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2010 News Archive

Since its founding in 1950, the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA has been the leading force for ecumenical cooperation among Christians in the United States. The NCC's 37 member faith groups -- from a wide spectrum of Protestant, Anglican, Orthodox, Evangelical, historic African American and Living Peace churches -- include 45 million persons in more than 100,000 local congregations in communities across the nation.

For more information on recent news stories, contact Philip E. Jenks, 212-870-2228 (office) or 646-853-4212 (Cell).

January 2010

January 7, 2010, New York   Frances Smith, 87, a former United Methodist News Service reporter known for her integrity, encyclopedic knowledge of religious and international issues and ability to shoot from the hip, died Dec. 30 in Claremont, Calif.

January 7, 2010, Washington  The 2010 Earth Day Sunday Resource, Sacred Spaces and an Abundant Life: Worship Spaces as Stewardship is available now to help congregations prepare for and celebrate stewardship of God’s Creation in their house of worship. 

January 11, 2010, New York  The "Circles of Names" campaign to support women's ministries and gender justice programs in National Council of Churches member communions has been extended through Women's History Month, March 2010.

January 14, 2010, New York  The General Secretary of the National Council of Churches is urging an "immediate and generous response" to calls for aid following earthquake that devastated Haiti Tuesday.

January 15, 2010, New York   The National Council of Churches USA has sent messages of solidarity and support to leaders of the Coptic Orthodox Church following attacks on Christians in Egypt.

January 15, 2010, New York   Attacks on Christian churches in Malaysia following a December 31 high court ruling that non-Muslims are entitled to use the name "Allah" to refer to God have been condemned by the National Council of Churches USA.

January 15, 2010, New York Placing international anguish over Haiti at the cross of Jesus has resulted in a sadly lyrical hymn by a noted Presbyterian pastor and ecumenist.

February 2010

February 3, 2010, New York  ̶   The earthquake devastation in Haiti creates a painful context for news that Goldman Sachs has approved a bonus pool of $20 billion. Two of the nation's leading theologians   ̶  George Hunsinger and Michael Kinnamon  ̶   have issued a "Modest Proposal" for restoring some balance.

February 4, 2010, New York  ̶  U.S. Baptists accused of child trafficking in Haiti are not members of churches related to American Baptist Churches USA (ABCUSA).

February 5, 2010, Washington  ̶  The National Council of Churches today joined with other faith groups in calling for the federal budget to address the deep of issues of poverty, and care for those hit hardest by the economic recession.

February 12, 2010, New York  ̶  The National Council of Churches' 2010 Yearbook of American & Canadian Churches reports membership gains in the Catholic Church, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the Assemblies of God, among others.

February 12, 2010, New York  ̶   Forty-five years after President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965, the NCC yearbook of American & Canadian Churches reports the profound impact of the "new immigration" on the religious landscape of the United States is still being measured.

February 12, 2010, Washington  ̶   The National Council of Churches and its partner humanitarian agency Church World Service are urging members of ecumenical congregations to join a March for America: Change Takes Courage and Faith, at 2 p.m. on Sunday, March 21, in Washington, D.C.  

February 18, 2010, New York  ̶  The government of Turkey may wish to minimize the significance of the Ecumenical Patriarch in Istanbul, but the National Council of Churches asserts that U.S. Christians regard Patriarch Bartholomew as "a world leader whose spiritual and moral authority has influenced us all."

February 18, 2010, New York  ̶  The General Secretary of the National Council of Churches has urged Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton to look into the detention of 42 Filipino health workers by Philippine military and police forces on February 6.

February 19, 2010, New York  ̶  Responding to a "divine mandate" and as a "patriotic act," the chief executives of the National Council of Churches and Church World Service are pressing "comprehensive immigration reform" in the United States.

February 22, 2010, Chicago -- Many who will attend Religion Communication Congress 2010 here April 7-10 weren't born when the first congress was held in 1970.

February 23, 2010, Washington As the number of displaced persons reaches tens of millions around the world, hundreds of persons of faith will be gathering for Ecumenical Advocacy Days in Washington March 19-22 under the theme, "A Place to Call Home: Immigrants, Refugees and Displaced Peoples."

February 23, 2010, New York The General Secretary of the National Council of Churches has written to the Ecumenical Patriarch to express "profound appreciation" for Bartholomew's encyclical on the unity of the church.

February 23, 2010, Washington  ̶   Presidents of five historically African-American Baptist denominations said they are collaborating to respond more effectively to human need in Haiti.  

