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.

We would be very grateful if you could make a donation of $100, $50, $25, or $10 today towards our work producing these Friday Fives and fighting for your values on the public square!

1. NC VALUES: 2023 Legislators of the Year Award

NC Values is happy to award Representatives Kristin Baker, Jennifer Balkcom, Hugh Blackwell, Tricia Cotham, Ken Fontenot, Neal Jackson, and Senators Amy Galey, Joyce Krawiec, Paul Newton, and Vickie Sawyer as our 2023 Legislators of The Year recipients for their sponsorship and support for major pieces of pro-values legislation.

These legislators worked diligently to rally support among their colleagues on several important pro-life, pro-family, and pro-religious freedom bills. We are honored to give them their Legislator of the Year Award for their respective sponsorships and advocacy of HB 808 “Gender Transition/Minors,” HB 574 “Fairness in Women’s Sports,” SB 20 “Care for Women, Children, and Families Act,” and HB 8 “Pornography Age Verification.”

They are truly champions of our values.

Thank you!

Read more: https://ncvalues.org/2023-legislative-champions/

2. NC VALUES: 🏆 We won an award

It is with great excitement that we share some wonderful news. Thanks to your continued support, NC Values has been honored with the prestigious “Policy Ally of the Year” by Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF).

Every year ADF selects state policy groups which stand out nationally for this tremendous honor. The group presented the award to Executive Director Tami Fitzgerald for our work on the seven pieces of legislation we helped pass in the 2023 legislative cycle, including HB 574 “Fairness in Women’s Sports Act,” and HB 808 “Gender Transition/Minors.” These victories were only made possible by the dedicated legislators from around the state, our loyal supporters and our devoted team. This achievement is a testament to the incredible impact we’ve made in our mission to create a culture in North Carolina where human life is valued, marriage & families flourish, and religious freedom thrives.

“It is ADF’s privilege to honor Tami Fitzgerald and the NC Values Coalition team with this award for their courage, boldness, strategy, and effectiveness in advocating for the dignity of life, fairness in women’s sports, free speech, and religious liberty,” said ADF Sr. Counsel and Government Affairs Director Kellie Fiedorek. “When we speak the truth with boldness, conviction, and love as Tami and NC Values do, we can change hearts and minds and we can change the culture to give our children and grandchildren a better America than the one they are currently facing.”

Read more: https://ncvalues.org/we-won-an-award/

3. NEWS & OBSERVER: Johnston passes policy against books on gender identity in elementary school libraries

“Johnston County’s application of the Parents’ Bill of Rights was praised by Tami Fitzgerald, executive director of the N.C. Values Coalition. ‘What they’re doing is wonderful,’ Fitzgerald said in an interview Thursday. ‘It not only complies with the law, but it goes further. We applaud it.’ Fitzgerald said Johnston County is doing what’s allowed by passing policies that go further than what’s required in the Parents’ Bill of Rights. She said telling K-4 teachers they need to consult with parents before responding to student questions about gender identity, sexuality and sexual activity fits in with the law. ‘Any time the school can, it should involve parents,’ Fitzgerald said.”

Read more at: https://www.newsobserver.com/news/local/education/article281586098.html

4. NEWS & OBSERVER: Ohio voters put abortion and marijuana on the ballot. Could that happen in North Carolina?

“Ohio voters cemented the right to abortions and legalized recreational marijuana on Tuesday — but not in the traditional way laws get passed The voters themselves put abortion and marijuana on the ballot via citizen-led ballot initiatives, a process practiced in some states that allows major decisions to be made directly by the people, rather than entrusted to lawmakers. In North Carolina, meanwhile, state policy on abortion and marijuana has been in the news this year, but the discussion has centered on what lawmakers would do. So what role do voters have? Here are answers to a few questions.”

Read more: https://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article281585918.html

For more on this story, just out these articles from the Daily Signal and Life Site News.

5. CAROLINA JOURNAL: Should your church start a school?

“It is no longer sufficient to rely solely on the brief hour or two spent at church on Sundays to counterbalance the influence of secular school culture during the remaining 35 hours of the week. Outsourcing the education of our children to the state is no longer the best option, as it often fails to prioritize the values of the church and the home. So, what can a church do? Is starting a school within the church an option worth considering? Is it an affordable option? Fortunately, there is good news. The North Carolina General Assembly has made religious schooling economically feasible by significantly expanding the Opportunity Scholarship Program. This program now offers tuition assistance to all students in the Tar Heel state.”

Read more: https://www.carolinajournal.com/opinion/should-your-church-start-a-school/


Weekly Prayer: Family

LORD, we cry out to you as Father. You are a model of the love, mercy, and authority of the perfect parent. We thank you for modeling for us what every parent should strive for, and for creating this wonderful institution called family. 

LORD, we thank you for creating us with a basic nature designed to not be alone. You made us to desire the intimacy of relationships, and it is here where we experience joys indescribable: the joys of marriage, the joys of having children; the joys of seeing our children have children. What a blessing and mercy you gave us in the family! In it we find our first teachers, our first guardians, and our first authorities. 

LORD, we recognize how deeply you love your children, and how deeply it pains you when they go astray. Alongside our adoration and thanksgiving, we pray in confession—as individuals and as members of larger communities—over any sins we may have committed that undermine your beloved institution. Forgive us when we endanger your institution through selfishness and arrogance. Forgive our communities and nation for attempting to redefine some of the most basic and deepest parts of being human—being made male and female, having lifelong marriage vows and responsibilities, and having parental rights over educating one’s children. 

“Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, 13 bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. 14 And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” (Colossians 3:12-17)



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Tami & Team
NC Values