Raleigh Report — May 18 Update
The General Assembly convened this past Wednesday for its regular “short session.” As always, the primary… Continue Reading
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?
This comprehensive, intergenerational curriculum focuses on the food we eat and why it matters. Featuring 7 lessons with Scripture, prayers, resources, and activities for young children through adults, “Eating Well” will challenge and inspire your church or community group. Download your copy today.
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.
For the first time since its creation, a special committee reviewing North Carolina’s immigration policy heard from the public on Wednesday, March 28th. To a hearing room packed with advocates on both sides of the immigration debate, speakers told their stories to North Carolina lawmakers charged with considering the state’s role in immigration. Reverend Villegas presented the co-chairs of the committee with over 175 written comments from clergy and people of faith from across the State urging the committee to carefully consider the negative impact that new tough, anti-immigration laws would have on North Carolina.
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.
From Acts of Faith: Free Lectionary Resources for Prophetic Worship
Date: 2nd Sunday after Easter, April 15, 2012
Topic: Living Wages
Focus Text: Acts 4:32-35
From the pastoral reflection: “As Christians, we attempt to recapture the vision of work as related to the creating, sustaining, and transforming work of God. Our vocation is not defined simply by our paid employment. What we do at home, in churches, in our volunteer and political activities, all contribute to the “work” that embraces the whole of our lives.”
Tell NC legislators that we don’t want to follow Arizona and Alabama – say NO to harmful anti-immigrant legislation that could be introduced here in North Carolina.
A special committee of the NC House has been meeting to determine whether to introduce an Arizona-style “Papers, please” bill. This is your chance to hold lawmakers accountable for making NC a welcoming state that is competitive in the global economy instead of enacting costly measures that will separate families and threaten our economy.
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.
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
With too many North Carolinians jobless, the North Carolina Council of Churches is releasing a newly revised version of its popular “Job Loss: A Guidebook for Pastors” eight years after the original was published. The revised version is available for free download on the Council’s website.
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.
Charlotte ObserverEven in February, there’s a lot happening in the community garden at Central United Methodist church in east Charlotte.
A few of the 24 plots still have winter vegetables to harvest. Gardeners are building pea trellises and clearing the ground to start planting early crops.
Langston Denny, a prayer leader at the church, is building a new compost bin. He’s arranged for a local restaurant to give him its lettuce, coffee grounds and eggshells that would otherwise go to waste.
Central United is part of a growing movement among faith groups – in Charlotte and around the nation – that embrace environmental conservation as a way to care for God’s creation and for neighbors in need.
Raleigh News & ObserverWe would not have chosen to be a part of an issue like this, but we are. The world is watching North Carolina to see what we will do. There is compelling evidence that conspiracy to commit kidnapping and torture were committed by Johnston County’s Aero Contractors. The state should investigate these claims and determine their validity.
IndyWeek.ComGovernor Bev Perdue kicked off the 2012 budget debate today — and (unofficially) kicked off her 2012 re-electon campaign — with a call for increased school funding. Specifically, she wants 3/4ths of that temporary 1-cent sales tax for education back temporarily.
Raleigh News & ObserverA gathering on a hillside outside a church in West Raleigh late Sunday marked the one-year anniversary since a shooting in Tucson, Ariz., left a federal judge and five other people dead and 13 injured, including U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.
Organizers used the occasion to highlight a shifting focus in what has been a decades-long effort to promote legislation aimed at limiting people’s access to guns.
Instead, there is a growing focus on using churches and other faith-based efforts to promote a change in how the American culture views guns, they said. It’s also an acknowledgement that work in legislatures across the country have been met with resistance to many anti-gun measures.
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.
In April 1967, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. spoke at New York’s Riverside Church about the war being fought by the U.S. in Asia at that time, in Vietnam. His words remind us of the choices we now face about war and peace at home and abroad. Click here to download the bulletin insert celebrating Dr. King’s life and work.
