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2011 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 3, 2011, New York -- I Believe You: Faiths’ Response to Intimate Partner Violence, an extraordinary interfaith documentary that explores the stories of survivors of abuse and the response of faith groups to address their needs, begins airing on ABC affiliated stations in January 2011.

January 3, 2011, New York -- The National Council of Churches has been joined by a wide range of faith leaders, including Jews and Muslims, in condemning the murderous New Year's Eve bombing of worshippers in All Saints Church in Alexandria, Egypt.

January 10, 2011, New York -- In the wake of the tragic murders in Tucson Saturday of six people and the wounding of 14 people, including Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, two hymn-prayers by the Rev. Carolyn Winfrey Gillette are available for use by churches supporting the National Council of Churches and Church World Service. 

January 10, 2011, New York -- Less than eight months after the National Council of Churches governing board called for action to end gun violence, a U.S. Congresswoman lay in critical condition after a 9 mm bullet passed through her brain, six people lay dead and 14 were recovering from wounds.

January 11, 2011, New York -- As Rep. Gabrielle Giffords lies in critical condition in an Arizona hospital and other innocent shooting victims make hopeful recoveries, religious leaders around the nation continue to express grief and anger over the January 8 Tucson shooting rampage.

January 13, 2011, New York -- The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, to be celebrated January 18-25 in most Christian churches in the northern hemisphere, will be grounded in the experience of the churches in Jerusalem.

January 14, 2011, New York -- On the eve of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, NCC General Secretary Kinnamon has called on individual NCC board members, commissioners and communion heads to let government officials know they oppose the easy availability of assault weapons. 

January 18, 2011, New York -- The general secretary of the National Council of Churches welcomed the White House decision announced Friday that will lift travel restrictions between the United States and Cuba to make it easier for religious groups in both countries to engage with one another. 

January 18, 2011, Washington -- Heads of National Council of Churches member communions and NCC staff leaders used the Martin Luther King, Jr. birthday weekend to urge President Obama to use his January 25 State of the Union message to reassert his dramatic campaign pledge to "cut poverty in half" in the next ten years.

January 24, 2011, Merrick, N.Y. --  More than sixty persons turned out at the Sinai Mar Thoma Center here to welcome a church-to-church visit sponsored by the National Council of Churches.

January 26, 2011, Washington -- More than 700 persons will come to Washington March 25-28 for the ninth annual Ecumenical Advocacy Days. 

January 31, 2011, New York -- NCC member communions join with Coptic Orthodox Christians in three days of prayer for Egypt.

February 4, 2011, New York -- The NCC, though its Interfaith Relations Commission, has endorsed the United Nations' first annual World Interfaith Harmony Week held during the first week in February.

February 7, 2011, Washington -- Three leaders of NCC member communions were named Friday to the White House advisory panel on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. 

February 9, 2011, New York -- The National Council of Churches hosted a delegation from China's Three Self Patriotic Movement (TSPM).

February 9, 2011, Oviedo, Fla. -- The National Council of Churches envisions an expanded role for New Revised Standard Version of the bible. 

February 10, 2011, New York -- The World Day of Prayer, an ecumenical event sponsored by Christian women around the world for more than a century, will be March 4.

February 14, 2011, New York -- Growing churches continue to grow and declining churches continue to decline, according to the National Council of Churches' 2011 Yearbook of American & Canadian Churches.

February 14, 2011, Washington -- AmpleHarvest.org channels surplus garden produce to food pantries nationwide.

February 16, 2011, New York -- NCC associate general secretary Garland F. Pierce will leave the staff in May to become a special assistant to the World Council of Churches general secretary in Geneva.

February 28, 2011, New York -- The editor of the NCC's 2011 Yearbook of American & Canadian Churches reports more religious groups favor comprehensive immigration reform.

March 1, 2011, Washington -- Church leaders tell Congress they oppose planned cuts in domestic programs and in poverty-focused foreign aid.

