Friday Five: Congress in the balance of the Courts, and more

Welcome to the Friday Five! Every Friday we share our top five articles, stories, and quotes for you to read and share with your friends and church families. 

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1. FOX NEWS: Thanks to judicial activism, control of Congress and the printing of NC ballots hang in the balance of court-mandated congressional redistricting

"The ruling by a three-judge panel that North Carolina’s congressional districts must be redrawn could rock the 2018 midterms – and ultimately leave unclear which party controls the House until next year. The federal judges found that election advocacy groups and Democrats who brought an initial lawsuit challenging North Carolina's congressional map had standing to do so – and ruled that the maps were unconstitutionally drawn to favor Republicans. The question is what comes next."

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2. WRAL: NC Senate finalizes new amendments language on important ballot proposals

"The state Senate signed off on new ballot language Monday for a pair of constitutional amendments, bringing a brief and hastily called special legislative session to an end. The votes were nearly party line, with Sen. Joel Ford, D-Mecklenburg, the only Democrat siding with Republicans on the two amendments, which would shift appointment powers from the governor to the legislature. The Republican majority decided to rewrite the language voters will see as they decide whether to add the amendments to the constitution after a three-judge panel deemed their initial language too misleading to appear on the ballot."

"Republicans said it's up to the voters to decide. It takes three-fifths support in the General Assembly followed by a successful statewide referendum to amend the state constitution. 'Let's not forget that that's what this is about, is the people deciding what they want in their constitution,' said Berger, R-Rockingham."

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3. WASHINGTON TIMES: Trump announces 17th wave of judicial nominees, which includes an appointment from North Carolina

"The president tapped Allison Jones Rushing, a North Carolina attorney, to the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, and Bridget Shelton Bade, a magistrate judge for the District of Arizona, for a seat on the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The district judges would serve on courts in Georgia and Louisiana."

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4. LIFE ACTION: The United Methodist Church has proposed a revision to its Social Principles to support abortion, deleting text affirming "the sanctity of unborn human life."

"Until now, the United Methodist Church has held a sort of “nuanced” position on abortion… but all of that may be about to change. The church’s official statement has been that it recognizes the “tragic conflicts of life” that lead women towards abortion, and favors laws that limit abortion, such as parental consent laws and the banning of late-term abortion procedures.

And the statement makes it clear that abortion is something to be avoided if necessary, stating things like, “Our belief in the sanctity of unborn human life makes us reluctant to approve abortion,” and “We mourn and are committed to promoting the diminishment of high abortion rates,” as well as stating support for “ministries to reduce unintended pregnancies such as comprehensive, age-appropriate sexuality education, advocacy in regard to contraception, and support of initiatives that enhance the quality of life for all women and girls around the globe.” The church has likewise distanced itself from pro-abortion extremism.

Sadly, now, the church is considering a revision to its Social Principle, starting with changing the title of the section from “abortion” to “reproductive health.” And almost all of the pro-life phrases the section previously contained have disappeared."

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5. CALLING ALL PARENTS: We need parents to visit their kids schools, ask to see the sex ed curriculum and materials, and then report back to us at www.ParentFreeSchoolZone.com

Here's where you come in: we need your help making sure our schools don't become a "Parent Free School Zone." We're calling on all parents to perform this important task: We need you to go to your local school and simply ask to see the sex education curriculum. We then need you to visit the "Sex Ed Survey" page, and simply tell us what happened. If they don't allow you to actually see the curriculum objectives AND actual materials, we need you to tell us why. We've already created a map on this site to show you all the public schools, private schools, superintendents, and more in the state. We'll also use your "Sex Ed Survey" feedback to map out what curriculums and materials schools are using, as well as what opt in or out policies school boards have. Your responses will help other parents know what their kids are being taught.

Want to do more? We also need volunteers to help us discover the comprehensive sex ed policies of school boards, and whether they're violating them. We need volunteers to get answers to a couple important questions that help us map out which schools are considered "Parent Free School Zones," as based on whether they or their school board are not honoring the rights of parental consent, parental review, or parental interaction. Visit the volunteer page to learn more.

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WEEKLY PRAYER: THANKSGIVING

LORD, praise your name! You are the faithful God. You are righteous, trustworthy, and kind! We just lift up our hands and voices to acknowledge your goodness, and to offer you every ounce of worship and thanksgiving we possess.

Thank you, Oh LORD, for answering our prayer! You are ever faithful. Thank you for providing for our needs.

"Cast your burden on the Lord, and he will sustain you; he will never permit the righteous to be moved." (Psalm 55:22)

"And call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify me.” (Psalm 50:15)

"And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him." (1 John 5:14-15)

Amen

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