Psalm 100 Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth. Worship the Lord with… Continue Reading
Date: Epiphany 3 – Jan. 26, 2014
Topic: The Unity of the Church
Focus Text: 1 Corinthians 1:10-18
The list of issues facing the Corinthian church included ethnic diversity, economic disparity, geographical and cultural difference, allegiances to different spiritual leaders, and theological disagreements as well as sinful behavior like idolatry and sexual immorality. Despite the historical gap between Paul’s day and the present, these remain common challenges to church unity.
Rev. Cody Sanders, Ph.D. candidate in Pastoral Theology and Pastoral Counseling at Brite Divinity SchoolThere is something in these furious, feverish words that beckons beyond a simple description of what life will be like if you choose to follow a peculiar call from Jesus and your closest friends and family don’t. Beyond description, there is something of a call in this passage trying to work its way inside of us. These words beckon us beyond a recounting of our inevitable losses on the journey, to embrace our sacred calling to disturbers the peace.
A leader against economic injustice and two longtime advocates on the Council’s board have received the North Carolina Council of Churches’ highest honors.
Gene Nichol received the Faith Active in Public Life Award. Barbara Volk and Sydnor Thompson II were recognized with Distinguished Service awards. All three were presented at the Council’s 2013 Legislative Seminar which took place April 11 at St. Mark’s United Methodist Church in Raleigh.
Rev. Michael Kinnamon (School of Theology and Ministry, Seattle University)Where does this leave us today? How can the ecumenical impulse be revitalized in such an era as ours? The answer to this may be suggested in the distinction between optimism and hope. Optimism involves the expectation of a better future based on a reading of present circumstances; hope involves the trustful anticipation of genuine newness, perhaps beyond our imagining, based on the promises of God.
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.
The Graymoor Ecumenical & Interreligious Institute has prepared material for the celebration of this year’s Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, which runs from January 18-25, 2013. You will find prayer services, prayers of the faithful and musical suggestions at their website. The theme for 2013 is “What Does God Require of Us?” (cf. Micah 6:6-8). In North Carolina, there will be several observances of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity.
Recently, I heard a powerful message from the Rev. William Barber. Many Council folks know him. He’s the President of the NC NAACP and pastor of the Greenleaf Christian Church (Disciple of Christ) in Goldsboro. The power of his message was not in fiery delivery. It was a low-key conversation with a group of fifty or so progressive leaders, sitting in a circle in the chapel of University United Methodist Church in Chapel Hill. The power was in the profound thoughts he expressed and in the clear rightness of his words.
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.
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.
Join us for the 2012 Conference on the Common Good sponsored by the Council’s Christian Unity Committee. The title of this year’s gathering is Catholic Social Teaching: A Vision for the Common Good. It takes place Monday, February 20 at Raleigh’s Highland United Methodist Church from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.The standard and guide for Roman Catholic approaches to social justice for the last hundred years was set by a Papal Encyclical near the turn of the 20th Century. Centesimus Annus celebrates the 100th anniversary of that document and restates its teachings for our generation. It is a comprehensive summary of social and economic justice perspectives that resonate with Christians of every denomination. Rev. Dr. Brian Johnstone, Professor of Moral Theology at Catholic University of America in Washington, DC, will be our guest speaker and leader.
The church of which I’m a member, Pullen Memorial Baptist in Raleigh, has had a partnership for many years with First Baptist Church in Tbilisi, the capital of the Republic of Georgia (formerly part of the Soviet Union). The pastor with whom we’ve had the closest contact, Malkhaz Songulashvili, has now become the Archbishop for Baptists in Georgia. (You did not read that wrong. Baptists in the Republic of Georgia have bishops and an archbishop!) Malkhaz was at Pullen on November 13 to preach and lead in the celebration of Eucharist.
Malkhaz has been courageous in his advocacy and practice of nonviolent action as Georgia has gone through its “Rose Revolution,” which moved Georgia away from authoritarian government and toward democratic reform. The Church of England honored his leadership in September 2005 when he was awarded the Lambeth Cross by the Archbishop of Canterbury.