March 1, 2011, Boston -- Peter J. Gomes, American Baptist minister, Harvard scholar and prophetic voice, is dead at 68

March 3, 2011, New York -- U.S. Muslims lead the condemnation of the murder of Pakistan's only Christian cabinet minister.

March 4, 2011, New York -- Kinnamon to be among the religious and civic leaders to address a rally in Times Square March 6 to protest Congressional hearings on Muslims.

March 9, 2011, New York -- As the Lenten season commences, the National Council of Churches is offering free Lenten devotionals from three of his program ministries.

March 10, 2011, New York -- For the second year in a row, Easter will be held on the same Sunday in both eastern and western traditions. The NCC proposes that this coincidence be made a permanent occurrence on the worldwide church calendar.

March 10, 2011, Washington -- More than a score of leaders from different faith communities stood 'shoulder-to-shoulder' in Washington today, in solidarity with Muslims.

March 13, 2011, New York -- As news from earthquake-stricken Japan and Tsunami-devastated coastal areas worsens, U.S. churches and religious groups are pulling out all the stops to assess how they can help.

March 14, 2011, Managua, Nicaragua -- The Rev. Gustavo Parajón, M.D., an American Baptist missionary who served as a negotiator between factions in Nicaragua's civil war and a leader in the reconciliation process, died suddenly March 13.

March 14, 2011, Johnstown, Pa. -- His Eminence, Metropolitan Nicholas, 75, spiritual leader of the American Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Diocese of the U.S.A., died March 12 after a long illness.

March 14, 2011, New York -- Kurtis L. Meyer, an Evangelical Lutheran Church in America layman, has been named director of development for the National Council of Churches.

March 16, 2011, Washington -- With more and more people concerned about the effects of national budget cuts on persons living in poverty, Ecumenical Advocacy Days will feature both a prayer vigil and a workshop on the budget.

March 17, 2011, New York -- The leaders of the NCC and three partner ecumenical organizations have sent letters to the leaders of NATO, the U.S. and Russia, urging that all U.S. nuclear weapons be removed from Europe.

March 17, 2011, Washington -- Assistant Secretary of State Rose Gottemoeller has been honored by ecumenical organizations for her work in negotiating the New START treaty and its ratification in December 2010.

March 23, 2011, Washington -- The NCC's Racial Justice Working Group has been re-formed and re-commissioned by the Justice and Advocacy Commission.

March 24, 2011, New York -- The National Council of Churches has deplored the bombing of a crowded bus in Jerusalem that killed a woman and injured more than 24 persons.

March 29, 2011, Washington -- Nearly 150 persons gathered near the U.S. Capitol to hold a prayer vigil for persons likely to be affected by proposed U.S. budget cuts.

March 29, 2011, New York -- An Interfaith Broadcasting Commission program on how faith communities are helping people get jobs will be broadcast Sunday, April 10, on the CBS television network.

March 30, 2011, Tokyo -- Church World Service and its partners send relief to Japan's coastal cities.

April 4, 2011, Valley Forge, Pa. -- Edwin Gaustad, one of the foremost scholars of religious history in the U.S., died March 25 at 87.

April 5, 2011, New York -- The National Council of Churches and its partners have reacted with 'sadness and incredulity' over the burning of the Qur'an and reactionary mob violence against Christians in Afghanistan and elsewhere.

April 5, 2011, Washington -- The National Council of Churches and Church Women United, Inc., have jointly appointed Marie Rietmann as CWU/NCC Advocacy Coordinator, effective April 4. 

April 12, 2011, New York -- The NCC and Marble Collegiate Church are presenting an ABC Easter special: Hope Is Back!

April 12, 2011, New York -- The NCC is presenting on NBC a United Methodist Communications special on efforts to eradicate malaria.

April 18, 2011, New York -- NCC 2011 Easter message: 'Is it nothing to you, all you who pass by?'

