Raleigh Report – March 11, 2019
INTRODUCED BILLS GUN VIOLENCE PREVENTION With the passing last month of the first anniversary of the… Continue Reading
I’ll never forget how it felt to serve dinner to this group. About 30 hungry, tired farmworkers arrived back at their camp just as it was getting dark, and they were kind enough to welcome us into their humble space for a shared meal. This group of mostly young men had been busy harvesting sweet potatoes down East. Most were indigenous Mexicans who learned Spanish as a second language, who didn’t know any English.
As we spooned out rice and beans and poured soda from two-liter bottles, I was struck at how rare it is for any of us to meet the people who actually produce and harvest the food we eat. From our history of slavery to our modern industrial context, our society has not really reckoned with the grim reality of those at the bottom of our food chain.
Date: Advent 3 – Dec. 15, 2013
Topic: Resisting Oppression
Focus Text: James 5:7-10
Drawing on the Old Testament, James speaks of the prophets who endured suffering and, for their steadfastness, are called “blessed.” This is the same word used in the beatitudes, another text which brings comfort to those who are suffering or longing for justice in light of God’s future reign. James also goes on to invoke Job, a proverbial figure of faithfulness and long-suffering in times of trial. These figures exemplify faithfulness even in the face of oppression.
Because the season of Advent is a time of awaiting the Christ child and the risen Christ, it is a perfect time to think about social justice issues. Christ’s ministry, which is explored in other seasons of the Christian year, focuses on lifting up those whom society regarded as worthless or weak, including the poor, the ill, the foreigner, women, and children. Social justice was at the core of Jesus’ ministry. Based on the Advent readings for Lectionary Year A, this guide will assist you in slowing down this season by taking 20-30 minutes one night a week to focus on social justice.
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.
The General Assembly has adjourned its 2013 session after a final cascade of disappointing and disturbing bills that now await review by Gov. Pat McCrory. Among the bills approved are ones that will make it less convenient for many citizens to vote and that weaken regulatory oversight of the environment.
There was at least one bright spot, as the House rejected a last-minute push by the Senate to speed up the environmentally risky natural gas extraction process known as fracking. But on the whole, legislators succeeded in putting the crowning touches on a session devoted to a conservative agenda the likes of which modern North Carolina has never before seen.
It could be said that the elephant – symbol of the Republicans who control North Carolina’s General Assembly and governor’s office — has labored and brought forth a mouse. But this is a mouse with sharp teeth.
After weeks of effort, the legislature’s Republican majorities and Gov. Pat McCrory have agreed on a spate of changes to the state’s tax laws centered on cuts in personal and corporate income taxes. The cuts aren’t as deep as some conservatives wanted. Still, they will sap revenues that finance the entire portfolio of state programs and services.
As rabbis at this week’s event told reporters, the civil disobedience was not an option of first resort – Republican legislators repeatedly blew off meeting requests from clergy who are eager to discuss the impact the North Carolina GOP’s policies have on the common good. As the movement has gained steam, some politicians have resorted to insulting Moral Mondays participants. The governor dismissed it all as an effort led by “outsiders,” and one state legislator dubbed it “Moron Mondays.” It brings to mind Gandhi’s saying, “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.”
From Acts of Faith: Free Lectionary Resources for Prophetic WorshipDate: Proper 8 – June 30, 2013
This workshop on agricultural policy, from our 2013 Legislative Seminar on April 11, covers a wide range of topics – from the US Farm Bill to fracking to the meaning of “local” and “sustainable” food. Scott Marlow led the workshop. Scott currently serves as Executive Director of the Rural Advancement Foundation International-USA (RAFI). His specialty is financial infrastructure, including access to credit and risk management for value-added producers. He previously directed RAFI’s Farm Sustainability program, providing in-depth financial counseling to farmers in crisis, education on disaster assistance programs and access to credit, and addressing the needs of mid-scale farmers who are increasing the sustainability of their farms by transitioning to higher-value specialty markets.
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.
Alexandra Forter Sirota (Director) and Cedric Johnson (Policy Analyst) from the NC Budget and Tax Center explain the debate about North Carolina’s tax system and offer a vision of a more progressive tax structure for the state. You can download and listen to the podcast above.
The following remarks were delivered by Jennifer Copeland as the opening invocation to the Raising Wages press conference held in the press room of the NC General Assembly this morning. ncchurches.org/2019/… #raiseTheWageNC #Fightfor15 #ncpol
Register for the Council's 2019 Legislative Seminar by Monday, March 25. The Seminar is unique to NC in bringing together people of faith to learn ways we can impact legislation in our state. ncchurches.org/event… pic.twitter.com/93zs…
RT @NCInsuranceDept Do you have unused or expired medication in your house? Safely dispose of them at one of our many Operation Medicine Drop events next week or find a permanent drop box near you! @SafeKidsNC ncdoi.com/OSFM/safek… pic.twitter.com/z1vr…
RT @NRPEorg Representatives from the Catholic, Evangelical, Jewish and Mainline Church communities are testifying today in DC in opposition to @EPA rolling back mercury pollution standards. #PoisonPlan #Faith4Earth
RT @NCIPLYL Students across the world have advocated for #climateaction, and @NCIPL Youth Leaders agree that World Leaders need to make strong changes and soon to protect the #environment and our #future. #faithinaction #sustainable #energyefficiency pic.twitter.com/Mlsd…
RT @SustainingWay The perfect accessory for St Patrick’s day! Last week Sustaining Way staff participated in and completed the Climate Reality Project Leadership Corps training. #leadonclimate @ClimateReality pic.twitter.com/TRxt…
RT @yeampierre Im having trouble with term “selfcare” in a country built on the needs of the “individual “ Historically ppl of African & Indigenous ancestry each benefited by practicing collective care-lets’s embrace that. Climate change demands intergenerational frontline led collective care🌻