Last year when we sent out our fall appeal requesting financial support for the work of the North Carolina Council of Churches we were only days past the presidential election and could only hypothesize about what lay ahead. In that letter I predicted “constrictions on health care coverage and access to affordable health care, increased discrimination against LGBTQ citizens, restrictions on reproductive rights, antagonism towards immigrants, and on-going wage depreciation that will most severely impact the working poor.” Too bad, I can’t pick lottery numbers with the same level of accuracy, but then since the Council is on record opposing the lottery, I wouldn’t be picking lottery numbers anyway!
To the point, nearly all our predictions for this past year have come true, along with a few more we didn’t anticipate. Still, as promised, through it all we have maintained a consistent call for justice with tangible reminders of the truth for which we stand and the faith that informs it.
- In the face of what turned out to be the first overt white supremacist gathering last December, we gathered nearly a thousand faith leaders across North Carolina to sign a full page ad in The News and Observation reiterating our intention to meet fear with love.
- Responding to increasing hostility toward immigrants from local, state, and national leaders, we paid to erect a billboard on I-40 West affirming the scriptural mandate: “Welcome the immigrants… (Leviticus 19:34).
- We presented our Faith Active in Public Life award jointly to David and Lisa Price, David for his stalwart stand for “justice for all” in the U.S. House of Representatives and Lisa for her work as the founder and director emerita of NC Against Gun Violence.
- As pressure mounted against immigrants, we hosted Sanctuary Training events to empower local churches to provide shelter for those at risk for deportation.
- After a protest and counter-protest swelled in the days following the felling of a confederate monument in Durham, we organized a training event for all those who want to provide a nonviolent presence in places of strife. We call it: Presence is Power.
- Even now as new tax policies wind their way through congressional halls, we are preparing a host of resources to help Christians navigate the nuances through the lens of faith. We would never let it be said that tax reform is not a matter of faith! “Oppressing the poor in order to enrich oneself, and giving it to the rich, will lead only to loss” (Proverbs 22:16).
In partnership with you and the eighteen denominational bodies that comprise the NC Council of Churches, we will continue to weave the work of Spirit into the workings of the world. Thank you for all you do to make this work possible.
Courage for the facing of these days,
Jennifer E. Copeland
Please click here if you’d like to donate online. Or your gifts are always welcome to: NCCC, 27 HORNE St., Raleigh, 27607. The NC Council of Churches is a 501(c)(3) organization. Contributions are tax-deductible to the full extent of the law.
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