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Music, Training, Vigils, and More in Raleigh

Posted by Erin Bechtol

Campaign Nonviolence NC Week began on Sept 15, 2017 at the Common Grounds Coffee House. Thirty people enjoyed live music by Laura Ridgeway and Drew Lile as they gathered together to begin the journey to foster a culture of peace. They encouraged everyone to connect the dots between war, poverty, and the climate crisis. They reflected on what they have done with the movement in the area and shared a commitment to nonviolence by acknowledging that “nonviolence begins with me.” They applauded the action that the governor took by signing a Proclamation declaring it Campaign Nonviolence NC Week in all of North Carolina.

The North Carolina Council of Churches presented training for congregations and clergy leaders interested in providing support and sanctuary for vulnerable individuals in North Carolina. They discussed the many ways that congregations could stand up against hate and dehumanization. Topics included testimony from people who have been in sanctuary and congregations that have opened their doors as sanctuaries as well as training for congregations that are in the discernment process. The keynote speaker was Rev. Noel Andersen, Grassroots Organizer for Church World Service out of the Washington DC office.

On Sept. 21, 2017, the International Day of Peace, Campaign Nonviolence NC held a Prayer Vigil for Nonviolence. Nearly eighty people reflected on the wisdom of the many voices who have advocated for peace, sang songs such as “We Shall Overcome,” and prayed for awareness, healing, and a commitment for peace. We lifted up our concerns by naming the violence in our world and acknowledged that Nonviolence Begins With Me.

On September 15-23, 2017, Campaign Nonviolence NC held its third year of Campaign Nonviolence NC Week. Throughout the week, a variety of activities were held. The week included live music, workshops on sanctuary issues, environmental issues, restorative justice, and the advantages of non-financial pretrial release.  The Middle East Book Group welcomed visitors.  There was a peace picnic for youth, the movie Path of Nonviolence was shown and a Prayer Vigil for Nonviolence was  held on the International Day of Peace. The week concluded with a reflection seminar  and the Journey to Gospel Nonviolence. The week was highlighted by the governor signing a Proclamation declaring it the Campaign Nonviolence NC Week.

See photos below.


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