Bright Light on Interfaith Life
While the headlines tell us about very real instances of violence against faith communities (a synagogue… Continue Reading
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.
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.
Sojo.netJesus was a peacemaking, blessed child of God, but he also was an “other.” Reviled and persecuted, he was the paperless son of displaced immigrant parents. The prophetic iconoclast. That guy who hung out with those people, the type most modern leaders would not associate with, except for a photo opportunity at a Thanksgiving Day soup kitchen. Let us remember on Sunday when we celebrate his resurrection, that Jesus was crucified because he was an outsider whose way of doing things scared and angered the powers-that-be.
From Acts of Faith: Free Lectionary Resources for Prophetic WorshipDate: 4th Sunday in Lent – March 10, 2013
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.
Durham Herald-SunThe ballot referendum that could cement the definition of marriage as “the only domestic legal union” into the state Constitution has turned a political debate into a religious one — and is mustering people of faith across North Carolina to the polls.
From Acts of Faith: Free Lectionary Resources for Prophetic Worship
Date: 4th Sunday after Easter, April 29, 2012
Topic: Interfaith Connections
Focus Text: John 10:11-18
From the pastoral reflection: In 21st century North Carolina we have many and various ways to come into contact with “other sheep.” Will we stick to our own kind, work to create a Christian enclave where we feel safe and secure, free from any risk? Or, will we be the welcoming face, the open hands, the purposeful feet, and the compassionate voice of Christ in the world so that all may know the love of God?
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.
Thanks to all of those who supported Abraham Jam and the wonderful performers who made it happen. We hope to have links to additional video from the concert soon, but for now, here’s a sneak peek provided by the Duke Chronicle.You can also listen to Frank Stasio’s interview with musicians David LaMotte, Dan Nichols, and Dawud Wharnsby from the Nov. 16 edition of WUNC’s The State of Things.
Interfaith Dialogue is a crucial endeavor in light of the increasing religious diversity in our nation and our own communities. Globalization is a wondrous, yet in some ways perplexing reality, and it brings us into ever more frequent contact with persons of other faiths. While at one time the dialogue between Christians and Jews was common and we often spoke of our Judeo-Christian heritage, that conversation has necessarily expanded to include our increasingly numerous Muslim neighbors and we now speak of the Abrahamic Faiths. We are becoming increasingly aware of Buddhist, Hindu and Native American neighbors as well as persons of other religious traditions. It is imperative that we acknowledge, understand, and appreciate each other for the sake not only of civility, but because all our religious traditions require hospitality of us.
When a distinguished group of Muslim Imams published their historic “A Common Word Between Us and You” it was met with resounding expressions of appreciation by religious and secular leaders alike. It was an effort to initiate a broad dialogue across the United States between Muslims and Christians. It focused on two central themes which these two historic faiths hold in common: Love of God, and Love of Neighbor, and it sites the many texts of the Hebrew Scriptures which are venerated by both religious traditions. It seemed inappropriate to engage in such a dialogue without including our Jewish colleagues from whose faith tradition these texts originated. Hence, a three way dialogue was seen as the best approach.
In one month, our country will mark the 10th anniversary of the attacks on our nation on 9/11. Many denominations, faith groups and religious organizations have prepared materials for use in community gatherings and worship services in congregations – click here for links to those resources. You will also find pastoral care materials and age appropriate resources for children.
Building community is the most effective (though perhaps least dramatic) way to resist divisive rhetoric that demonizes the ‘other.’ It is much easier to caricature people we don’t know. It is hard not to challenge stereotypes when one’s own personal experience and relationships contradict them.
Torture conference logoOn March 25 and 26, 2011, the Duke University Divinity School in Durham, North Carolina will be hosting a conference on torture. This two-day event aims to equip participants to understand the arguments against torture and to prepare them for anti-torture advocacy within their own communities, trusting that the greatest protection against the U.S. government’s use of torture is a shared understanding that torture is always wrong.
I was struck, as I listened to remembrances from the past, that we really are seeing progress on issues of social justice. But it happens over a period of years or even decades. The issues we heard about at the Anniversary are difficult ones. They have produced years of frustration and sometimes what looked like complete failure. And yet . . .
Dr. Terrence Rynne is the founder of the Marquette University Center for Peacemaking. His new book “Gandhi and Jesus, the Saving Power of Nonviolence” examines the intersections between the life of Jesus and the teachings of Gandhi. He has three presentations coming up in North Carolina, in Charlotte, Greensboro and Raleigh.