Join us for the 2012 Conference on the Common Good sponsored by the Council’s Christian Unity Committee. The title of this year’s gathering is Catholic Social Teaching: A Vision for the Common Good. It takes place Monday, February 20 at Raleigh’s Highland United Methodist Church from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.The standard and guide for Roman Catholic approaches to social justice for the last hundred years was set by a Papal Encyclical near the turn of the 20th Century. Centesimus Annus celebrates the 100th anniversary of that document and restates its teachings for our generation. It is a comprehensive summary of social and economic justice perspectives that resonate with Christians of every denomination. Rev. Dr. Brian Johnstone, Professor of Moral Theology at Catholic University of America in Washington, DC, will be our guest speaker and leader.
Blessings of the Holiday Season from the staff, program volunteers and interns of the North Carolina Council of Churches:
George, Willona, Tyler, Susannah, Sandy, Rose, Rollin, Richard, Megan, Lisa, Leslie, Kathy, Joy, Donna, David, Collins, Chris, Allison, and Aleta.
While the Great Recession technically ended in mid-2009, its effects on North Carolina’s workers and families have dragged on. High unemployment and underemployment have led to increases in numerous measures of economic hardship, including hunger. More than two million North Carolinians faced food hardship in 2010.For more than a million individuals in North Carolina facing hunger, the state’s food stamps program provided a vital lifeline. Participation in the program has surged since the start of the recession, with the equivalent of the population of Charlotte being added to the program.
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.
In his recent Washington Post op-ed article entitled “The Values Debate We’re Not Having,” Richard Cizik highlights the disconnect between an individualist market-first ideology and the Christian calling to love our neighbors. Cizik represented the National Association of Evangelicals in the corridors of power in Washington DC for 10 years. I think he’s raising some crucial questions for all people of faith, across the political spectrum.
Raleigh News & ObserverAs we enter this holiday season of feasting, we need to be honest about how our food is produced. America has always relied on cheap labor to make agriculture work. The source of much of that labor used to be slave ships making the Middle Passage. Today it’s no longer slaves but immigrant workers, primarily undocumented people from Mexico and Latin America, whose cheap labor makes possible both low prices at the grocery store and high profits for agribusinesses.
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.
The church of which I’m a member, Pullen Memorial Baptist in Raleigh, has had a partnership for many years with First Baptist Church in Tbilisi, the capital of the Republic of Georgia (formerly part of the Soviet Union). The pastor with whom we’ve had the closest contact, Malkhaz Songulashvili, has now become the Archbishop for Baptists in Georgia. (You did not read that wrong. Baptists in the Republic of Georgia have bishops and an archbishop!) Malkhaz was at Pullen on November 13 to preach and lead in the celebration of Eucharist.
Malkhaz has been courageous in his advocacy and practice of nonviolent action as Georgia has gone through its “Rose Revolution,” which moved Georgia away from authoritarian government and toward democratic reform. The Church of England honored his leadership in September 2005 when he was awarded the Lambeth Cross by the Archbishop of Canterbury.
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.
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.
North Carolina Interfaith Power and Light, a program of the Council, is proud to announce that this year has been a banner year for faith communities in North Carolina to go solar. Three faith communities have successfully installed solar projects on their property in the past few months, Myers Park Baptist Church in Charlotte (picture above), Temple Emmanuel in Greensboro, and the Montreat Conference Center in Montreat. First Congregational United Church of Christ installed their solar panels in February.
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.
Raleigh News & ObserverThe N.C. Council of Churches has been working for decades to improve conditions for farm workers in our state. Sadly, too much remains unchanged over that time. Field and poultry workers do backbreaking work, but they don’t have the same protections on the job that everyone else has. Now with the recent filing of a complaint against the N.C. Department of Labor, it appears that even the few laws on the books designed to protect farm workers have been systematically ignored (“Dirty jobs,” Oct. 15 editorial).
This might strike you as surprising, as it did me, but radiation has been in cigarettes for more than forty years! We all have heard just how bad cigarettes are, but to know that they contain alpha particles on top of the other harmful substances is alarming, to say the least. And it is appalling to know that tobacco companies knew this and covered up the truth.
