Reaffirmation of Support for the LGBTQ+ Community
Approved unanimously on June 4, 2019 by the Governing Board of the North Carolina Council of Churches. In response to… Continue Reading
Date: Easter 3 – May 4, 2014
Focus Text: Luke 24:13-35
The story of Jesus’ appearance to the disciples on the road to Emmaus, unique to Luke’s Gospel, is central to the evangelist’s message about the resurrection of Jesus and its meaning. It is one of the more unusual stories we hear about encountering Jesus, but it is Luke’s way of conveying that the surprising and the unexpected are to be found in the wake of Jesus’ resurrection. One of the most surprising things, at least for those disciples within the story, is that the stranger they meet on the road turns out to be the risen Christ. At every turn this story is about revealing and discovering Jesus—through scripture, through the breaking of bread, and even through encountering a stranger on the road.
Date: 4th Sunday in Lent – March 30, 2014
Topic: Awareness of Those with Disabilities
Focus Text: John 9:1-41
Jesus’ concrete actions in response to the man’s situation call into question not only the self-righteous judgment of the religious leaders, but also the comfortable distance maintained by the disciples. When they encounter this man in the city, they see it as an opportunity for theological reflection. But Jesus changes the nature of the conversation altogether. The disciples want to speculate; Jesus decides to act – to welcome the man as a person and a child of God, to offer those unique gifts that he has been given to heal the man’s suffering, that the glory of God might be revealed.
Date: Epiphany 4 – Feb. 2, 2014
Topic: The Beatitudes
Focus Text: Matthew 5:1-12
The Beatitudes reflect the eschatological – or ultimate – nature of Jesus’ mission and proclaim the effects of the establishment of God’s rule. They list eschatological reversals for the unfortunate and eschatological rewards for the virtuous. It would be a mistake, however, to see the beatitudes as having only future significance. In fact, the first (5:3) and last (5:10) of the sayings are in the present tense. By bookending these future promises with the present tense, Matthew emphasizes the imminence of the Kingdom.
Date: Baptism of the Lord – Jan. 12, 2014
Topic: Racism & Reconciliation
Focus Text: Acts 10:34-43
This joining and reconciliation of people, Jews and gentiles, but also strangers and enemies of all kinds, has already begun with the work of Christ. In Christ, God invites us on the journey of reconciliation, the same journey of the church in Acts: a journey that includes the hard work of speaking someone else’s language (Pentecost), sharing food, resources, money, and space (Acts 2), transgressing social divides (Acts 10), dismantling discrimination (Acts 6:1-6), forming new intimacy and identity (Acts 11:19-26), and speaking out against injustice (Gal. 2:11-14).
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.
Date: Proper 25 – Oct. 27, 2013
Topic: Celebrating Native American Spirituality
Focus Text: Joel 2:23-32
Is a better day coming for Lumbee Native Americans in North Carolina? Being an optimist, I believe that God’s words, “I will pour out my spirit on all flesh” (v.28), will become a reality in the last days. “I will pour out my spirit on all flesh” are encouraging words. These prophetic words speak of God sending help for my people, Native Americans in North Carolina. Help is a word meaning “aid,” “save,” and “relieve.”
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.
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.
From Acts of Faith: Free Lectionary Resources for Prophetic WorshipDate: Proper 6 – June 16, 2013
If you live in Wake County, join several grassroots organizers for this conversation on December 7 about living wages in Wake County. Follow the link to register: us02web.zoom.us/meet…
"Have you ever felt exiled by your own body? By your health?" Read more from the Rev. Jessica Stokes, PHW Associate Director, Mental Health Advocacy, and her reflection for the second Sunday of Advent.: ncchurches.org/2020/… pic.twitter.com/HruX…
ICYMI: Our recent webinar with @ncdhhs on "The Church at the Center of the COVID Pandemic" was informative and comprehensive. Click the link to see the resources they mentioned in the call: ncchurches.org/wp-co…
Hear from Elizabeth Brewington, Overdose Response Program Coordinator, about how lighting Advent candles is bringing her peace this holiday: During the winter when our days are shorter, I try to find ways to bring light in to my apartment." #HealthForTheHolidays #MindfulTogether pic.twitter.com/qSjO…
Hear from Michelle Peedin, PHW Program Coordinator, about how the Serenity Prayer is bringing her spiritual centering this holiday: "In times of uncertainty I find peace in the Serenity Prayer." Come back Wednesday for our next reflection! #HealthForTheHolidays #MindfulTogether pic.twitter.com/XJgT…
This Dec., join us in virtually spreading joy in our communities. We will post spiritual reflections from our staff each week that are helping us stay centered. We see you, we hear you, and we continue loving you by keeping our distance. #HealthForTheHolidays #MindfulTogether pic.twitter.com/3xbT…
RT @brandoncwu Our fair shares analysis with @uscan is now live! More later, but dig into to it here: usfairshare.org Top line: 195% reductions by 2030 from 2005 levels - at least 70% domestic cuts, the rest done via climate finance to enable action in poorer countries #climatefairshare
RT @ncchurches Do your part and help slow the spread of COVID-19 by downloading North Carolina's SlowCovidNC app! Protect yourself, your loved ones and your community - simply by using your phone. Download it today! covid19.ncdhhs.gov/s…
RT @ncchurches "Have you ever felt exiled by your own body? By your health?" Read more from the Rev. Jessica Stokes, PHW Associate Director, Mental Health Advocacy, and her reflection for the second Sunday of Advent.: ncchurches.org/2020/… pic.twitter.com/HruX…