Protect the Vulnerable Against Federal Cuts
On March 1, new federal cuts will begin to take effect. If nothing is done, many… Continue Reading
After a one-day organizational meeting in early January, the 2013 General Assembly convened in earnest last Wednesday. Bills introduced and advanced during these first two days give a taste of things to come. Note especially the bills affecting the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, weakening the benefits of unemployment insurance, and extending the presence of guns.
Click here for a free download of our new 2013 social justice study for Lent: Preparing the Way. This simple 10-page document combines traditional Lenten themes and Bible passages with contemporary issues including hunger, care of creation, and immigration. We invite you to join us in this season of reflection and preparation.
The Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina Foundation and The Rensselaerville Institute are looking for individuals with project ideas for creating a healthier Wilson County. Projects will be implemented over the next 6 months and must focus on increasing physical activity and/or access to and consumption of fresh produce.
Selected Community Sparkplugs and their teams will receive the following: a $3,000 grant (simple application process), individualized help to create an action plan and set project results, support and coaching over the next 6 months, and an opportunity to become part of a growing network of Community Sparkplugs across North Carolina.
Public News Service – NCWeight loss is the most popular New Year’s resolution being made by North Carolinians and people around the country, according to new data from the University of Scranton. The goal of being healthier is even making its way into churches around the state, through a program sponsored by the North Carolina Council of Churches.
BCBSNC FoundationMy faith journey began at an early age and in a somewhat nontraditional way. I fondly remember attending weekly prayer meetings and Bible studies at my grandmother’s house in rural North Carolina. Community members would come from all around to worship together in a small, weather-beaten house at the end of a long dirt path. They would read scriptures, sing songs and tell stories of how they were able to overcome various obstacles throughout the week.
Richmond County Daily JournalThe Pee Dee Baptist Educational Congress, an auxiliary to the Pee Dee Baptist Educational Association, will conduct the Annual Christian Educational Institute from March 19 to 23, 2012, at the Pee Dee Educational Building in Dobbin Heights.
There will be classes for church officers and each department in the church.
From Acts of Faith: Lectionary Resources for Prophetic WorshipWhile the world may value persons differently based on income, earning capacity, education, experience, race, physical ability, appearance, or socioeconomic background, there are none of these distinctions in Christ. All flesh and bones, all bodies, are God’s creation. We have all been gifted by God for God’s work in the world. The person who happens to be insured or who can afford the cost of medical care is no more or less important to God than the person who is uninsured or underinsured, no more or less important than the barren woman, the dying king, the wandering and hungry Israelites, the suffering Job, the blind and leprous men, the bleeding woman, the child on her deathbed.
BladenJournal.comJoy Williams of Partners in Health and Wholeness, a Christian-based organization, will collaborate with churches and the parish nurse on Monday, Nov. 28, at 5:30 p.m. in the fellowship hall of Elizabethtown Presbyterian Church at 800 W. Broad St. (across from the Municipal Building), to make local churches healthier for the glory of God.
The Sanford HeraldGiang said N.C. MedAssist representatives wanted to travel to each county to meet with eligible residents and explain the enrollment process. The organization contacted the North Carolina Council of Churches and expressed interest in partnering with faith-based organizations willing to host one-day enrollment programs. The Rev. Mechelle Myers of Sanford’s New Endland AME Zion Church received an e-mail from the Council about the initiative and was the first person to respond.
The American Diabetes Association has launched a new faith-based program called “Live Empowered” which is designed to assist churches with integrating diabetes awareness messages and life application principles into worship services. Also, in observance of American Diabetes Month, the American Diabetes Association is sponsoring “Super Diabetes Sunday” on November 13th. Super Diabetes Sundays will include materials and giveaways to help your congregation join the fight against diabetes.
NC Policy WatchIt’s no wonder why our political leaders are scrambling to find solutions, even while bumping heads in the process. Both sides want what’s best for America, but the process through which we work to achieve that has become increasingly contentious and politically charged. And I can’t help but believe that our own personal experiences and beliefs, not the persuasive views of political pundits, ultimately determine on which side of an issue we fall and what we deem worth fighting for.
