Raleigh Report – April 29, 2019
Introduced Bills CRIMINAL JUSTICE HB 834 – Ban the Box would prohibit the state from asking… 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.
"A faith group hopes to get people talking about the importance of public schools, as some counties continue to see a rise in charter-school openings and drop in public-school enrollment." bit.ly/2ne40m7 #PublicEducation #PublicSchools
RT @FFThriving Rev. Jessica Stokes with @healthandfaith writes about the important role faith communities can play in understanding trauma and building resilience: bit.ly/34gfRA2. She will co-facilitate our breakout session on ACES at the 2020 Faithful Families Summit. Join us! pic.twitter.com/LMc3…
RT @UN Suicide is a global public health issue that affects all ages, sexes & regions of the world. On Thursday's World #MentalHealth Day, find out what you can do to help save a life: bit.ly/2MnEq6E via @WHO pic.twitter.com/UYOa…
This is just a friendly reminder to sign-up for a breakfast in response to the #OpioidCrisis. This is a great opportunity to learn about the work going on in our state and local resources you can connect with. Sign-up on our event page! bitly.is/31OH1Nt #harmreduction #NC pic.twitter.com/veEp…
How does faith connect to our relationship with God? How does our faith guide us in addressing the health issues of our communities? Join us on Oct. 25 in Eastern NC as e discuss the theological connections to our health wholeness. bit.ly/eastNC #faith #health #NC pic.twitter.com/F3Wk…
RT @StrikeClimate “We can’t go on like this; it is not sustainable that children skip school and we don’t want to continue – we would love some action from the people in power. People are suffering and dying today. We can’t wait any longer,” @GretaThunberg. Pic: 500k #ClimateStrike in Madrid. pic.twitter.com/gyRQ…