what’s best for America, but the process through which we work to achieve that has become increasingly contentious and politically charged. And I can’t help but believe that our own personal experiences and beliefs, not the persuasive views of political pundits, ultimately determine on which side of an issue we fall and what we deem worth fighting for.
Let me share a story.
NC Policy WatchI can certainly understand that the nation is clearly frustrated with Congress’ dysfunction, partisan gridlock, and seeming inability to deal rationally with the many major policy issues facing our communities. I am too. And immigration reform is now seen as one of the most challenging political battlegrounds, thanks in large part to partisan wrangling. Now a handful of conservative legislators are using fear and misinformation to position immigration as a political wedge issue, cashing in on Washington’s inaction and the down economy to pursue a fierce anti-immigrant agenda
As the “Super Committee” begins to negotiate a deal to cut $1.5 trillion from our national budget, the faith community wants to be sure that our North Carolina congressional delegation – Sens. Richard Burr and Kay Hagan as well as our 13 representatives – remember the calling of the God of all creation to provide for the common good. As the Rev. Dr. James Forbes, a native North Carolinian and senior pastor emeritus of New York’s Riverside Church reminds us, budgets are moral documents that determine who eats and who starves.
Jimmy Creech spent his career as an ordained United Methodist pastor until the church took his credentials away as punishment for conducting same sex commitment ceremonies in Omaha and Chapel Hill.
He was not convicted at a trial in Nebraska in 1998, but he lost his church assignment and the stage was set for a second trial in 1999 after he officiated a ceremony at United Church of Chapel Hill. Since then he has been a leader of LGBT justice issues, retired to Raleigh and travels the country speaking. He also has written an account of the upheaval, “Adam’s Gift: A Memoir of a Pastor’s Calling to Defy the Church’s Persecution of Lesbians and Gays.” He’ll speak about it Saturday at the Durham County Library Main Branch downtown.
DURHAM, N.C. — It’s summer. It’s hot. It’s the South.
That must mean it’s time for an old-fashioned camp meeting.
Starting Thursday, the bygone staple of the tent revival will be reincarnated on a bucolic North Carolina farm as The Wild Goose Festival. Nearly 10 years in the making, the festival is an attempt to reimagine Christianity for the 21st century under a bigger, wider more inclusive tent.
Qué Pasa Media NetworkWinston-Salem – Las detenciones y deportaciones arbitrarias y el tráfico de personas, fueron los principales temas tratados durante un taller de trabajo sobre inmigración, que tuvo lugar en Saint Paul Episcopal Church de esta ciudad, bajo el auspicio del Consejo de Iglesias de Carolina del Norte.
NC Policy WatchIn a hyper-partisan era characterized by failures of leadership across the board, perhaps no single issue illustrates government gridlock better than immigration. Everyone knows that our current immigration system is broken. Year after year, proposals to help fix the system have been introduced in Washington, only to die without ever taking effect. Understandably, many states feel they have been left no choice but to take action themselves.
Eastern Wake NewsPoverty afflicts thousands in eastern Wake County – not just those without a job or some other source of income, but even those so-called working poor who live from paycheck to paycheck hoping to avoid a single disaster that could turn their worlds upside down.
The News & ObserverAll the conflict raging about the Wake schools for the past year and a half came spilling out Wednesday night when a panel of federal civil rights investigators heard testimony – often heated – in an East Raleigh church.
The hearing concerned a complaint against Wake Public Schools, filed with the federal education department by the state NAACP. An estimated 200 people nearly filled the fellowship hall at Martin Street Baptist Church, with speakers making emphatic points on both sides of the issues.
Washington Daily News
The Rev. Charles Smith, a longtime member of the North Carolina Council of Churches, received its 2011 Distinguished Service Award earlier this month at Duke University.
George Reed, the council’s executive director, said the honor recognizes Smith’s commitment to the council’s twin goals of social justice and ecumenism. The council represents 18 Christian denominations.
The News & ObserverOn Wednesday, we celebrate the one-year anniversary of passing the Affordable Health Care Act. While this legislation is not perfect, it is a crucial step toward improving our current health care system. The N.C. Council of Churches and most mainline denominations have long advocated universal health coverage, where each person receives health, wholeness and human dignity.
