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Debate over N.C. Vote on Marriage Arrives in Charlotte

February 27, 2012 | From the Charlotte Observer Sunday, February 26, 2012 By Michael Gordon As debate builds around a proposed constitutional amendment aimed at limiting same-sex marriage in North Carolina, the campaigns on both sides of the vote have come to Charlotte to make their cases. On Saturday, speakers at a statewide rally at Myers Park Baptist Church, a liberal congregation, called on voters to keep discrimination out of "the foundational legal document of our state," said the Rev. Steve Shoemaker, the church's pastor. And while the amendment is designed to restrict same-sex marriage, they said, its passage has implications for all unmarried couples, heterosexuals included. Read more »

NC Baptists Against Amendment One: Saturday, February 25, 2012

February 15, 2012 | NC Baptists Against Amendment One: Justice, Equality & Personal FreedomMyers Park Baptist Church in Charlotte, N.C. will host NC Baptists Against Amendment One: Justice, Equality and Personal Freedom on February 25, 2012 from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. This event is a part of the national Many Voices, One Love campaign sponsored by the Association of Welcoming and Affirming Baptists (AWAB), the Baptist Peace Fellowship of North America (BPFNA), and the Alliance of Baptists. Amendment One bans all legal recognition for all unmarried couples. It states,"Marriage between one man and one woman is the only domestic legal union that shall be valid or recognized in this state." Anyone who falls outside of this definition could potentially be harmed. Read more »

Love in Action: Boycott Against Starbucks Launches February 14

February 14, 2012 | The National Gun Victimís Action Council (NGAC), along with allies in the faith community and secular groups, is calling for a boycott against Starbucks, its stores and its products. The boycott (BREW not BULLETS) will begin on February 14, 2012 and will end only when Starbucks bans all guns from its stores. Its goal is to eliminate the risk of guns in public places and to enforce safer gun laws. Read more »

Friendship Tour Update - A Third Postcard from Burma

February 5, 2012 | Thank you for all your thoughts and prayers for our members on Friendship Tours. Please read below for a third postcard from Julie Warner in Burma. Having flown from Yangon to Bangkok, Thailand, we took the day bus from Bangkok to Mae Sot, a 7-hour trip. There we made a short visit to the Mae Tao Clinic in Mae Sot where we had a tour with Meredith Walsh. [Meredith grew up attending BPFNAís summer conference, ìPeace Campî. Her father, Tom Walsh, was a member of the first BPFNA board.] Read more »

No Olvidados - A Postcard from Tijuana

January 30, 2012 | The following is written by LeDayne McLeese Polaski, BPFNA program coordinator and leader of the Tijuana Friendship Tour. I've been struggling to figure out a way to write about this experience; looking for a thread that connects it all together. Perhaps "no olvidados" (not forgotten) is that thread. Wednesday night, Ray Schellinger (one of the missionaries who runs Deborah's House, the domestic violence shelter in which we're staying) talked with the group about the theological foundations of their ministry in Tijuana. He shared the story of the Good Samaritan. He spoke of how the man who stopped to help felt "his bowels busting out" -- the literal definition of the Greek verb (which is also used to describe Judas' death.) It refers to a depth of compassion that is painful. Jesus tells that man who is seeking the secret to eternal life -- "Go and do likewise." Read more »

Friendship Tour Update - A Second Burmese Postcard

January 30, 2012 | We just arrived in Bagan after three incredible days in Mandalay. One of the highlights of the entire trip was a boat ride on the Irrawaddy River from Mandalay to Mingun and Inwa, two historical sites near Mandalay. We organized a meeting of Baptist leaders from Mandalay on the boat, so we had a day of fellowship and sightseeing together. The Baptist leaders are from all ethnic groups - Karen, Kachin, Chin, Lisu, Burmese. Our group chatted with them about the work of their churches, and they had the opportunity to interact with each other in a way that they would not normally have. Our guide, and my friend who organized the boat trip, said that the Baptist leaders were all so happy to have this opportunity to be together that they were asking her how they could organize such an event in the near future for themselves. Read more »

A Postcard from Burma - By Julie Warner

January 23, 2012 | We arrived in Yangon on Friday evening, Jan 19. On Saturday we spent the day with [Burmese exile] Ko Ko Lay and staff at Karen Theological Seminary. We were received warmly by Ko Ko Lay, staff, and students. We visited the campus, including spending some time talking to the students in their dorms. We then went to a nearby teashop where we sat and began to discuss the current political situation. This was a great experience - I was well aware that people in Myanmar (mostly the men) go to the teashops and spend time discussing current events, politics, etc. So here we were in a similar setting doing the same - however, more openly. Read more »

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