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Other policy documents, including
those prior to 1997

Policies, resolutions grouped by subject,
1997 and earlier

EVEN BEFORE THE development of the Social Creed of the Churches in 1908, Christian churches in the United States were joined in a common witness for what they perceived as biblical justice in society.

Very early on, there was a clear consensus among Christians as to what God and God's prophets had in mind when it came to just and godly conduct.

For example, the 18th century notary John Woolman, a Quaker mystic who personified the Christian conscience in colonial New Jersey and Pennsylvania, was one of the first voices calling for an end to slavery. Dressed in un-dyed linen suits because he saw that black dyes blinded slaves who worked for clothing manufacturers, Woolman tried to live his life doing good and avoiding doing harm to any other living creature.

The churches' social campaigns of the 19th and 20th centuries for the abolition of slavery, for women's suffrage, against drink and child labor and hellish living and working conditions, for unrestricted immigration, for human rights, peace, living wages and universal health care began with John Woolman's quiet Christian witness.

But Woolman SOON discovered that it is not always easy to do good by not doing harm. It's even harder today. Eating a bowl of nutritious lettuce might contribute to the oppression of the underpaid farm laborer who picked it. Refusing to buy trademarked shoes produced by children in sweatshops seems like the right thing to do, but shoe makers may be owned by multi-national corporations whose products we embrace. Even when we avoid doing harm by doing nothing at all, we stand as guilty bystanders amid apartheid, genocide, war, oppression of Christian minorities, hurricane damage and more. The policy statements, resolutions, study documents and papers of the National Council of Churches USA represent sincere and prayerful efforts to sort through the complexities of the modern world, and apply God's word to oppose what is bad and support what is good. These documents represent a consensus of delegates from the 35 member communions of the National Council of Churches.

Not every pressing social or theological issue is addressed in these documents. For example, the 35 member communions of the National Council of Churches have no consensus on basic ecclesial issues infant vs. adult baptism, historic creeds (some of us are non-creedal), standards or ordination, apostolic succession or the role of bishops. Nor do the communions agree on abortion, family planning or same-sex unions. Historically, the member communions of the National Council of Churches have declared their own positions on these issues and the Council plays the role of hosting the space where they come together to exchange views.

Here is an index to policy statements, resolutions and documents on which delegates to NCC Governing Board and NCC/Church World Service General Assemblies have agreed. All of the documents since 1997 are included, as well as the more significant documents that were approved earlier.


2012

Sharing the Gospel in a Religiously Plural World: A Policy Statement on Evangelism

2010

Policy Statement: The Authority of the Church in the World
A Call to Ratify the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START II)
Resolution on the Violence in Iraq
Resolution on Myanmar
Resolution to End the War in Afghanistan
A Call to Action on Comprehensive Immigration Reform
Message on Honoring the Sacredness of Religious Others
Ending Gun Violence: A Resolution and Call to Action 


2009

Nuclear Disarmament: The Time is Now
Environmental Health

2008

Resolution on Human Trafficking
Resolution on Immigration and a Call to Action

2007

Resolution on the Responsibility to Protect, approved by the Governing Board September 2007 

Resolution on the Rights and Haitians of Dominican Descent in the Dominican Republic, adopted by the Governing Board, September 2007 

Reaffirmation of Our Commitments to Peace in the Middle East,  in light of the 1980 Middle East Policy Statement, Approved by the General Assembly, November 2007. 

Response to Christian Zionism, resolution approved by the General Assembly, November 2007 

Resolution on Biotechnology and National Security, approved by the General Assembly, November 2007

Resolution to Call for a Worldwide Ban on Human Reproductive Cloning, approved by the General Assembly, November 2007  

Resolution on the House of Representatives Recognition of the Armenian Genocide, approved by the General Assembly, November 2007 

2006

Fearfully and Wonderfully Made, A Policy on Human Biotechnologies, adopted by the General Assembly, November 2006

A Christian Response to the 400th Anniversary Commemoration of the Founding of Jamestown, Virginia, in 1607, resolution affirmed by the General Assembly, November 2006.  

Pastoral Message on the War in Iraq,  Affirmed by the General Assembly, November 2006 

Resolution on Global Warming, approved by the General Assembly, November 2006 

2005

Bill of Media Rights, resolution approved by the Governing Board in May 2005. 

Resolution on Christmas Gift Aid, for Bethlehem, Palestine, Israel and Lebanon,
approved by the General Assembly, November 2005

Resolution on the Threat to Civil and Religious Liberties in Post 9/11 America,
Adopted by the General Assembly November 2005 

Resolution on Just Rebuilding of the Gulf Coast, Adopted by the General Assembly - November 2005 

Resolution to Reaffirm Commitment to Voting Rights Act, Adopted by the General Assembly - November 2005 

A Statement on the Disavowal of Torture, Adopted by the General Assembly, November 2005

Pastoral Message on Alexandria, Adopted by the General Assembly November 2005; and
Pastoral Message on Constantinople

Adopted by the General Assembly November 2005 

2004

Policy on "The Church and Children: Vision and Goals for the 21st Century"

"Action on Dialogue Among U.S. Christians on Christian Values" and a related "Open Letter"

Statement Marking the death of Yasir Arafat

Reaffirmation of the NCC Executive Board's action, in May 2004, calling for
urgent intervention to stop the killing in Sudan.

"Letter to the Armed Forces Chaplains Board."

Letter of greeting to the four historic African American Baptist Conventions
that soon will be holding their first joint board meeting since 1895.