April 20, 2011, New York -- "Mysteries of the Jesus Prayer," a new documentary on the ancient prayer, will be broadcast in abbreviated form on many PBS stations this Easter.

April 27, 2011, Washington -- On the heels of the introduction of the Safe Chemicals Act of 2011 to revise 35-year-old federal guidelines, religious organizations including the NCC are offering guidelines. 

April 27, 2011, Washington -- An unusually wide array of Christian groups have committed to providing a 'Circle of Protection' around federal programs that support poor and vulnerable populations.

May 3, 2011, New York -- The National Council of Churches said the death of Osama Bin Laden should stimulate the churches to commit themselves to moving forward together as witnesses for God's love and peace.

May 4, 2011, Washington -- More than 150 persons will gather in Washington this week to meet with officials in the executive and legislative branches to demand healthy air.

May 9, 2011, Evanston, Ill. -- The future of Christian education was pondered April 27-29 at a consultation sponsored by the NCC's Education and Leadership Ministries Commission.

May 19, 2011, New York -- The NCC's Justice for Women Working Group has sent a message to the international ecumenical peace convocation in Jamaica, asking support for the International Violence Against Women Act.

May 19, 2011, New York -- The NCC's Circles of Names gathering in the New York City area will be held June 14 in The Interchurch Center.

May 25, 2011, Providence,  R.I. -- The director of the NCC's poverty initiative has told the third annual conference of the Rhode Island Interfaith Coalition to Fight Poverty that from a religious perspective, poverty is 'fundamentally wrong.'

May 25, 2011, Cambridge, Mass. -- The Rev. Dr. Constance Parvey, a pioneering leader in the Lutheran church and ecumenical movement, died here May 21.

May 25, 2011, Kingston, Jamaica -- The International Ecumenical Peace Conference asserted here that God's notion of security is not a military concept.

May 26, 2011, Cleveland, Ohio -- Six prominent women of faith will be honored June 9 in a National Council of Churches Circles of Names reception.

May 27, 2011, Kingston, Jamaica -- The International Ecumenical Peace Convocation closed here with a hopeful message of peace.

June 10, 2011, New York -- When three prominent women are honored here June 14 in an NCC Circles of Names event, Aetna will announce support of a ministry close to the hearts of the honorees: racial and ethnic health care equity in the United States.

June 16, 2011, New York -- Circles of Names gatherings in Cleveland and New York have honored prominent women of faith while encouraging others to honor their mentors by naming women to the circle. 

June 16, 2011, New York -- Three prominent women of faith were honored here June 14 in a special gathering to raise support for women's ministries.

June 16, 2011, Cleveland -- Six prominent women of faith were honored here June 9 in a special gathering to raise support for women's ministries. 

June 17, 2011, Washington -- Leading up to Father's Day, nearly 30 interfaith organizations have urged Congress to take action to protect children, vulnerable communities and God's creation from toxic chemicals.

June 20, 2011, Washington -- An adaptation of an ecumenical study paper on war is now available as a study guide for congregations.

June 21, 2011, Washington -- Religious leaders send an open letter to President Obama to ask that the Afghan war be brought to a close.

June 23, 2011, New York -- The NCC is seeking nominations to honor interfaith engaged congregations.

June 30, 2011, Washington -- Religious leaders urge Obama to take bold action to bring about peace in the Middle East.

July 14, 2011, New York -- NCC 'celebrates with joy' the accord among the Roman Catholic Church and four Protestant reform churches on baptism.

July 14, 2011, Washington -- A coalition of interfaith leaders has united to protect poverty assistance funding.

July 20, Washington -- Christian leaders went to the White House today to ask President Obama to form a 'Circle of Protection' around programs that serve persons in need.

July 21, Washington -- The National Council of Churches and Church Women United have named Dr. Robin Fillmore to the joint position of Advocacy Coordinator.

July 21, 2011, Washington -- Christian leaders meeting with Obama say the president understands the biblical imperative to support the poor.