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.
Last week I visited with a great group of students at Episcopal Campus Ministry (Raleigh) to talk about farmworkers, food and faith. Some students had just visited Episcopal Farmworker Ministry in Newton Grove, NC, where they had volunteered their time to visit with workers, provide clothes and other necessities, and learn about life as a farmworker in North Carolina’s fields. The visit raised many questions about the injustices in our food system and the seeming invisibility of the people who make it possible with their hard labor. Even though 85% of fruits and vegetables are picked by hand, many students remarked that they had never learned anything about farmworkers at all before getting involved with Episcopal Campus Ministry.
In Ezekiel, we hear the cry of God for God’s sheep throughout the land and nations. As a shepherd, God makes connections across lands and regions where we have, time and time again, made divisions. For too long, we have defined health with a too limited view as to who my neighbor is and who my fellow sheep are.
NC Policy WatchI can certainly understand that the nation is clearly frustrated with Congress’ dysfunction, partisan gridlock, and seeming inability to deal rationally with the many major policy issues facing our communities. I am too. And immigration reform is now seen as one of the most challenging political battlegrounds, thanks in large part to partisan wrangling. Now a handful of conservative legislators are using fear and misinformation to position immigration as a political wedge issue, cashing in on Washington’s inaction and the down economy to pursue a fierce anti-immigrant agenda
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.
When it comes to the debate about immigration, one of the most challenging aspects for people of faith is the way that immigrants are so often portrayed very negatively. From mainstream media to radio talk show hosts to political ads, immigrants are depicted over and over as criminals, gang members, and drunk drivers – basically, as people to be feared. These negative stereotypes tend to create fear and hinder progress when it comes to fixing our nation’s broken immigration system. There are several ways that you can stand up against these negative images.
I had the pleasure of gathering with folks at First Baptist (Greensboro) last week for the local premiere of the film. We were lucky enough to hear directly from Robert Parham, executive director the Baptist Center for Ethics, who produced Gospel Without Borders. Dr. Parham spoke powerfully about his experiences in making the film and in seeing how these stories are already connecting with audiences across the U.S. After watching the film together, we heard from three great panelists: Hector Villanueva, pastor of Iglesia Bautista La Roca in Siler City and a featured story in the film; Mike Aiken, executive director of Greensboro Urban Ministries; and Rabbi Fred Guttman, Temple Emanuel (Greensboro). Each connected the messages of the film with their own contexts.
Across North Carolina, congregations are participating in this year’s groundbreaking national event called the DREAM Sabbath 2011. Sponsored by the Interfaith Immigration Coalition, the DREAM Sabbath is a month-long opportunity to integrate stories of DREAM students into prayers, readings, reflections, or study sessions as a way to help educate and spread awareness of DREAM students and their hopes to attain full recognition of their contributions to our communities. Over 300 congregations nationwide are participating.
In October, the NC Council of Churches will kick off a series of events to bring together clergy and seminary students around immigration issues – and you’re invited to attend! This statewide series represents an opportunity for local ministers and students to gather together and discuss immigration through the lens of faith. Every day we’re seeing how congregations are on the front lines of the immigration debate – offering English courses, meals, job training, and pastoral care to people facing very challenging situations. In these challenging times, there is nothing quite like sitting down with other faith leaders and students as we seek a faithful response together.
We are here this morning in support of NC WARN’s requests for safe, healthy and cost effective energy efficiency and renewable energy programs to be stipulated as conditions for the proposed merger between Duke Power and Progress Energy. NC WARN, and all the other organizations and individuals testifying, are sharing their expertise and submitting reports that clearly demonstrate a road to the most cost effective solutions for a 21st Century Energy Economy revolving around a comprehensive plan for achieving the maximum attainable energy efficiency in our state.