ENCToday.comLenoir County is the first county in the state to receive grant awards through the “Spark Plug” program, an initiative of the Blue Cross/Blue Shield of North Carolina Foundation to promote healthy activity and nutrition.
Ten organizations and government entities in Pink Hill, Grifton and Kinston each received a $3,000 award for projects that inspired physical activity or greater nutrition in the community.
“If every county has spark plugs in it like Lenoir County does, this is going to be a huge success,” Danielle Breslin, vice president of operations for the BCBSNC Foundation, said of the program.
Salisbury PostProspect Presbyterian Church, 9425 W. NC Hwy 152 in Mooresville, has achieved the North Carolina Council of Churches’ first Gold Certification for the congregation’s commitment to better health.
The Rev. Joanne Hull serves as Prospect’s pastor with Sybil Perrell, RN, as the parish nurse for this rural church in the edge of Western Rowan County.
Some community gardens give each person a small plot of land that is theirs to cultivate for a fee.
But at the Community Garden of Promise, they weed together, plant together, mulch together and harvest together.
“This garden means fellowship to me, and the camaraderie we have with each other,” said Caroline Martin of Kernersville. “I love working in the dirt; it gets me closer to God. It’s one of the places I can meditate and relax. And I enjoy the fact that we help other people.”
As the legislature returns to Raleigh, all eyes will be on the budget with its projected shortfall of over $3 billion. But observers expect a slew of bills on other issues as well, including one that always attracts controversy: immigration. No doubt it will be tempting for some lawmakers to try to implement Arizona’s “papers, please” immigration law here in North Carolina. But as we have already learned from Arizona, this approach is shortsighted and misguided.
Durham Herald-SunOn Sunday morning, the importance of caring for God’s creation will be preached from the pulpits of hundreds of churches. The common topic thread is part of Interfaith Power & Light’s National Global Warming Preach-In this weekend.
At Pilgrim United Church of Christ in Durham, the Rev. Ginger Brasher-Cunningham will urge her congregation to be mindful about how they walk on the earth and to respect creation and that God has given them this beauty.
Last year, 50 congregations in North Carolina were among the 400 preach-in participants. North Carolina Interfaith Power & Light, which is based in Raleigh, is a program of the N.C. Council of Churches.
Letters to the Editor, Raleigh News & ObserverI have the pleasure of serving on the board of the N.C. Council of Churches. I agreed to serve on the board because the council reflects many of my life’s values. The council’s website states: “The Council enables denominations, congregations and people of faith to individually and collectively impact our state on issues such as economic justice and development, human well-being, equality, compassion and peace, following the example and mission of Jesus Christ.”
I hope you had a chance to see NC People this past weekend. I was honored to be invited to be one of Bill Friday’s “people.” It actually started as part of the Council’s 75th anniversary last year, though it didn’t make it to the airwaves (an outdated term, if ever there were one) until now. Bill Friday celebrated his 90th birthday last summer. Even if you are new to the state, the hoopla surrounding his birthday would have made you aware that he is one of the state’s giants. I don’t know that there’s anybody alive today who is more respected or beloved or who has had more impact on the state for a longer period of time.
NC Council of Churches Executive Director George Reed appeared as Bill Friday’s guest on UNC-TV’s NC People on Friday, January 7. The program also aired Sunday, January 9. George spoke with Mr. Friday about the Council’s past as well as its future, discussing the Council’s work for social justice and the role faith communities and people of faith can play.
Stan Kimer, newly elected Council president, was interviewed on WUNC’s The State of Things on January 6. In his conversation with host Frank Stasio, Stan spoke about the Council and its work, including priorities for the upcoming legislative session. Listen to the interview by clicking here.
NC Policy WatchIn 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.
Raleigh News & ObserverThank you for bringing awareness to the issue of clergy mental health in your Nov. 11 article, “Depression is an Occupational Hazard for Clergy.” Too often, we expect ministers of the gospel to have all of the answers and to be available 24/7 to listen to and meet the needs of God’s people. We fail to realize, however, that they are only human – like many of us, they have families, mortgages to pay and concerns about the future, and some clergy even take on additional jobs to help make ends meet.