July 24, 2011, New York -- NCC General Secretary Michael Kinnamon has sent a message of love and support to the people and churches of Norway. 

July 25, 2011, New York -- For pastors and worship leaders planning special services on the tenth anniversary of 9/11, the National Council of Churches has prepared a liturgy of worship and remembrance.

July 26, 2011, Washington -- The Interfaith Disability Coalition urges Congress to protect Medicaid.

July 28, 2011, Washington -- NCC's Livingston, Blevins are arrested in the U.S. Capitol rotunda as they and other leaders kneel to pray for a federal budget that supports the poor.

August 9, 2011, New Orleans -- American Baptists coordinate the annual Ecumenical Work Week in the Gulf Coast.

August 24, 2011, Chicago -- NCC President Elect Kathryn Lohre has been named director of ecumenical and inter-religious relations for the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

September 1, 2011, New York -- The NCC warns politicians: you can't claim to be bible believing if you ignore the poor. 

September 1, 2011, New York -- The NCC reposts links to worship resources for tenth-year memorials of 9/11.

September 6, 2011, New York -- The NCC praised the genius of American Bible Society translator Eugene Nida, whose death at 96 was announced by the ABS.

September 6, 2011, New York -- In commemoration of the tenth anniversary of the terror attacks of September 11, the NCC reposts a prophetic reaction of religious groups, 'Deny them their victory.'

September 7, 2011, New York -- 'Words are not enough.' Messages received by the National Council of Churches after September 11, 2011, are reposted by the NCC.

September 8, 2011, New York -- A prayer by former NCC President Livingston on the fifth anniversary of September 11 is reposted by the NCC.

September 21, 2011, New York -- The NCC today released four 'webisode' videos to promote discussion of quality and public education.

September 23, 2011, New York -- The NCC today urged religious groups to endorse the statement of solidarity around employment of persons with disabilities.

September 29, 2011, Washington -- An exhibit here celebrating the bible in China has garnered high praise among church leaders in the United States.

October 5, 2011, Washington -- The director of the NCC's poverty initiative and a California congresswoman call on Congress to see what it's like to live on food stamps for a week.

October 7, 2011, New York -- The NCC hosted Leymah Gbowee on the day she learned she had won the Nobel Peace Prize. 

October 11, 2011, Washington -- The "Rotunda 11," religious leaders arrested for praying in the rotunda of the U.S. Capitol, had their day in court today.

October 13, 2011, Washington -- The NCC today lauded the FDA announcement that it is planning a ban on BPA in baby bottles and cups.

October 17, 2011, New York -- ABC-TV will begin airing a documentary October 23 on how Christians and Muslims are striving to work together.

October 19, 2011, Minneapolis, Minn. -- The Twin Cities Area Circles of Names gathering -- an event crucial to the future of women's ministries -- will be held in Hennepin Methodist Church on Nov. 17.

October 22, 2011, Washington -- NCC General Secretary Michael Kinnamon welcomed the President's announcement of the end of the Iraq War, but said the celebration will be muted by “memories of the staggering cost of the war,” and by growing national uneasiness with “America’s other war in Afghanistan.”

October 25, 2011, Claremont, Calif. -- Former NCC communications chief William F. Fore has donated religion-online.org to Claremont School of Theology.

October 25, 2011, New York -- NCC officers are among 36 religious leaders asking Village Voice media to shut down a webpage used to traffic children for sex.

October 26, 2011, Washington -- Religious leaders and politicians announced their intention to try to live on the money provided by food stamps - $1.50 per meal.

October 26, 2011, Washington -- The NCC's Michael Livingston debated the Acton Institute's Michael Miller on the issue "What would Jesus cut?" on Southern California Public Radio. Listen in.

October 27, 2011, New York -- The National Council of Churches 'Words Matter' program has released a down-loadable Advent devotional, "Expecting the Word."