Let me share a story.
As the “Super Committee” begins to negotiate a deal to cut $1.5 trillion from our national budget, the faith community wants to be sure that our North Carolina congressional delegation – Sens. Richard Burr and Kay Hagan as well as our 13 representatives – remember the calling of the God of all creation to provide for the common good. As the Rev. Dr. James Forbes, a native North Carolinian and senior pastor emeritus of New York’s Riverside Church reminds us, budgets are moral documents that determine who eats and who starves.
The General Assembly returned to Raleigh in July for what was, in reality, Round Two of its 2011 Long Session. The primary tasks were to take up overrides on bills Governor Perdue had vetoed and to adopt redistricting plans for U.S. Congressional districts and for the state House and Senate.
Our friends at the Living Healthy Chronic Disease Self Management Program (CDSMP) would like to invite members of your congregation to take advantage of their FREE online workshop – Better Choices, Better Health™ – which is designed to help individuals self-manage their chronic conditions (e.g., diabetes, arthritis, high blood pressure, chronic pain, anxiety, etc.). Specifically, the workshop can help you and the people you care about
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.
The News & ObserverOn Wednesday, we celebrate the one-year anniversary of passing the Affordable Health Care Act. While this legislation is not perfect, it is a crucial step toward improving our current health care system. The N.C. Council of Churches and most mainline denominations have long advocated universal health coverage, where each person receives health, wholeness and human dignity.
Governor Bev Perdue on Saturday vetoed H 2, the misnamed “Protect Health Care Freedom” bill. (It should be called the “Freedom to be Uninsured and Unable to Get Health Care” bill.) The bill was an attack on federal health care reform and purported to remove North Carolinians from the mandated purchase of health insurance, which is the basis of federal reform which will move millions of uninsured Americans into the ranks of the insured.
The 2011 General Assembly convened Wednesday for its long session. The politics of this session will be unlike any we have ever known because Republicans are now in the majority in both the House and Senate, and the Governor – with a veto – is a Democrat. We’ve not been here before.Also in this Raleigh Report: Photo ID to Vote, Health Care Reform, State Budget and more.
In his life and mission, Jesus saw himself as actively preparing and serving the kingdom of God on earth, to
be as it is in heaven. He saw all of his disciples in the same light and as having the same purpose. Nowhere
in the prayer instructions of Jesus is the focus on getting the earth–or ourselves–to heaven. The heart of
the Lord’s Prayer is a request for heaven on earth. While this difference may seem subtle, its truth is at the very center of the call and practice of prayer and discipleship.
Raleigh News & ObserverAs followers of Jesus Christ, a healer known as the Great Physician, as believers in a God who loves and cares for all of his children equally, we at the N.C. Council of Churches are profoundly grateful for passage of health care reform legislation by the U.S. House of Representatives.
Durham Herald-SunOpinion: Many of the noisy detractors who rail against universal access to affordable health care are the same folks who loudly proclaim a pious faith and claim ethical superiority on other issues. Maybe they should listen to other religious voices on faith and ethics, voices of those who spend their lives studying the scriptures and serving people seriously impacted by our current health-care system.
Wilmington Star-NewsThe Faith and Health Summit is March 23 in Raleigh to bring health care providers and faith leaders together to work toward health care reform or just to understand each other a little better.
You know, that whole conflict between religion and science? This summit also addresses those big questions in an effort to make North Carolina congregations healthier.
Governor Beverly Perdue is the main speaker at the Summit’s luncheon, and the Rev. Dr. Gary Gunderson of Methodist Healthcare in Memphis, TN will give the keynote address. Churches can check out a series of workshops on mental health, church-sponsored community gardens, health disparities, faith-based emergency preparedness and congregational health.