Interfaith Dialogue is a crucial endeavor in light of the increasing religious diversity in our nation and our own communities. Globalization is a wondrous, yet in some ways perplexing reality, and it brings us into ever more frequent contact with persons of other faiths. While at one time the dialogue between Christians and Jews was common and we often spoke of our Judeo-Christian heritage, that conversation has necessarily expanded to include our increasingly numerous Muslim neighbors and we now speak of the Abrahamic Faiths. We are becoming increasingly aware of Buddhist, Hindu and Native American neighbors as well as persons of other religious traditions. It is imperative that we acknowledge, understand, and appreciate each other for the sake not only of civility, but because all our religious traditions require hospitality of us.
When a distinguished group of Muslim Imams published their historic “A Common Word Between Us and You” it was met with resounding expressions of appreciation by religious and secular leaders alike. It was an effort to initiate a broad dialogue across the United States between Muslims and Christians. It focused on two central themes which these two historic faiths hold in common: Love of God, and Love of Neighbor, and it sites the many texts of the Hebrew Scriptures which are venerated by both religious traditions. It seemed inappropriate to engage in such a dialogue without including our Jewish colleagues from whose faith tradition these texts originated. Hence, a three way dialogue was seen as the best approach.
Pictured left, St. Paul’s Chapel became a refuge for rescue workers after September 11.The tenth anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks is next month, and it happens to fall on a Sunday. The NC Council of Churches has already posted some resources for worship planners, and there are a couple more links at the end of this blog. We also want to make you aware of community services which are being planned.
While it is true that central to Christian theology is the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, it would be erroneous to reduce the whole of Christian theology to a set of beliefs. If one surveys the gospels, then a person will find Jesus both expounding upon theology and liberating people. For those who were sick, he cured them of their sickness. For those who were blind, he gave them sight. For those who were saddened, he comforted them. Jesus gave concrete solutions to the problems that people faced in the 1st century and did not merely offer them a set of beliefs.
Much of the book of Romans is given over to some pretty heavy theological work. What is the meaning of God’s righteousness? Where does Israel fit into this? What about justification by faith? What happens to the Mosaic law? What role does grace play? Heavy questions facing the newly developing church in the First Century.
RT @NCIPL #Faith Voices for Ckean Energy Advocacy Day is LIVE Come join us for speakers & resources Auditorium - 1 S. Wilmington St. #Raleigh @interfaithpower President speaks at 12p @ncchurches @nccleanenergy @NCConservation @DogwoodAlliance @EnvironmentNC @NCDEQ pic.twitter.com/zacy…
Senate Bill 75, a constitutional amendment setting a maximum income tax rate of 5.5%, is on the move. Click below to learn more about the bill and the potential harm it could have on individuals and local communities across North Carolina. #ncpol ncchurches.org/2018/…
Register for @nc100miles today! We're inviting congregations to have a minimum of 10 people complete this challenge to be eligible for a $1000 mini-grant! Register today and join our team here: nc100miles.org/group… #nchealth
RT @SierraNCCapital Our beloved partners at @NCIPL - hope y'all can join us tomorrow 6-8 @ Museum of @naturalsciences for a free screening of a film on #RenewableEnergy & expert panel on #renewables in NC - afterparty from 8-9 @OakandDagger! sierra.secure.force.…
#Faith Voices for Ckean Energy Advocacy Day is LIVE Come join us for speakers & resources Auditorium - 1 S. Wilmington St. #Raleigh @interfaithpower President speaks at 12p @ncchurches @nccleanenergy @NCConservation @DogwoodAlliance @EnvironmentNC @NCDEQ pic.twitter.com/zacy…
RT @CCE_NC Our 2018 NC Energy Poll Briefing is moments away from starting. We will be sharing our findings on voter sentiment regarding emerging energy issues in our state. Follow us here on Twitter for live updates! #ncpol #ncenergypoll pic.twitter.com/7rfE…
RT @CreationCareWNC Celebrating St. Luke's Episcopal Church in the @WataugaDemocrat Rev. Banks blessed the Williams Sun Pavillion. Thanks to writer Thomas Sherrill and photographer Josh White wataugademocrat.com/… pic.twitter.com/cwgS…
RT @CreationCareWNC “We must listen to our scientists and increase action to protect our communities. North Carolina reaffirms its commitment to working with Climate Alliance states to support the emission reduction targets of the Paris Agreement,” North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper. @NCIPL twitter.com/greencha…
Let's @SupportFLOC in the upcoming #BoycottVUSE against Reynolds American Inc. and defend our tobacco farmworkers so that they may have a voice to negotiate better working conditions without fear of retaliation! floc.com/wordpress/b…