March 2010

March 3, 2010, Washington  ̶  The National Council of Churches, responding to the "pressing needs of Haiti and the deep sense of call to respond," is calling representatives of its member communions to a meeting on April 6 to begin planning for "our long term engagement with the renewal and recovery of the people and nation of Haiti."

March 3, 2010, New York  ̶  In its annual commemoration of Women's History Month, the National Council of Churches is paying particular attention to 20 special women whose contributions made  ̶  and are continuing to make  ̶  a powerful impact on our lives and faith.

Washington, March 12, 2010  ̶  A coalition of Christian groups from across denominations sent a letter today to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) calling for immediate action to stop further mountaintop removal coal mining.

Washington, March 16, 2010  ̶   In a "straightforward" message to the U.S. Congress, National Council of Churches  General Secretary Michael Kinnamon said it is time to pass "a desperately-needed reform of this country's health care system."

Washington, March 19, 2010  ̶   The ninth annual Ecumenical Advocacy Days commenced tonight with a call to confess that God is at work for the world's transformation in the direction of justice and peace.

Washington, March 20, 2010  ̶   On the eve of a historic immigration rally on Capitol Hill, hundreds of delegates to Ecumenical Advocacy Days were fired up Saturday morning by testimonies from immigration activists and immigrants.

Washington, March 21, 2010  ̶   As more than 700 delegates to Ecumenical Advocacy Days continued to pursue their hope for just immigration laws, the Rev. Dr. Sharon Watkins preached about the oneness of the human family.

Washington, March 21, 2010  ̶  As delegates to Ecumenical Advocacy days re-gathered in their hotel after returning from the March for America on Capitol Hill, Sister Helen Prejean told them a personal commitment to social activism doesn't come naturally: it's a gift from God.

New York, March 22, 2010  ̶   The General Secretary of the National Council of Churches, who last week sent a "straight forward" message to Congress that it is time to pass "a desperately-needed reform of this country's health care system," today expressed his gratitude that health care reform will become law.

New York, March 22, 2010  ̶   The National Council of Churches is asking the Israeli government to provide access for Palestinian Christians who wish to visit Christian sites in Jerusalem during Holy Week. (Update)

April 2010

New York, April 8, 2010 -- The NCC hailed the signing of the START treaty as an omen of hope for a nuclear free world.

Washington, April 15, 2010  ̶  Tax Justice As millions joined the last-minute frenzy to file federal income taxes Thursday, religious groups urged Congress to craft tax policies to help low-income working families.

New York, April 16, 2010  ̶  The Rev. Dr. Benjamin L. Hooks, an American Baptist minister who preached church unity and human harmony, was hailed Thursday as an eloquent leader whose life exemplified Christ's love of the poor and passion for justice.

New York, April 16, 2010  ̶  NCC President Peg Chemberlin said today that President Obama's memorandum to Health And Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sibelius requiring hospitals to "respect the rights of patients to designate visitors" will be "affirmed by most Americans."

Washington, April 20, 2010  ̶  Dorothy Irene Height, who began her activist career as a teenager marching in New York's Times Square shouting, "Stop the lynching," was remembered Tuesday as one of the last great voices of the American Civil Rights Movement.

New York, April 26, 2010  ̶  The National Council of Churches and other religious organizations have sharply criticized Arizona's new immigration law as fundamentally unjust, dangerous to citizens and non-citizens alike, and a rejection of centuries-old biblical precepts of justice and neighborliness.

New York, April 26, 2010  ̶   Recent attacks in Iraq on Christians and other minority groups have prompted the National Council of Churches to ask U.S. government officials to communicate with Iraqi authorities in an effort to bring the violence to an end.

New York, April 30, 2010  ̶   The Mar Thoma Church Diocese of North America and  Europe has raised $131,775  for Church World Service recovery efforts in earthquake-devastated Haiti.

May 2010

New York, May 2, 2010  ̶  On the eve of the United Nations historic review conference of parties to the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons treaty, the General Secretary of the National Council of Churches told gatherings in New York's Times Square and at the Church Center for the UN that nuclear weapons "are a crime against humanity" and must be removed from the face of the earth.

New York, May 5, 2010 -- The staff heads of the NCC and CWS have written to the president to ask for an end to restrictions on religious travel to Cuba.

Washington, May 7, 2010  ̶   The National Council of Churches (NCC) Washington Office Director Cassandra Carmichael today applauded President Obama's Cancer Panel for highlighting the connections between chemical exposure and cancer

Washington, May 14, 2010 -- The NCC commented on climate legislation introduced today in the Senate and called on Congress to take action to address climate change in order to protect persons living in poverty in the U.S. and abroad.