November 1, 2011, New York -- The dramatic story of how Episcopalians are reaching out to help persons affected by the financial crisis will be told on local NBC stations beginning November 13 in a new documentary presented by the NCC with the Interfaith Broadcasting Commission (IBC), and produced by Trinity Wall Street. 

November 1, 2011, New York -- A Peace of Bread: Faith, Food and the Future, a compelling look at how  faith leaders are trying to finally make a dent in this country’s 36 million people (13 million of which are children) that are experiencing hunger, debuts this month on ABC.

November 9, 2011, Chicago -- Kathryn Mary Lohre is installed as the 26th president of the National Council of Churches.

November 9, 2011, Chicago -- The Rev. Dr. Michael Kinnamon, general secretary of the National Council of Churches for four years, has announced he is stepping down from he position for reasons of health.

November 9, 2011, Chicago -- The Rev. A. Roy Medley, staff leader of American Baptist Churches, has been elected president elect of the National Council of Churches. 

November 11, 2011, Washington --  NCC General Secretary Michael Kinnamon will remain in his post for an indefinite period, but he and the Governing Board have begun a process for a "stable and grace-filled transition" as he brings his tenure to a close.

November 16, 2011, Washington -- A former chemical plant manager turned pastor, a special education director, and Roman Catholic lobbyist will brief Congress on chemical policy reform on Thursday, November 17.

November 18, 2011, New York -- A CBS religion special on December 4 will examine trends in interfaith relations in the U.S.

November 21, 2011, Washington -- The faithful gather in "Super Vigil" Sunday to ask the congressional "super committee" not to make cuts at the expense of the poor.

November 25, 2011, Minneapolis -- Seven women from diverse backgrounds were honored as mentors of faith during the Twin Cities area Circles of Names reception.

November 24, 2011, Matanzas, CubaIn a Thanksgiving Day sermon at the Evangelical Seminary in Matanzas, Cuba, the general secretary of the National Council of Churches USA named challenges facing U.S. churches – including the fact that growing fears about national security have created boundaries between nations and people.

December 1, 2011, Havana -- An ecumenical delegation to Cuba led by NCC General Secretary Michael Kinnamon has met with church leaders and an imprisoned American

December 6, 2011, Atlantic City -- Church Women United, founded here just days after Pearl Harbor, returned to Atlantic City to celebrate its 70th anniversary.

December 8, 2011, Havana -- U.S. and Cuban church leaders issue a joint declaration extolling signs of greater unity.

December 8, 2011, Havana -- In a press conference here, NCC General Secretary Michael Kinnamon said U.S. churches will continue to advocate an end to the U.S. embargo of Cuba.

December 8, 2011, Havana -- The leader of Cuba's National Assembly urged prayer that the U.S. embargo of Cuba end soon.

December 8, 2911, New York -- Five congregations have been named "Interfaith engaged" by the National Council of Churches.

December 8, 2011, Washington -- Michael Livingston and religious leaders join a vigil of the unemployed on Capitol Hill.

December 9, 2011, Washington -- Thousands of Christians are asking for Obama's support at the U.N. Climate Change Summit in Durban, South Africa.

December 9, 2011, York Harbor, Maine -- The NCC's Eco-Justice Office is screening an award-winning documentary on mountaintop removal coal mining.

December 12, 2011, Washington -- The NCC joins 150 national and regional groups to urge Congress to re-authorize the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA).

December 14, 2011, Washington -- Christmas is a compelling reason to support a just federal budget, Kinnamon tells an interfaith rally across the street from the Capitol.

December 15, 2011, New York -- The NCC, through its Interfaith Relations Commission, is urging Lowe's to resume advertising on TLC's "All-American Muslim" television program. 

December 22, 2011, Washington -- The NCC today praised the Environmental Protection Agency for enacting the strongest mercury and air toxics safeguards to date.

December 27, 2011, Washington -- The NCC has condemned the Christmas bombing of a church in Nigeria.

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