GO

Social Justice

The purpose of Benson’s Memorial’s Work Area for Church & Society is to raise awareness of issues of justice and peace within our society and how we as a Christian community are called to social service, social education, social witness and social action in our local community, our state, our nation and the world. Our focus is on long-term, root causes of social injustice and suffering while we also work closely with the Work Area on Missions to identify and meet immediate needs through acts of mercy. We affirm our church’s longstanding commitment to these acts of mercy, which can produce immediate, tangible results. But we also affirm that we are called by Christ to confront the societal causes of injustice and suffering in our world.

 

Biblical Basis for Peace and Justice

 

And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” –Micah 6.8

 

 

“…Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or ill or in prison and did nothing for you?” And he will answer, “I tell you this: anything you did not do for one of these, however humble, you did not do for me.” –Matthew 25.44-46


Second Chance Alliance

You are invited to participate on May 7, 2019 in the Second Chance Alliance Lobby Day downtown at the General Assembly. Lobby Day is an opportunity for people with criminal records across the state to testify to the importance of criminal justice reform. Look forward to a day filled with public testimonials, free food, music, and a chance to meet with elected officials. The NC Second Chance Alliance is a statewide alliance of people with criminal records, their family members, service providers, congregations, community leaders and concerned citizens that have come together to address the causes of criminal records and the barriers they create to allow for successful reentry. The Alliance is specifically asking for support on these issues relating to pending or potential bills:

 

  • A Fair Chance policy for public employment and occupational licensing/certification that facilitates fair consideration of an applicant’s criminal history. 
  • Clean Slate reforms that expand access to criminal record expungement. 
  • Investments in education, treatment, and other reentry-focused programs in jails and prisons as well as community-based reentry services, including local reentry councils. 
  • Elimination of unaffordable criminal court costs and common-sense limitations on driver’s license suspensions for failure to pay traffic court costs.
  • Judicial discretion for mandatory minimums and funding for Drug Courts. 
  • Resolving of all pending charges and orders for arrest prior to release from prison.

 

If you are interested in attending, please sign up via this form.


Enlarging the Circle Reconciling Community

The Benson Memorial Enlarging the Circle Reconciling Community is dedicated to living with open hearts, open minds, and open doors. We recognize that all persons are created in the image of God, loved by God, and reconciled to God through Christ. We also believe that, in the words of John Wesley, “Though we cannot think alike, may we not love alike?” In that light, we are committed to welcoming, affirming, embracing, and including as part of our faith community all children of God—regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, race, sex, ability, ethnicity, national origin, culture, education, faith tradition, or family, marital or socioeconomic status—treating all equally and with dignity.

 

As members of Enlarging the Circle, we are pledged to:

  • Connect and engage with people of different perspectives and walks of life, especially those who have faced and may face discrimination;
  • Accompany and support people of different perspectives and walks of life at church or other events to affirm all people’s worth and to provide safe haven;
  • Advocate with others who may not understand or accept different perspectives;
  • Amplify all people’s concerns and needs and help make all voices heard;
  • Impede efforts to discriminate; and
  • Celebrate all and rejoice with all.

Areas of Focus

Mental Health
In June 2014, Benson Memorial presented a resolution before the North Carolina Conference requesting that the Conference provide a one-time scholarship for graduate student-level research on mental health care options and make recommendations to improve treatment and care in the state of North Carolina. We are hopeful to have the resolution approved and funded at the 2015 Annual Conference.


Poverty/Children/Wage Inequality
The church has a DVD copy of the documentary film “Inequality for All,” which explores the widening income gap between the poor and rich in America. Sunday school classes and other groups are invited to use the film to study and discuss the issue. The film can be divided into three half hour sessions; study guides and discussion questions are also available. Contact John Rees by email or by phone at 919.787.5510. You can also contact Billie Carson by email or by phone at 919.896.6114.


Guns & Violence

 

Special Interest Money and Influence in Politics
Here are links to two videos on this topic:

  • How Public Power Can Defeat Plutocrats,” a look at how government has become a clearinghouse for corporations and wealthy individuals to buy the politicians who grease the wheels for lucrative contracts and easy regulation.

 

Common Cause North Carolina (CCNC) is dedicated to strengthening democracy and making government more open, honest, and accountable. CCNC advocates in the legislature, int he media, and in the public square for reforms that restore public confidence in government and its representatives. Specifically, CCNC seeks to curb undue special interest influence, promote ethics in government, and connect underrepresented voters to the democratic process. Click here for more information or email John Rees.

 

Human Trafficking

 

Energy and the Environment
John Rees has a PowerPoint presentation on Global Warming and Energy that he has given to several adult Sunday School classes. If you are interested in having John do a presentation for your group, please contact him via email or by phone at 919.787.5510.