New York, May 14, 2010 - A delegation from the National Council of Churches was warmly welcomed May 6 by His Eminence Demetrios of America, Archbishop of the Green Orthodox Archdiocese of America.

New York, May 19, 2010 -- Alarmed by statistics that 100,000 Americans annually are victims of gun violence, the NCC Governing Board unanimously called for legislation to limit access to assault weapons and hand guns.

New York, May 19, 2010 The Governing Board of the National Council of Churches has urged President Obama and members of Congress not to lose sight of the fact that public schools are the basic institution for educating the nation's children, and the government must support public schools as guarantors of each child's right to an education.

New York, May 20, 2010 -- Five representatives of the China Christian Council joined NCC and WCC staff this month to exchange greetings and to affirm a memo of understanding between the Chinese and American church groups that was forged in February 2009 when the NCC general secretary and president visited China.

New York, May 25, 2010 -- War, natural disasters and humanity's furry friends, These topics are no strangers o television viewers, but programming presented by the NCC adds new dimensions to familiar themes.

New York, May 26, 2010 - NCC Women's Ministries has announced an expansion of its curriculum on fistula. Around the globe, a woman dies in childbirth or from pregnancy-related complications every 90 seconds. One of those injuries is Obstetric Fistula.

New York, May 26, 2010 - The Interchurch Center in New York's Morningside Heights, once envisioned as a "Protestant Vatican on the Hudson," has evolved over fifty years into an interfaith, multi-ethnic community of non-profit, educational and church agencies.

June 2010

New York, June 2, 2010 --
A delegation of the National Council of Churches met with U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and other officials Monday to express concerns about the Education Department's "Race to the Top" initiative and the Obama Administration's "blueprint" for the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act.

New York, June 3, 2010 --The National Council of Churches and other faith groups have expressed alarm and concern over the Israeli action May 31 against an international flotilla on the high seas that led to the deaths of nine persons and the wounding of many others.

Edinburgh, Scotland, June 7, 2010 -- A Century after the gathering that marked the birth of the modern ecumenical movement, ecumenists returned to Edinburgh under the theme of "Witnessing to Christ Today."

Washington, June 9, 2010 -- The National Religious Campaign Against Torture (NRCAT) has released a new video, Accounting for Torture, featuring the voices of religious leaders who supporting the message of the Physicians for Human Rights report, Experiments in Torture: Human Subject Research and Evidence in the ‘Enhanced’ Interrogation Program.

New York, June 9, 2010 --  A World Council of Churches delegation, including NCC General Secretary Michael Kinnamon, has met with a cross-section of the governments at the conference to promote first steps toward a legal ban on nuclear weapons

New York, June 9, 2010 -- Former NCC President Michael Livingston participated in an ecumenical delegation to Vietnam to study the effects of Agent Orange and Dioxin. He filed this report.

Washington, June 29, 2010 -- Faith-based organizations at the national and state level are calling on Congress to establish a comprehensive chemical policy to protect both people and the environment. 

Washington, June 29, 2010 -- The Rev. Dr. William J. Shaw, a former member of the National Council of Churches Governing Board and immediate past president of the National Baptist Convention, USA, Inc., has been named to the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom by President Obama.

Washington, June 30, 2010 -- The NCC finds the Supreme Court's 5-4 decision on gun ownership to be "disappointing," but stresses that the ruling does not negate the possibility of enacting laws to reduce gun violence.

July 2010

New York, July 1, 2010 -- A little known 2000-year-old Christian prayer is the subject of a documentary film and book slated for early 2011.

Washington, July 1, 2010 -- Jordan Blevens strarts July 1 as the NCC and Church of the brethren staff officer for peace.

New Orleans, July 6, 2010 -- When the NCC and CWS gather here November 9-11, the meeting will mark a historic milestone for the ecumenical movement.

New York, July 13, 2010 -- The National Council of Churches' 2010 Yearbook of American & Canadian Churches, one of the most respected records of church membership and financial data, is on sale this week at a discounted price of $50 per copy.

New York, July 14, 2010 -- The Rev. Dr. George W. "Bill" Webber, 90, died July 10 in Maplewood, N.J.

Washington, July 14, 2010 -- The NCC Eco-Justice team is circulating a prayer petition urging government agencies to turn away from partisan politics and seek a just and moral response to the crisis caused by the oil spill in the Gulf.

Elkhart, Ind., July 15, 2010 -- "Peace Among the Peoples," a Decade to Overcome Violence related ecumenical peace conference, is slated July 28-31 at Associated Mennonite Bible Seminary here.