The General Assembly met for three days last week in its second mini-session following adjournment of the regular long session. This session was supposed to be the “Constitutional Amendments Session,” but when the dust cleared, only one constitutional amendment had been approved – the one which defines marriage so as to exclude people who are gay or lesbian not only from marriage but also from civil unions or other similar committed relationships and which could also prevent local governments and even private companies from granting partner benefits to anyone not in a two-gender marriage
The North Carolina General Assembly has met for its third time this year. This was to be the “Constitutional Amendments Session,” but when adjournment was reached yesterday, the only constitutional amendment which had been passed was the one excluding people who are gay or lesbian from marriage, something that is already statutory law in our state.
Pictured left, St. Paul’s Chapel became a refuge for rescue workers after September 11.The tenth anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks is next month, and it happens to fall on a Sunday. The NC Council of Churches has already posted some resources for worship planners, and there are a couple more links at the end of this blog. We also want to make you aware of community services which are being planned.
The payment of taxes is one of the ways we demonstrate we are an extended family as citizens of this state and nation. While we hardly agree on how much we should be taxed, or how our taxes should be used, there is agreement that the burden falls to all of us in some measure. But here is where my family metaphor breaks down in discussing tax policy. Whereas we would never expect a family member with few resources to pay as much of his or her money for the family’s living expenses as another family member with greater resources, our current tax system does just that. Or worse.
This is a recorded webinar that took place on Aug. 29, 2011. The purpose of this webinar is to help viewers get a sense for what is included in the curriculum and how to use it in your own unique setting. You’ll also hear from an NC pastor about her experience using this curriculum at her church.
From September 16th to October 9th, congregations across the United States will lift up the lives of DREAM students in prayers, readings, reflection and education during at least one Sabbath service as a way to help educate and spread awareness of DREAM students and their hopes to attain full recognition of their contributions to this country. The large showing of support by faith groups will hopefully continue to build momentum for the DREAM Act in Congress.
The NC Council of Churches is pleased to announce the publication of a brand new biblically based curriculum on immigration issues, entitled Becoming the Church Together: Immigration, the Bible & Our New Neighbors. Designed to facilitate constructive discussion, this flexible curriculum guides small groups through the many aspects of this topic with an emphasis on studying the Bible together.
The Rural Life Committee of the North Carolina Council of Churches has issued a statement supporting the ban on hydraulic drilling in the state. Citing the lack of research on horizontal hydraulic fracturing, the experiences of rural landowners affected by gas drilling, and the potential impacts on rural communities, the committee warned that the risk posed by “fracking” is unacceptably high. The committee also warned about the dangers of exploitation.
This is the purpose of education wherever it takes place, moving beyond rote repetition to provide each learner the possibility of a future better than what might otherwise be expected. Psalm 78 invites humility, gratitude, and “the exercise of power in the form of love, not of force.
Harvest of Dignity is a new, original documentary created in 2011. It focuses on the lives and work of farmworkers in North Carolina, providing an in-depth portrait of the people who harvest our food today. It combines interviews with North Carolina farmworkers, advocates, faith leaders and educators, documentary photos and interviews collected by Student Action with Farmworkers interns and clips from the original Harvest of Shame documentary.
The Council has long been touting the benefits of community gardening in both urban and rural settings alike. Community gardens offer healthy local foods that are often more nutritious than their grocery-story or food-bank counterparts. Gardens also help community members become more active, and they are a great way for congregations, local organizations and neighborhoods to collaborate together. Last Sunday the Raleigh News & Observer highlighted this growing movement, using the example of Highland United Methodist Church.
The experiences of landowners in other states indicate that hydraulic fracturing can have profound negative impacts on rural communities. The Rural Life Committee of the North Carolina Council of Churches supports the current ban on hydraulic fracturing in North Carolina. The above concerns need to be addressed with careful attention to landowners’ property, landowners’ rights, and the care for creation’s gifts. Furthermore, we call on our member bodies and faith leaders to share reliable information about hydraulic fracturing with their communities. We believe that we are called by God to be good stewards of the good gifts of community, health, water and soil. Trusting in God, we refuse to trade this bountiful inheritance for the empty promises of energy that may be cheap in terms of dollars but which we know will be costly in terms of our livelihoods.