The American IndependentThe NC Council of Churches on Thursday strongly endorsed the right of Muslims to build a community center near the site of the 9/11 terror attacks in New York City. “We stand with our Muslim brothers and sisters in affirming their right to build on a site two-and-a-half blocks from Ground Zero,” the council said in statement unanimously adopted by its governing board at its meeting this week in Greensboro. The statement comes as controversy flares around a TV ad being aired by North Carolina Republican congressional candidate Renee Ellmers.
The North Carolina Council of Churches represents 6,200 congregations in 17 denominations statewide. The North Carolina Council of Churches condemns all religious violence. As people of Christian faith, we value a teaching common to the Abrahamic faiths, which in the Christian tradition is expressed as “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” As Christians in a nation largely founded by religious refugees, we value the freedom of religion guaranteed by our Constitution and proudly proclaimed worldwide as a foundational principle of United States government and society. For freedom of religion to have substance and integrity, it must extend to people of all faiths.
Rabbi Mark Strauss-Cohn, Temple Emanuel (Winston-Salem)What is it about the rear side of a car that they are a primary location to display our affiliations: sports, political groups, rock bands, restaurants, ideologies, personal interests, vacation spots, synagogues (a very popular one here in Winston-Salem)… You see these signs everywhere.
The following are prayers offered for Middle East Peace during a 2006 interfaith prayer service in North Carolina.It is good that we have been here today, not because it changes a thing, but because it reminds us that as diverse as our traditions and convictions are, our hearts yearn for similar things. And if this is true, if we are hoping and praying and working for the same ultimate goals, then we are connected in a soulful way. And acknowledging that truth can change everything.
May the One who made us for peace, give us the courage to live in peace.
May the One who made us in love, give us the compassion to reach out in love.
May the One who made us with hope, give us the strength to persevere in hope.
And may all of our sisters and brothers in the Middle East know the fullness of God’s peace, God’s hope, and God’s love. Amen.
#Democracy means making our voices heard in free and fair #elections. Some people want to block eligible voters by saying vote by mail will “rig” the election. It’s not true: we’re all better off when our elections reflect everyone. nass.org/can-I-vote #CountEveryVote pic.twitter.com/Jo5u…
Our final installment of our forum series will focus on the importance of global common good! Our guest speakers will lead us in conversation on the importance of voting by standing up for, and voting on, the values of the global common good. Join us! us02web.zoom.us/meet… pic.twitter.com/FX8L…
Join us for a screening of “Answering the Call: The American Struggle for the Right to Vote.” The screening will be followed by a discussion about voter registration and voting procedures in North Carolina. us02web.zoom.us/meet…
The September issue of our newsletter will highlight the connections between food and our faith. Are you subscribed to receive our updates? Make sure to sign-up here: ncchurches.org/newsl… pic.twitter.com/a8E8…
Happening this Friday! Join us & our partners at @rafiusa & Resourceful Communities for a lively discussion on the importance of local food & farmers in our communities. Register at bit.ly/2FIh2B7. #NC #faith #health #nutrition #local #HealthyEating #HealthyLiving pic.twitter.com/pkdt…
Important read from @newsobserver, featuring the Rev. Jessica Stokes, PHW Associate Director for Mental Health Advocacy. Please remember that we are #StrongerTogether. We see you, we hear you, and we are with you. trib.al/YxeZcC2 #mentalhealth #MentalHealthMatters
RT @faithinplace On this #GlobalClimateDay, take action to address the injustice at the root of the problem. Whether you join in a virtual strike with @ilclimatemvmt, donate to a #ClimateJustice org, or solidify your plan to vote, there are lots of ways to #ActOnClimate. @DrDeJarnett @nehaorg pic.twitter.com/7wvV…
RT @interfaithpower Are your congregation's youth joining the #climatestrike tomorrow? As people of faith we give thanks for the persistence of young people in securing a livable future for us all. Pass this along so others can join in. @MNIPL @NCIPLYL @DeIPL @alinterfaithpl twitter.com/GretaThu…
RT @MomsAction Climate is too important for our children’s future to ignore. Too much is at stake. The #climatecrisis must be a standalone topic at the presidential #debates. Chris Wallace: #AskAboutClimate! #MomsAreWatching twitter.com/debates/…
RT @interfaithpower IPL is partnering with @greenthechurch and @CreationJustice on this important webinar on a new study connecting environmental pollution from fossil fuels with increased childhood cancer rates. Join us! #environmentaljustice is #ClimateJustice is #RacialJustice twitter.com/greenthe…