2003

To Endorse the Taco Bell Boycott Called by the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW)

Mount Olive Pickle Boycott

Report of the Human Genetics Policy Development Committee -- be aware before downloading that this is a huge file (2MB+) You will want to use a high-speed connection.

The Churches and Public School

Preserving U.S. Pharmaceutical Sales to Canada

The Conflict in the Middle East

Resolution Recognizing the Patriarch of Jerusalem

2002

"After September 11, 2001: Public Policy Considerations for the United States of America"

"Resolution Expressing Appreciation for the U.S. Catholic Bishops' Statement on Iraq"

Resolution Recognizing the Patriarch of Jerusalem

Resolution Establishing an Exploratory Commission on Human Genetic Technologies

Resolution on Sudan, approved by the NCC Executive Board at its February 2002 meeting; also approved by the Church World Service Board of Directors (October 2001)

2001

'For the Faithful Living of These Days' - A Resolution

NCC Resolution on the Reauthorization of TANF and Related Programs

2000

"Mobilization to Overcome Poverty"

"Expanding the Ecumenical Vision"

"Development of a Comprehensive Policy Statement on Africa"

AIDS in Africa

Conflict in the Middle East

Vieques, Puerto Rico

Support of Farm Workers Organizing in North Carolina

1999

Renewed Faith Community Universal Health Care Campaign

The Use of Children as Soldiers

Resolution on the International Criminal Court

Policy on The Churches and the Public Schools at the Close of the Twentieth Century

Policy on Interfaith Relations and the Churches

Policy on Resources Related to Interfaith Relations and the Churches

Policy on Pillars of Peace for the 21st Century

1998

Resolution on the Jubilee 2000 Campaign

Policy on Disabilities, the Body of Christ and the Wholeness of Society

1997

Resolution on Organ, Tissue Donation

Resolution on Clemency for Leonard Peltier

Resolution on Paper Use

Resolution Calling for a Landmines Ban

Resolution on 50th Anniversary, Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Resolution on Affirmative Action

Policy on No Barriers for Deaf People in Churches


Other Documents, including policies
and resolutions adopted prior to 1997:

2001

Longing for Peace, Justice Marks NCC Assembly 'Sept. 11' Statement
 'Out of the Ashes and Tragedy of September 11, 2001' - A Statement

2000

General Secretary's Report to the NCC's Year 2000 General Assembly

1998

Report of the CWSW Unit Committee Study Group on the Humanitarian
Impact of Economic Sanctions, including Resolution on the Humanitarian Impact of Economic Sanctions

1997

Final Report of the Ecclesiology Task Force


 

NCC Governing Documents

 

The NCC Strategic Plan, 2008-2011

NCC Constitution and Bylaws

NCC Standing Rules

 

Reports, Study and Background Documents

 

Reclaiming the Vision (Report of the Ecclesiology Task Force, 1997)

A Social Creed for the 21st Century (2007)   
Marks of Our Commitment 

A Council of Communions: who we are

A Common Word From Us to You, a message from Muslim leaders
Kairos Palestine: "A Moment of Truth" Study Guide.

 

 

 


 

Selected NCC Policy Statements and Resolutions
Prior to 1997, by Subject

 

Bioethics
     
Fearfully and Wonderfully Made, A Policy on Human Biotechnologies (2006)

        Genetic Science for Human Benefit (1986)  

      Report of the Human Genetics Policy Development Committee (2003)
     
Resolution on Organ, Tissue Donation (1997)
     
Disabilities, the Body of Christ and the Wholeness of Society (1998)   


● Communication and Media

      Global Communication for Justice (1993)  
  
   Violence in Electronic Media and Film (1993
)
      The Churches Role in Media Education and Communication Advocacy (1995)
     
Churches and the News Medi
a (1996)

 

● Economic Issues

      Report of the CWS Study on the Humanitarian Impact of Economic Sanctions (1998)
     
Resolution on the Jubilee 2000 Campaign (1998)     
      Human Hunger and the World Food Crisis (1975)
    
World Poverty and the Demands of Justice (1968)
    
Christian Concern and Responsibility for Economic Life in a Rapidly Changing Technological Society (1966)
   
 Churches Concern for Public Assistance (1958)
   
 Christian Concern About Unemployment (1958)
    
Collective Bargaining (1958)

  

Education

      Elementary and Secondary Public Education in the Society (1986)
     

● Evangelism 

      Evangelism Today (1976)

      Sharing the Gospel in a Religiously Plural World: A Policy Statement on Evangelism (2012)

 

● Family

      Responsible Parenthood (February 23, 1961)     

      Policy Statement on Child Day Care (1984)
     
Family Violence and Abuse (1990)

 

● Government

      Religious Obedience and Civil Disobedience (1968)
     The Primacy of Conscience (1967)

 

Human Rights

      Abolition of the Death Penalty (1968)
     
Challenges to the Injustice of the Criminal Justice System (1979)
     
The Churches and Immigration (1962)
     
Human Rights: The Fulfillment of Life in the Social Order (1995)
     
Immigration, Refugees and Migrants (1981)
     
United States Immigration and Naturalization Policy (1952)

      

Peace and Disarmament

     The Complete Cessation of All Explosive Nuclear Testing (1977)

     Resolution on Nuclear Weapons (1977)

 

● Social, Gender and Racial Concerns

      Firearms Control (1967)     

      Racial Justice (1984) 
      Resolution on Affirmative Action
(1997)    

 


 


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