Rev. Deborah PattersonBabylonian captivity. I believe we are there again, both literally and figuratively. We are literally in Babylon as American troops serve in an unending war in Iraq, the new name for that land. And, working with parish nurses, daily I hear stories which attest that we are figuratively being held captive by a health system that excludes millions, bankrupts millions, and keeps millions in jobs they despise but need for health insurance. Doctors are held captive by reimbursement plans that penalize them for spending more than 7 or 8 minutes with patients. Nurses are held captive by staffing patterns that keep them working longer shifts, with more and sicker and patients to care for. Churches are being held captive by health insurance costs that prevent them from being able to call full-time pastors.
Ginny Tobiassen, Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center (Winston-Salem)“Now, there was a woman.” Right away, these few words tell us that today’s gospel story is going to be about someone among society’s second class—or lower. Women in first-century Jewish society were of subordinate status. So it is clear from the start that we are looking here at a story about someone already somewhat marginalized simply by being born female. We might say: “Now, there was a woman: Strike one.”
Rev. Cliff Frasier, First Congregational Church, UCC (Washington, D.C.)In the policy-making reform-world, we may talk about health care as a “right.” In the economic world we may talk about health care as a cost or even as a profit. [“p-r-o-f-i-t]. In the health-care-delivery world, the social-work-world, we may talk about health care as a need. But in our faith world, let us also talk about health care as a responsibility. As a moral responsibility. To care for God’s creation — for ourselves, for each other. Let us talk about not-providing-health-care as a failure in the realm of moral-responsibility. In other words, to the degree we allow within moral reasoning the category of . . . . “sin” . . . let us allow the failure to provide healthcare to be understood in just that way.
Four years ago, the Council of Churches issued a policy statement on health care that expressed concern about the large number of North Carolinians without adequate health insurance and about the high and increasing cost of health care. Our concern is especially great for those most vulnerable in our society: the poor, children, people of color, and the elderly. At that time, we called for a national health plan that would guarantee universal coverage for health care, coupled with effective cost control, broad-based and equitable financing, and assured quality of services.
The #2020Census is easier than ever for people to respond on their own in the comfort of their homes. Anyone can go online now to my2020Census.gov to complete the questionnaire or call the Census Bureau at 844-330-2020. It only takes a few minutes. pic.twitter.com/Dovp…
A moral call against water, power, and broadband shutoffs: over 500 faith leaders across the country are calling on @senatemajldr, @SenSchumer, @SpeakerPelosi to pass a national moratorium on utility shutoffs. #NoShutoffs foodandwaterwatch.or…
As people of faith, all of us will need to give and receive care in our lives. Many of us care for family members, often more than one, with disabilities, injuries, and illness. We need #PaidLeaveforAll in COVID and beyond. Tell the Senate to act NOW: paidleaveforall.org/….
"As more than 35 states report increases in overdose deaths since the start of the pandemic, #harmreduction workers are pointing to a failed state response as the foundation of the crisis." bit.ly/2X7U5xj #opioidcrisis #COVID19 @newrepublic
"As the daughter of parents who are deep into their eighties, these past four months since #COVID19 reshaped all our lives into unknown territory have been particularly worrisome." twitter.com/ncchurch…
RT @nytimes "While my time here has now come to an end, I want you to know that in the last days and hours of my life you inspired me." Representative John Lewis wrote this essay shortly before his death. @nytopinion is publishing it today, the day of his funeral. nyti.ms/309tNN4
RT @CreationCareWNC Harvey. Florence. Irma. Climate disasters are here and are affecting faith communities up and down the East Coast. Join us on August 6 to learn how congregations can play a pivotal role in building resilience in their towns and cities. Register here: us02web.zoom.us/meet… pic.twitter.com/DP5R…
RT @ncchurches Learn more about the importance of voting on the values of creation care & climate justice. We have a sacred duty to be stewards of the Earth, for all God’s creatures and for future generations. Register for our forum lead by @NCIPL on August 12! us02web.zoom.us/meet… pic.twitter.com/0FYg…
RT @interfaithpower As people of faith we #ActOnClimate for the benefit of black and brown communities now and in the future. “The rollback removes requirements to consider climate change before proceeding on a project.” @faithinplace @NCIPL @IPLdmv @iowaipl @MNIPL @NewMexicoIPL