In Jesus’ economics, the one represented here by the generous landowner, all workers received the pay they needed in order to survive, even if it seemed unfair to those who had worked all day. Sabbath economics is Jesus economics. As Ched Myers notes, Sabbath economics is about the grace of receiving what the Creator (employer) gives and the responsibility not to take more than is needed. Wide gaps between rich and poor are not part of God’s plan, and God’s people are called to be part of God’s generosity so that all have enough on which to live.
While it is true that central to Christian theology is the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, it would be erroneous to reduce the whole of Christian theology to a set of beliefs. If one surveys the gospels, then a person will find Jesus both expounding upon theology and liberating people. For those who were sick, he cured them of their sickness. For those who were blind, he gave them sight. For those who were saddened, he comforted them. Jesus gave concrete solutions to the problems that people faced in the 1st century and did not merely offer them a set of beliefs.
My first job was as a machine shop shipping clerk. I was probably a little young, but during the summer I was able to earn a few bucks and develop a taste for new and shiny bicycle parts. However, it wasn’t the money or what the money bought me that has lasted. When I think about that time, my friends and the people I worked with were a highlight.
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.
In a community of Christians, the hopeful possibilities present in conflict will only be realized when we deal with the tension in a productive way. When a congregation faces conflict openly and directly with the people involved, there is a good opportunity for the situation to result in positive change and closer relationships between people. When conflict is handled in a way that cuts off communication and silences questions, the conflict can escalate and become destructive.
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.
A Theological Companion to Making Ends Meet After the Great Recession: The 2010 Living Income StandardThis new resource is meant to bring the issue of wages into conversation with theological perspectives of economic justice. Workers Are Worth Their Keep is divided into three main sections. The first section highlights passages from the Bible that speak directly about economic justice, fair pay for workers, and the call of God to treat workers with dignity. The second section examines the perspectives of several major figures from Christian traditions. While their contexts vary greatly, their voices converge around the calling to pay workers wages that are fair and just. The third and final section of this resource quotes from official statements from many of the denominations represented in the NC Council of Churches.
Partners in Health and Wholeness, in partnership with Youth Empowered Solutions, will provide FREE TRAININGS to clergy and other adults who work with youth to create positive community change through strong health advocacy, particularly as it relates to increasing access to healthy foods, physical activity and tobacco use prevention. The date, time and location of the first training
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 Raleigh News & Observer recently featured a front-page story about how students are organizing in support of the Dream Act. Here at the Council, we’re excited to see this generation of young people come out of the shadows and stand against unjust immigration policies that separate families and undermine access to education. At the same time, we know these students are taking huge risks in revealing their status.
NC Council of Churches Executive Director George Reed has received the 2011 Luke Mowbray Ecumenical Award presented by the American Baptist Churches USA. The honor is given to an individual for his or her outstanding contribution to the cause of advancing ecumenism either through sustained performance or special achievement.
Governor Deal believes ex-convicts on Georgia farms can fill 11,000 jobs opened by the state’s new harsh immigration law. The law authorizes all law enforcement to detain immigrants and that has scared away the undocumented workers who attended the fields beforehand. With unemployment hitting a critical high among citizens on probation, it seems the Governor sees the solution as a simple switch. But how many ex-convicts have gone out to the farms looking for work? If the potential workers who are on probation are not presently looking for those jobs, will this group migrate to the farms, because the Governor says so?
Growing up in church, it would be fair for me to say that most sermons I heard were either concerned with A) theology or B) decrying certain practices in our contemporary Western culture. Neither of these is wrong or unimportant, as theology is the bedrock of faith, and there is much to decry in the world. The one thing I rarely heard preached on, however, was issues of social justice. And when preached on, it was through standard channels—witnessing/evangelism, donating food and clothing to our church’s pantry, and giving offerings. These are all well and good, but can we do more than these traditional categories?
