The Passing of Carolyn King
Our friend Carolyn King passed on Tuesday evening after a long “medical adventure” (to use… Continue Reading
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.
The General Assembly on Monday overrode Governor Perdue’s vetoes of three bills. By doing so they gutted the Racial Justice Act, revised the budget for 2012-13, and moved ahead with fracking. The outcome was not in doubt in the Senate. In fact, several Senate Democrats had excused absences and didn’t even show up for the votes. The drama was in the House.
The News & ObserverDeath penalty opponents and advocates of the state’s Racial Justice Act have embarked on an intense petition drive, letter-writing and email campaign, targeting five Democrats in the state House of Representatives.
The goal is to persuade the representatives to sustain the governor’s Thursday veto of the legislature’s overhaul of the Racial Justice Act.
The Spring 2012 Church Council Bulletin includes photographs from the Council’s recent Critical Issues Seminar, an update on items of interest in the General Assembly’s short session, a statement on the passage of Amendment One, the Council’s spring appeal, and more.
On April 6, state religious leaders and activists will remember Jesus Christ’s suffering and death and the suffering and death of immigrants coming to this country in an “Economic Justice Way of the Cross.” The North Carolina Council of Churches is a co-sponsor of the event which takes place from noon to 2 p.m. at the N.C. State Capitol.The Good Friday commemoration of Jesus’ suffering and death will be linked with the need for justice, immigration reform, a change in US trade policies, and an end to US support for the war in Afghanistan and Colombia. Money needs to be spent on food and economic development instead of war, according to Gail Phares, director of Witness for Peace Southeast, the event’s primary organizer.
Rev. Jill Edens, United Church of Chapel HillThough the disciples have left everything to follow Jesus, the discussion as they travel to Jerusalem reveals that they are profoundly unready for what is to come. In this pivotal moment we encounter blind Bartimaeus who Mark holds up as a model for discipleship: “As Jesus and his disciples and a large crowd were leaving Jericho, Bartimaeus, son of Timaeus, a blind beggar, was sitting by the roadside. When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout out and say, ‘Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!’”
Durham Herald-SunPilgrim United Church of Christ will host a community series this month on “Faith and the Marriage Amendment,” about the proposed North Carolina Amendment 1. If the ballot measure passes May 8, the only valid domestic union recognized by the state will be marriage of a man and a woman.
Read more: The Herald-Sun – Pilgrim UCC hosting series on Amendment 1
The Washington PostWILMINGTON, N.C. — As the only Southern state without a constitutional amendment barring same-sex marriage, North Carolina is the next battleground, with religious groups on both sides bracing for a high-stakes fight on May 8.
Against a recent string of gay-marriage victories in California, Washington state and Maryland, North Carolinians will be asked to vote on a constitutional amendment on May 8, the same day as the state Republican primary.
Same-sex marriage has been illegal in the Tar Heel State since 1996; Minnesota also has a marriage amendment planned for a vote in November.
In this season of Advent, we remember how the Holy Family walked this earth as refugees. As they followed the Roman decree — as they fled across the border to escape Herod’s law of the land–even up to the day he testified to Pilate, “My Kingdom is not of this world,” they walked as strangers among us.
This is the scandal of Bethlehem: If God invaded our world once unawares, God could do it again. Today. Anywhere. Among any people. Anytime.
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.
The News & ObserverAll the conflict raging about the Wake schools for the past year and a half came spilling out Wednesday night when a panel of federal civil rights investigators heard testimony – often heated – in an East Raleigh church.
The hearing concerned a complaint against Wake Public Schools, filed with the federal education department by the state NAACP. An estimated 200 people nearly filled the fellowship hall at Martin Street Baptist Church, with speakers making emphatic points on both sides of the issues.
The drumbeat of bad bills continues. Suffice it to say that it’s a tough year for those of us who have advocated for public policy decisions promoting social justice, protecting vulnerable people, and caring for God’s creation. We can’t respond to every bad idea or bad bill. On many of these issues, we feel like we are butting our heads against a wall. Our tendency may be to throw up our hands in despair.
Dr. H. Stephen Shoemaker, Myers Park Baptist ChurchThis man is scary. To others, probably also to himself. He lived among the tombs. There was no place else to live. He wore no clothes, the text says, and had no home. Does that mean no family too? The diagnosis of the time: He was possessed by demons. We guess today a psychological disorder, but let’s not be armchair psychiatrists, two thousand years away.