The American IndependentNorth Carolina faith leaders today called on Congress to pass the DREAM Act to provide opportunities for education and citizenship to undocumented immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children. The faith leaders’ statement issued through the NC Council of Churches is part of a national push led by President Obama to get the bill through during the lame-duck session. The current Democratic majority in both chambers might muster the votes for its passage. Republicans, who will take control of the House in January, generally oppose the bill.
Raleigh News & ObserverOn Christ the King Sunday, when many Roman Catholic and Protestant churches celebrate their allegiance to God rather than country, some Triangle congregations talked about a subject rarely mentioned these days: war. They discussed the rising suicide rate among U.S. Army veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Raleigh News & ObserverThe issue of overweight and obesity is not new – earlier this year, it was reported that NC is the 10th most obese state in the nation for adults and the 11th most overweight and obese state for children… Through Partners in Health and Wholeness, an initiative of the NC Council of Churches, congregations in NC are taking steps to improve the health of children by offering healthier snacks at youth events and encouraging physical activity. As people of faith, we acknowledge that our bodies are God’s temple and that we must love ourselves as we love and care for others.
Chapel Hill NewsChurch of Reconciliation, 110 N. Elliott Road, has been certified as an “Earth Care Congregation” by the Presbyterian Church USA’s Environmental Ministries. To become an Earth Care Congregation, the church affirmed the Earth Care pledge to integrate environmental practices and thinking into all facets of its church life, and completed projects and activities in the fields of worship, education, facilities and outreach.
Raleigh News & ObserverA coalition of North Carolina faith and justice groups marked the passage of nine years in the U.S. war in Afghanistan on Thursday with a call for peace and a vigil for dead servicemen and Afghans. N.C. Peace Action, along with the Muslim American Society and N.C. Council of Churches, held the vigil at Community United Church of Christ in Raleigh, and also rallied to redirect the money spent on war toward domestic initiatives. “We must rethink the war in Afghanistan,” said David LaMotte, program associate for the N.C. Council of Churches, which represents more than 6,200 Christian congregations from 17 denominations throughout the state.
“Brother Towns/Pueblos Hermanos” tells the story of two towns, Jacaltenango, Guatemala, and Jupiter, Fla., that are linked by immigration, family and work. It traces the path of people who travel thousands of miles from home in the hopes of making a living and being able to send money back to their families. While conducting graduate field research in Jacaltenango, Thompson realized that violence and economics had driven thousands of men and women from the Guatemalan town to Florida. His film captures that as well as the voices of people opposed to undocumented immigrants and those who are advocates for helping migrants, regardless of their documentation status.
The American IndependentThe NC Council of Churches on Thursday strongly endorsed the right of Muslims to build a community center near the site of the 9/11 terror attacks in New York City. “We stand with our Muslim brothers and sisters in affirming their right to build on a site two-and-a-half blocks from Ground Zero,” the council said in statement unanimously adopted by its governing board at its meeting this week in Greensboro. The statement comes as controversy flares around a TV ad being aired by North Carolina Republican congressional candidate Renee Ellmers.
Qué Pasa Media NetworkAlthough public opinion concerning immigration reform remains divided across the country, the NC Council of Churches is working to create a more welcoming environment and to inform the public about the situation facing millions of people without papers.
Beginning in October, the Council will start screening the new film Brother Towns, a documentary by filmmaker Charles Thompson. The film describes the journey taken by Mayan populations from Jacaltenango, Guatemala to the city of Jupiter, Florida where these immigrants have brought their culture and settled over the years.
Qué Pasa Media NetworkRaleigh – Aunque el tema de la reforma migratoria mantiene dividido a la opinión pública del país, el Concilio de Iglesias de Carolina del Norte sigue trabajando para crear un efecto positivo entre los residentes del estado y sensibilizarlos sobre la situación que atraviesan millones de personas sin papeles.
A partir de octubre se proyectará “Pueblos Hermanos”, un documental del cineasta Charles Thompson, que se enfoca en describir la travesía desarrollada por pobladores mayas de Jacaltenango, Guatemala, hacia la ciudad de Júpiter, en el estado de la Florida, donde estos inmigrantes se han ido asentado con el paso de los años y trasladado parte de su cultura.
NC Policy WatchThree 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?
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.