Atlanta, July 21, 2010 -- The U.S. Student Christian Movement (SCM) will be reborn October 8-11 at a historic gathering in Morehouse College.

New York, July 21, 2010 -- Hymn Writer Carolyn Winfrey Gillette has produced a new text dealing with immigration.

Chicago, July 26, 2010 -- A diverse group of Christians will gather here August 9-11 to talk about the language people use to talk about God and faith.

Washington, July 30, 2010 -- Faith leaders applauded the U.S. Congress' approval July 29 of legislation to reduce the sentencing disparity between crack and powder cocaine offenses.

August 2010

New York, August 11, 2010 -- The NCC, its Interfaith Relations Commission and participants in the National Muslin-Christian Initiative, have issued a statement  the eve of Ramadan calling on Christians to respect their Muslim neighbors.

New York, August 12, 2010 -- NCC General Secretary Michael Kinnamon said in a strongly worded editorial that it is appropriate and important to build Cordoba House and Mosque at Ground Zero.

Chicago, August 18, 2010 -- A diverse group of Christians gathered in Chicago, August 9-11 to explore the power of language Christians use to talk about God and one another.   

New Orleans, August 18, 2010 -- Five years after Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast, the NCC is presenting on August 29 an NBC special produced by the Presbyterian Church (USA) on displaced families that are slowly returning home.

Chicago, August 20, 2010 --  His Eminence Christopher, Metropolitan of Libertyville-Chicago and Primate of the Serbian Orthodox Church in the U.S. and Canada, died Wednesday at the age of 82.

New Orleans, August 25, 2010 --  Actress Khandi Alexander of HBO's Treme is narrator of an NBC special on the aftermath of Katrina presented by the NCC and produced by the Presbyterian Church (USA) on NBC stations beginning August 29.

September 2010

New York, September 2, 2010 -- The NCC today reiterated its statement of August 11, deploring threats in Florida to burn the Qur'an on September 11.

Washington, September 7, 2010 -- A high ranking group of U.S. interfaith leaders, including the general secretary of the National Council of Churches, assembled here today to condemn plans in Florida to burn the Holy Qu'ran on Saturday, and to decry incidents of violence committed against innocent Muslims.

New York, September 9, 2010 -- Letter to Churches The terror attacks of September 11, 2001 changed millions of lives forever, and the General Secretary of the National Council of Churches is calling on churches to hold all the victims in prayer -- families of the dead and injured as well as millions of Muslims who continue to be targets of Islamophobic rhetoric and attacks.

New York, September 9, 2010 --  The NCC's Dr. Antonios Kireopoulos offers an op-ed to express a lament  for the religious ignorance, bigotry and ill will that has been generated by threats in Florida to burn the Qur'an on September 11. Use the essay as you see fit.

New York, September 14, 2010 Fistula Stories, a project of Women’s Ministries at the National Council of the Churches of Christ, USA, will expand its curriculum to include studies of texts from other faiths. 

New York, September 14, 2010 -- The Rev. Dr. Lucius Walker, 80, a former member of the National Council of Churches staff who became a controversial and beloved activist for human rights in the 1960s and 70s and later founded an organization that sent hundreds of tons of humanitarian aid to Latin America, including Cuba, died September 7 in his home in Demarest, N.J.

New York, September 22, 2010 For the second time in two years, the National Council of Churches Governing Board has issued a call to government officials and church leaders to take action on "comprehensive immigration reform."

New York, September 22, 2010 -- For the third consecutive year, the NCC will join "Fighting Poverty With Faith" to speak fo national political leaders while also addressing the needs of those in poverty in local communities, with the goal of cutting poverty in half by 2010.

New York, September 23, 2010 -- The NCC Interfaith Relations Commission has issued theological resources to guide clergy and laity through the basic issues of engagement with other faiths.

Washington, September 28, 2010  The Rev. Michael Livingston, executive director of the International Council of Community Churches and President of the National Council of Churches from 2006 to 2007, has been named to direct the council's poverty initiative.

Washington, September 28, 2010 This Sunday, October 3, is a day to seek God's grace for the Gulf in thousands of congregations related to the 36 member communions of the National Council of Churches.

Washington, September 29, 2010 -- In visits to the White House and the State Department today, religious leaders representing the Christian, Jewish and Muslim communities offered support for the Obama administration’s efforts to continue peace talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

October 2010

Washington, October 4, 2010 --  Churches from California to Florida participated yesterday in a day of prayer, reflection and healing for the Gulf Coast while people of faith joined together in a petition calling upon Congress to address the Gulf oil spill.