Rev. Peter JB Carman, Binkley Baptist Church (Chapel Hill)When the Apostle Paul wrote to the church in Galatia about baptism, it seems he had a whole lot more than water on his mind. He was writing to a church divided right from the very beginning. While he was welcoming in the non Jewish pagans, others weren’t so sure. While he was trying to help negotiate the beginnings of a multi-cultural Christian faith, others were, even from the very beginning, more comfortable with those who were their own people. Jews had every reason to be suspicious of Romans—after all they had suffered under the hand of their occupation governments for many years.
Rev. Dr. Christopher C. F. Chapman, Knollwood Baptist Church (Winston-Salem)For we can believe all kinds of things about God and have all the right positions on ethical issues, whatever those are, but if we don’t have love, who wants to be part of the church? We can have great ministries for all ages, the best staff, the most up-to-date programs with all the whistles and bells, but if the people of the church don’t genuinely love each other, who cares? We can have the best maintained buildings and grounds, the latest equipment and technologies, the perfect organizational structure and communications systems, but if we don’t want to be with each other, the buildings will eventually be empty. We can even claim to have a passion for missions, want to share God’s love with people around the globe, but if we do not love for the person sitting next to us, our passion will be all fire and no warmth.
Dr. H. Stephen Shoemaker, Myers Park Baptist ChurchFor the love of Christ controls us, lays claim to us, compels us, grasps us at our deepest being. This is the heart of Christianity for Paul: the love of Christ permeating and shaping our lives, sweeping through us as breath carrying oxygen to every cell in the body. Paul’s words in this passage are more than prose; they are incantation.
Rev. Amy Jacks Dean, Park Road Baptist ChurchMatthew, Mark, and Luke all tell this same basic story of the healing of this blind beggar, but Mark is the only one to give the man a name – Blind Bartimaeus is how we know him. Jesus is headed to Jerusalem from Capernaum – and all along the way he is talking and teaching and answering questions and listening in on the disciples’ conversations with each other. You know how bad there were to get off track and try to figure out who was the favorite.
Dr. H. Stephen Shoemaker, Myers Park Baptist ChurchTwo weeks ago I spoke of Jesus the Friend. Today, I want to explore Jesus the Stranger, Jesus as “other,” different, even as “enemy” because sometimes we perceive him as enemy. I was told as a young minister not to get too far ahead of my congregation because they might mistake me for their enemy. Sometimes we mistake Jesus as our enemy. It may seem strange to describe Jesus as Stranger. But this may be the only way to make sure we see him as he is, not as who we want him to be. This is the only way we truly know another, that is, as they are, not our projection of what we wish them to be.
The Rev. M. Jonah Kendall, St. Philip’s Episcopal Church (Durham)I want to come straight at you today. I want to be clear, and I want to be concise. I’m not going to open with an illustration but rather get straight to the point. And this is because our lesson from Genesis, with Noah’s ark – along with Jesus’ words in Matthew’s gospel about the house that could withstand the wind and rain – we are confronted with what I’d call the perfect storm.
RT @NCIPL Farmers in North Carolina are feeling the effects of climate change. Extreme weather is harming crop growth in the state, and threatening the sustainability of local farmers. For North Carolinian farmers, we must #ActOnClimate @dailytarheel @NCDEQ dailytarheel.com/art…
RT @healthandfaith #NC #EarlyVoting has begun and ends on Feb. 29 & #ElectionDay is March 3. @VOTE411 is an awesome, nonpartisan source with info about candidates on your ballot and voting sites. Check it out! twitter.com/VOTE411/…
RT @NCIPL Live tonight at Binkley Baptist - @iowaipl Director, Matt Russell talks #RegenerativeAgriculture & #economics from Farmer’s perspectives with #FaithValues why we must #ActOnClimate - Tomorrow he’ll speak @kenanflagler @UNC_IE #CleanTechSummit pic.twitter.com/uPih…
Farmers in North Carolina are feeling the effects of climate change. Extreme weather is harming crop growth in the state, and threatening the sustainability of local farmers. For North Carolinian farmers, we must #ActOnClimate @dailytarheel @NCDEQ dailytarheel.com/art…
RT @Michael_S_Regan .@NCDEQ hosted a great conversation today w/ @MarkRuffalo concerning the challenges of emerging compounds & @NC_Governor’s leadership in tackling #waterquality concerns resulting from #PFAS #GenX & #coalash. Shout out to Mark for his leadership on these important issues👍🏾🌎 pic.twitter.com/Hgpy…
RT @Michael_S_Regan Thank you for your leadership @NC_Governor ... Access to clean water & reliable water infrastructure is critical to the economic competitiveness & future resiliency of #NC communities. This funding is essential to help our state meet some of the challenges they currently face👍🏾🌎 twitter.com/nc_gover…