News 14 CarolinaOutside a closed door meeting with fellow clergy and attorneys at Pullen Memorial Baptist Church in Raleigh, N.C. NAACP President Rev. Dr. William Barber, a representative from the North Carolina Council of Churches and fellow Wake school board protest arrestees talked future tactics on how they plan to take on the changing policies of the board.
Independent WeeklyLeaders in the pro-diversity movement who are battling the Wake school board majority to stop resegregation of the county’s school system, have called a prayer meeting for Monday, August 30 at 7 p.m. in Pullen Memorial Baptist Church.
Qué Pasa Media NetworkThe Methodists appear to be one step ahead of other religious congregations in North Carolina when it comes to the work of promoting immigration reform. One of the denomination’s main statewide leaders, Bishop Al Gwinn, was one of the keynote speakers at a breakfast this past Thursday organized by the North Carolina Council of Churches in Raleigh.
Qué Pasa Media NetworkSu principal líder a nivel estatal, el obispo Al Gwinn, fue uno de los principales oradores en el desayuno que organizó el Concilio de Iglesias de Carolina del Norte en Raleigh, el pasado jueves. El clérigo destacó las iniciativas y esfuerzos que realizan distintas agrupaciones de su denominación religiosa, pero aclaró que todavía falta seguir educando a más metodistas estadounidenses sobre un tema tan controversial.
Greensboro News & RecordAccording to Trust for America’s Health, as reported in the News & Record on June 29, North Carolina is now the 10th-heaviest state, after ranking No. 12 just one year ago. This signifies a reduced quality of life for more North Carolinians, as research shows that persons who are overweight or obese are at increased risk for heart disease and stroke, Type 2 diabetes and certain cancers. It also means additional financial costs for our state.
Asheville Citizen-TimesThe title on David Lamotte’s business card sounds a little audacious: “peace associate.” But that’s Lamotte’s job with the North Carolina Council of Churches, and he’s serious about the work. Lamotte just spent two years living abroad and studying rigorously to earn a master’s degree in international relations and peace and conflict resolution. Now the former singer-songwriter who was once a fixture on the local music scene is ready to apply what he’s learned.
Raleigh News & ObserverThe Rev. William Barber, president of the state NAACP, has organized a wide range of church groups that have historically been involved in civil rights and social justice issues to oppose the move to neighborhood schools in Wake County. Using language heavy with religious overtones and accompanied by a comparison between ending the diversity policy and the old Jim Crow segregation laws, speakers at a news conference Tuesday at the state Capitol argued that they had the moral high ground in the fight.
Raleigh News & ObserverWhen hurricanes or earthquakes hit, religious congregations know how to respond with acts of good will and charity. But what about an oil spill?
Many Triangle congregations are finding their voice.
Tonight two churches will hold vigils to pray and reflect on the BP oil rig disaster. On Sunday, the two-month anniversary of the oil spill, many Christians will attempt a daylong fast from oil in whatever way they find appropriate.
Charlotte ObserverState clergy will meet in Charlotte tomorrow to discuss the theological and practical sides of the immigration debate. Seeking to encourage constructive dialogue, clergy members are expected to discuss the controversial Arizona immigration law and how they relate with local enforcement efforts such as Mecklenburg County’s 287g program.
Raleigh News & ObserverWhat would an oil spill mean on our coast? We wouldn’t be walking on the beach or eating local fish. We’d be cleaning oil off the pelicans. Fisherfolk would not be out in their boats. No families would be rolling their provisions to the beach. We wouldn’t be marveling at the beauty of the ocean. The sea air would not be something we’d want to breathe. The rental housing market would be nonexistent.
NC Policy Watch
In the 21st Century, we must no longer view Church as a semiweekly activity that occurs within the confines of a physical structure with four walls and a pulpit. Instead, we must take our message of hope, justice, unity and peace to the wider community, and, yes, even Capitol Hill! I believe that real change happens when various groups – public and private, secular and religious, progressive and conservative, privileged and disadvantaged, old and young, black and white – work together to achieve a common goal.
Raleigh News & ObserverBy the time H. Shelton Smith was hired to teach at Duke University in 1931, the movement to unite Christians of different denominations was under way in New York and other places.
