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.
This Sunday's lectionary focuses on welcoming those who have been oppressed & silenced with open hearts & open minds. Read more about how being the church means welcoming all of our siblings in Christ. bit.ly/2Z86Upj pic.twitter.com/lnFn…
Although the gridlock over the state budget has been frustrating, it's important to recognize our representatives who have listened. Take a moment & use this link here to send a quick thank you to our lawmakers who stand with us. #ncga twitter.com/ncjustic…
Are you a faith leader interested in deepening your understanding of rural contexts and building a supportive network of rural pastors and practitioners? Sign-up for this gathering by Aug. 21! @rafiusa @CTTTNC bit.ly/30cB7oV pic.twitter.com/nWJu…
We are excited to welcome Sarah Ogletree onto our staff as the new Program Coordinator for @NCIPL! Read more about why she believes people of faith have an incredible role to play in the #climatejustice movement. #ActOnClimate bit.ly/2YOqzzr pic.twitter.com/vBZ4…
Workplace meal gatherings, often involve heavily processed foods -- it's just quick & easy. Check out this article from @esmmweighless for tips on incorporating healthy foods at catered meetings -- it's proven to be a big hit! #healthylifestyle bit.ly/2z0NQPf
"Being GRATEFUL has many health benefits. According to a recent study practicing gratitude everyday may help you sleep better, lower your body aches and pains and help you have healthier hearts." @esmmweighless bit.ly/2yXw7Iv
The #opioidcrisis affects people of all ages, but the prevalence among the elderly is growing. Older adults often use prescription opioids to cope with painful conditions. Check out this upcoming event to learn how to get involved in your community. bit.ly/2OX5NsT pic.twitter.com/FN2r…
This #FoodFriday we wanted to share our cookbook from several years ago that has some truly delicious recipes -- we recommend the vegetarian pizza on page 19! #NC #HealthyEating #HealthyFood #healthylifestyle bit.ly/2z09tQ0 pic.twitter.com/fUGX…
For over 40 years, NCSEA has helped pave the way for North Carolina to be a #cleanenergy leader. @nccleanenergy accomplishments are your accomplishments, too. Click here to learn about how we can all celebrate together! energync.org/gala
We want NC Senator Thom Tillis to understand that acting on climate is essential to caring for our children and this state. Will you sign a postcard asking him to #ActOnClimate? CLICK HERE: bit.ly/30iDhmV @ncchurches @CreationCareWNC @CreationJustice @unitedchurch @NCEJN
RT @donahuejm Only a Climate Specific Debate Will Show Whether the Candidates Can be Trusted on Climate Change ! #ClimateEmergency #EarthStrike #GreenNewDealNOW 👉 With Key Vote Just Days Away, Activists Ramp Up Pressure on DNC to Hold #ClimateDebate commondreams.org/new…
RT @WRIClimate Congratulations to those selected to attend the @UN Youth #ClimateAction Summit next month to share their bold ideas for action with world leaders! The climate emergency will require fresh ideas and these young leaders have them. Join in and #ActNow! bit.ly/2NpY06l pic.twitter.com/7de4…