Washington, October 5, 2010 –  Religious, civic, and community-service organizations nationwide are mobilizing to reduce poverty by 50 percent over the next ten years, beginning today with a national teleconference to discuss the role of faith-based organizations in fighting poverty.

Harrisonburg, Va., October 6, 2010 --  The issues and uncertainties of aging are the focus of a National Council of Churches documentary produced by Third Way Media and slated for broadcast on the ABC television network beginning October 17.

New York, October 8, 2010 --  The Justice for Women Working Group (J4WWG) of the National Council of Churches is issuing an open call for art to help expand our imagination of ecumenical cooperation reflecting on Luke 24:48, “You are witnesses of these things.” (NRSV) 

New York, October 20, 2010 -- A Place for All: faith and community for persons with disabilities

New Orleans, October 29, 2010 -- Gillette hymn captures the spirit of the Centennial Gathering

November 2010

Washington, November 1, 2010 -- Ecumenical leaders meet with Obama.

Boston, November 1, 2010--
Boston women meet to celebrate Circles of Names

New Orleans, November 10, 2010 -- NOLA Archbishop Aymond: We were all strangers once.

New Orleans, November 10, 2010 -- NCC Governing Board re-elects Kinnamon, calls for end to the War in Afghanistan

New Orleans, November 11, 2010 -- Ecumenical Women are a powerful presence at the Centennial Gathering.

New Orleans, November 11, 2010 -- Ecumenical Gathering studies, worships, speaks out on issues and adds a member.

New Orleans, November 11, 2010 -- Young adults hold third annual NewFire gathering in New Orleans.

New Orleans, November 11, 2010 -- Kinnamon calls Bush defense of torture 'incomprehensible'

New Orleans, November 15, 2010 -- Centennial Gathering ends as it began -- in worship.

New York, November 18, 2010 -- The staff leaders of the National Council of Churches and Church World Service have sent messages to U.S. senators urging the ratification this year of the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START II) signed by President Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev.

New Orleans, November 18, 2010-
- Representatives from Orthodox, evangelical, mainline Protestant, historic African American and living peace churches were united last week as they spoke out issues concerning peace, justice and human rights.

Washington, November 22, 2010 -- As millions of Americans begin to prepare their Thanksgiving meals, faith leaders representing organizations from across the country convened on Capitol Hill this week to remind Congress and the Administration that there are many Americans who don’t know when their next meal may be and that there are reforms Congress and the Administration can implement today that will go a long way towards cutting poverty in half over the next ten years.  

Washington, November 24, 2010 -- A diverse group of 56 leading denominations and faith-based organizations today released a joint letter calling on the U.S. Senate to leave intact the power of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to protect the environment and public’s health.

Washington, November 29, 2010 -- Representatives of 19 Christian church bodies today called upon the U.S. House of Representatives to pass the Senate approved child nutrition bill.

New Orleans, November 30, 2010 -- The Centennial Ecumenical Gathering is now over, but NCC photographer Kathleen Cameron has created indelible electronic images of the New Orleans meeting. 

December 2010

Santo Domingo, D.R., December 2, 1010 -- Historic peace church representatives from 17 countries  have been gathering here November 27 - December 2.

Kottayam, India, December 6, 2010 -- The Indian concept of family sanctity is noble and one that should be emulated throughout the world, said the Rev. Dr. Michael Kinnamon, National Council of Churches general secretary, in a reception here.

New York, December 7, 2010 -- The long anticipated Mysteries of the Jesus Prayer, a documentary film on a 2000-year-old Christian prayer, will begin distribution December 15 for a three-month run in the SnagFilms Collection on Comcast and Verizon FIOS.

New York, December 8, 2010 -- Friendship press, which has distributed many of the ecumenical movement's major publications over the past sixty years, can be found online at www.friendshippress.org.

Washington, December 10, 2010 -- More than 75 women and men gathered at Wesley Theological Seminary here November 18 to honor the Rev. Drema McAllister-Wilson and other women who have made significant contributions to the ecumenical movement and the lives of the individuals they encountered.

New York. December 14, 2010 -- Back from a two week journey to churches in India, Kinnamon reports to the NCC.

Washington, December 15, 2010 -- With perhaps unintended irony, two U.S. senators have declared that Christmas is not the time to move toward peace by reducing the number of nuclear arms in the arsenals of the United States and Russia.

Washington, December 16, 2010-- Op.Ed: Not every toy beneath the tree brings health or joy.

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