But four years later when Smith founded the N.C. Council of Churches, the idea that Christians of various stripes could work together, especially in overcoming racial segregation, was still largely unheard of in the South.
Today, the N.C. Council of Churches is marking 75 years of activism on a broad range of issues, including racial equality, women’s empowerment, children’s health care, prison reform, farmworker rights and environmental conservation.
Greensboro News & RecordThe church is hosting a statewide clergy breakfast on immigration Thursday, the latest in a series of meetings sponsored by the N.C. Council of Churches.
The issue is a complicated one, Beverly says, but like a lot of people of faith, she is calling on elected leaders to work on an immigration process that unifies families, protects workers’ rights, and provides a clear pathway to citizenship.
The interfaith breakfast discussion, “From Hostility to Hospitality: Immigration and People of Faith,” examines both the theological and practical sides of the debate.
Raleigh News & ObserverAs you reported recently, Raleigh Police Chief Harry Dolan opposes the new Arizona law targeting immigrants because it undermines public safety. The N.C. Council of Churches agrees with Dolan and other law enforcement agencies that such draconian measures are both impractical and immoral.
This law allows any person to be stopped by police if there is reasonable suspicion of being undocumented. Encouraging these fearful sentiments is wrong. It sends us backward as a nation in a time when we need real solutions to move us forward.
Eastern Wake NewsRALEIGH – As people of faith, we are greatly disturbed by reports of local law enforcement targeting Spanish-language church services in their misguided hunt for undocumented immigrants in Zebulon. All people – regardless of their immigration status – have the right to worship free from harassment and unconstitutional checkpoints. Just because someone doesn’t have the right papers for the U.S. government does not make him or her any less a child of God. It’s shameful that a country so proud of its religious freedom would unfairly target church-going members of the community.
Greensboro News & RecordFor 75 years the N.C. Council of Churches has offered a faith voice for progressive social justice and Christian unity in North Carolina. Founded by a group of white church leaders who were opposed to segregation and wanted to speak with a unified voice on issues, the council has continued its work for racial justice, but has expanded to include other areas at the forefront of social advocacy.
Raleigh News & ObserverThe N.C. Council of Churches is among the sponsors of the conference, which will begin with an interfaith meditation led by Rabbi Raachel Jurovics of Raleigh and will include the participation ofAbdullah Antepli, the Muslim chaplain at Duke.
“The idea that we would deface the divine figure is repugnant in all our traditions,” said Jurovics. Judaism, Christianity and Islam consider human beings to be made in God’s image.
Raleigh News & ObserverAs followers of Jesus Christ, a healer known as the Great Physician, as believers in a God who loves and cares for all of his children equally, we at the N.C. Council of Churches are profoundly grateful for passage of health care reform legislation by the U.S. House of Representatives.
Durham Herald-SunOpinion: Many of the noisy detractors who rail against universal access to affordable health care are the same folks who loudly proclaim a pious faith and claim ethical superiority on other issues. Maybe they should listen to other religious voices on faith and ethics, voices of those who spend their lives studying the scriptures and serving people seriously impacted by our current health-care system.
Wilmington Star-NewsThe Faith and Health Summit is March 23 in Raleigh to bring health care providers and faith leaders together to work toward health care reform or just to understand each other a little better.
You know, that whole conflict between religion and science? This summit also addresses those big questions in an effort to make North Carolina congregations healthier.
Governor Beverly Perdue is the main speaker at the Summit’s luncheon, and the Rev. Dr. Gary Gunderson of Methodist Healthcare in Memphis, TN will give the keynote address. Churches can check out a series of workshops on mental health, church-sponsored community gardens, health disparities, faith-based emergency preparedness and congregational health.
NC Policy WatchSo, what would comprehensive immigration reform mean for us? Imagine having a system that reflected both the realities of a global economy and our best values. Families would be stronger, enforcement would be more effective, workers would be better paid and protected, and American workers would not face discrimination from unscrupulous employers.
Wilmington Star-NewsLast week, the council sent an email to all the churches on its New Han over County database titled “Opposing re-segregation in the schools,” that encouraged church leaders to sign petitions being circulated against middle school redistricting. The organization isn’t formally planning an event in the area, said executive director George Reed. The Council is a Raleigh-based group that organizes churches in the state around social justice issues.