The Wild Goose has flown, at least for the 2011 season.
The overwhelming consensus among attendees of the inaugural Wild Goose Festival is that it was quite a successful experiment. People traveled from as far away as Scotland and New Zealand to be part of the event, and presenters ranging from Vincent Harding to Jim Wallis, musicians from Michelle Shocked to Beth Nielsen Chapman—each contributed their own sparks to the thousands of spontaneous and rich conversations that arose between the roughly 1500 people who gathered in Silk Hope, North Carolina this weekend.
Since redistricting affects who is elected to governmental bodies, the decisions about boundaries also affect policies these bodies enact. Anyone who cares about the way laws affect communities should care about this. Learn more #2022CriticalIssues bit.ly/3KZgi7z @scsj pic.twitter.com/sls7…
Through the assistance of @CarterCenter, Jennifer Roberts & Bob Orr are assembling a cross-partisan network of respected North Carolinians advocating for adherence to democratic & civic values in NC elections. Learn more & register: bit.ly/3KZgi7z #2022CriticalIssues pic.twitter.com/dCTl…
RT @healthactionnc Help us keep Medicaid expansion in the spotlight by joining our letter to the editor campaign. Never written an LTE before? No problem, register for our Action Hour and get all the tools you will need! bit.ly/MedExActionHo… twitter.com/healthac…
Our Democracy is being threatened more than ever and together we can learn the facts, educate ourselves, and preserve our democracy and protect it from those who would cause it harm. Join us for #2022CriticalIssues every day starting May 23 until May 27. bit.ly/3KZgi7z pic.twitter.com/NKKl…
RT @NcAging May is #OlderAmericansMonth and this year's theme is #AgeMyWay. The theme is a reminder for us to reflect on our own desires as we age, as well as, explore creative solutions for older adults to remain involved and included in our communities. Join us in celebrating this month.🎉 pic.twitter.com/Lb7L…
RT @FaithCompassWFU Consider becoming an HIV & Faith Ambassador! To learn more, plan to join us for a virtual information session on 05/18 at 2 PM, 06/30 at 2 PM, or on 07/20 at 11 AM, all EST. Register now: bit.ly/FaithAmbInfo #faithandHIV #faithcompassWFU #transformthestory pic.twitter.com/oZo7…
Join us now Attorney General Josh Stein for a virtual conversation, “A Faith-Based harm Reduction Approach to the Opioid Crisis.” youtube.com/watch?v=…
RT @NCAGO Join Attorney General @JoshStein_ today at 1 p.m. for a discussion on a faith-based harm reduction approach to the opioid crisis with representatives of Olive Branch Ministries. Register here: us06web.zoom.us/webi… pic.twitter.com/XB05…
RT @interfaithpower North Carolina congregations with @NCIPL are taking advantage of their utility's solar panel rebate program to save on their lighting and space heating and cooling costs. #Faiths4Climate #EarthWeek twitter.com/PNS_NC/s…
RT @scennetwork1 This past weekend, Alexander Easdale, our Executive Director, attended the Fight for Our Future rally in Washington D.C. to advocate for climate action! Read more about this event here and see if you can spot our SCEN T-shirts in one of the pictures: nytimes.com/2022/04/… pic.twitter.com/5voq…
RT @interfaithpower 2 DAYS TO WEBINAR! with Christi Cooper, the filmmaker of this year’s featured film, YOUTH v GOV, and two young plaintiffs from the film - Nathan Baring and Miko Vergun. April 27 at 4:30pm Pacific /7:30pm Eastern. Register here: bit.ly/YvG_IPL @youthvgov @youthvgovfilm pic.twitter.com/HC3b…
RT @interfaithpower IPL invites you to pray for the Earth during Earth Week. Today pray along with Rev Dr Gerald Durley, IPL Chair of the board. Hop on over to IPL's FB to view. New prayers posted daily during Earth Week #Faiths4Climate #prayer #prayfortheearth #EarthWeek pic.twitter.com/lBz1…