Raleigh News & ObserverMany politicians are saying that they want to address the root causes of our immigration situation, but they go on to talk only about increased enforcement. Of course, we are a nation of laws and the rule of law should be upheld. But experience and common sense show us that merely building a bigger wall won’t work because enforcement alone does not deal with the root causes.
Learn what’s at stake for North Carolinians and how our courts impact our daily lives on 5/25 with @NCVCE Director, Melissa Price Kromm. The U.S. courts play such an important role in our lives no matter what the issue. #2022CriticalIssues bit.ly/3KZgi7z pic.twitter.com/1z1v…
Since redistricting affects who is elected to governmental bodies, the decisions about boundaries also affect policies these bodies enact. Anyone who cares about the way laws affect communities should care about this. Learn more #2022CriticalIssues bit.ly/3KZgi7z @scsj pic.twitter.com/sls7…
Through the assistance of @CarterCenter, Jennifer Roberts & Bob Orr are assembling a cross-partisan network of respected North Carolinians advocating for adherence to democratic & civic values in NC elections. Learn more & register: bit.ly/3KZgi7z #2022CriticalIssues pic.twitter.com/dCTl…
RT @healthactionnc Help us keep Medicaid expansion in the spotlight by joining our letter to the editor campaign. Never written an LTE before? No problem, register for our Action Hour and get all the tools you will need! bit.ly/MedExActionHo… twitter.com/healthac…
Our Democracy is being threatened more than ever and together we can learn the facts, educate ourselves, and preserve our democracy and protect it from those who would cause it harm. Join us for #2022CriticalIssues every day starting May 23 until May 27. bit.ly/3KZgi7z pic.twitter.com/NKKl…
RT @FaithCompassWFU Consider becoming an HIV & Faith Ambassador! To learn more, plan to join us for a virtual information session on 05/18 at 2 PM, 06/30 at 2 PM, or on 07/20 at 11 AM, all EST. Register now: bit.ly/FaithAmbInfo #faithandHIV #faithcompassWFU #transformthestory pic.twitter.com/oZo7…
Join us now Attorney General Josh Stein for a virtual conversation, “A Faith-Based harm Reduction Approach to the Opioid Crisis.” youtube.com/watch?v=…
RT @NCAGO Join Attorney General @JoshStein_ today at 1 p.m. for a discussion on a faith-based harm reduction approach to the opioid crisis with representatives of Olive Branch Ministries. Register here: us06web.zoom.us/webi… pic.twitter.com/XB05…
RT @mocleanair Read our editorial in @GeorgiaRecorder. georgiarecorder.com/… @EnergyFdn @GCVoters @cleanenergyorg @GeorgiaIPL @gasierraclub @CleanAirMoms_GA @PSEquityMatters @SouthfaceInst @GAChapterAAP @CEHN @docsforclimate @enviRN @schoolnurses @uwomenfaith @eldersclimate @NCIPL @AlabamaPJC
RT @mocleanair Comments due in 3 days - if you haven't submitted one yet, do it today! For tips, read our blog about the different kinds of air pollution heavy duty vehicles make. #HealthyAirIsHealthCare #CleanAir @CEHN @TheOxygenProj @eldersclimate @uwomenfaith @GeorgiaIPL @AlabamaPJC @NCIPL twitter.com/mocleana…
RT @WECAN_INTL 📢Today, Indigenous women leaders & 200+ groups sent a letter calling on @USACEHQ to deny the permits for Line 5, conduct a federal EIS & respect Indigenous rights! To protect communities, water & our climate we must #StopLine5. Learn more👉bit.ly/3MBazW4 pic.twitter.com/FqeQ…
RT @interfaithpower North Carolina congregations with @NCIPL are taking advantage of their utility's solar panel rebate program to save on their lighting and space heating and cooling costs. #Faiths4Climate #EarthWeek twitter.com/PNS_NC/s…
RT @scennetwork1 This past weekend, Alexander Easdale, our Executive Director, attended the Fight for Our Future rally in Washington D.C. to advocate for climate action! Read more about this event here and see if you can spot our SCEN T-shirts in one of the pictures: nytimes.com/2022/04/… pic.twitter.com/5voq…