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NATIONAL COUNCIL OF CHURCHES ANNUAL NATIONAL ASSEMBLY
Nov. 11-16, 2001, Oakland, Calif. Principal Venue: Marriott City Center Hotel

November 9, 2001 -- The National Council of Churches is the nation’s leading ecumenical organization, with 36 mainline Protestant, African American and Orthodox member denominations and living peace churches comprising 50 million adherents in 140,000 local congregations. The NCC’s annual national General Assembly is its highest governing body – and will meet Nov. 13-15 in Oakland, Calif., with related events Nov. 12 and 16. Ambassador Andrew Young of Atlanta, Ga., NCC President for 2000-2001, to preside.

Here are agenda items and highlights. Click here for detailed agenda

** MONDAY, NOVEMBER 12, 9 A.M.TO 1:30 P.M. --
      TOUR OF HABITAT FOR HUMANITY WORKSITES

The Rev. Rolf Bell of the Habitat for Humanity International West Regional Office and a minister in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, and Krysta Morgenthaler of the East Bay Habitat for Humanity affiliate, will lead some 30 NCC General Assembly members and staff along with local clergy on a tour of Habitat for Humanity work in the Bay Area.

Group leaves 9 a.m. from the Oakland Marriott City Center Hotel, visits several sites, and concludes at First Presbyterian Church, Oakland, where (at 12:30 p.m.) NCC General Secretary Bob Edgar will speak about his participation in Habitat for Humanity’s summer "build" in Korea. The NCC and Habitat for Humanity International signed a "Memorandum of Agreement" earlier in 2001. Also speaking: Habitat’s East Bay Chair of Faith Relations, Rev. Ron Thompson, a minister in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and the affiliate’s founder.

Stops along the tour: 1419, 1425 and 1431 82nd Avenue (corner of International Boulevard); 370 105th Avenue (880 toward Oakland Airport, east on 98th Avenue toward the Hills, right onto Edes Avenue, right onto 105th Avenue); Habitat Brownfield site on Edes Avenue, ending at First Presbyterian Church of Oakland, 2619 Broadway.

Local Contact: Lisa Wash, Director of Development, East Bay Habitat for Humanity, 510-251-6304.

** TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 13, 1 TO 3:30 P.M. –
      NCC GENERAL ASSEMBLY OPENING SESSION

Opening worship, with United Methodist San Francisco Episcopal Area Bishop Beverly J. Shamana, with offices in West Sacramento, Calif., author of "Seeing in the Dark: A Vision of Creativity and Spirituality," preaching.

Around 2 p.m. (estimated), following opening formalities, the General Assembly will hear "Words of Comfort and Prayers for Healing" post-September 11 from a World Council of Churches delegation. NEWS CONFERENCE/INTERVIEW OPPORTUNITY TO IMMEDIATELY FOLLOW (3:30 p.m.).

Led by Methodist Bishop Mvume Dandala of South Africa, the WCC delegation also includes Church of Pakistan Bishop Samuel Azariah from Pakistan, Greek Orthodox Metropolitan Elias Audi from Lebanon, Quaker Presiding Clerk Jean Zaru from Palestine, theological seminary professor Septemmy Lakawa from Indonesia, French Protestant Federation President Jean-Arnold de Clermont, and Russian Orthodox official Nicholas Balachov.

The representatives of World Council of Churches member churches are in the United States Nov. 8-14 as a "Living Letter" of compassion to the churches and people of the USA. The purpose of the visit, which begins in New York, is "to express the solidarity and compassion of the worldwide ecumenical fellowship" to U.S. churches and to "discern together what September 11 and subsequent events mean for the witness of the churches" in the US and elsewhere.

The delegation is also coming to reflect on "the long term consequences" of the attacks and the resulting allied military strikes against Taliban positions and terrorist camps in Afghanistan in the light of the WCC's Decade to Overcome Violence. Click here for details or contact Phil Jenks, WCC, 212-870-3193 or 2533; pej@wcc-coe.org

** TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 13, 3:45 to 5:15 P.M. –
      REFLECTIONS ON SEPT. 11 AND ITS IMPLICATIONS

In conversation groups led by ecumenical officers of National Council of Churches member communions, NCC General Assembly delegates will give time to reflect on the September 11 attacks and their aftermath. The groups will give voice to such questions as: "How do we feel? What do we need? What are we doing to cope?" Implications for ecumenical work, including NCC priorities to work against poverty and for broader Christian unity, will be discussed. The international WCC delegation members will participate in the conversations.

** WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 14, 11:30 A.M. –
      WORSHIP, FEATURING A LOCAL CHILDREN’S CHOIR

Renowned singer and choirmaster Ms. Inetta Harris, featured soloist with the Oakland East Bay Symphony and Assistant Professor of Fine Arts at Michigan Technological University, will direct the children’s choir performing as part of a General Assembly worship service focusing on children.

Familiar to many congregations in the Oakland area, Ms. Harris’ home congregation is Greater Cooper A.M.E. Zion. The service also will feature the beginning of the NCC member communion quilt.

** WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 14, 1:30 P.M. --
      DR. TONY CAMPOLO TO SPEAK

Dr. Tony Campolo, popular evangelical preacher, writer and commentator, will speak at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 14. He is professor emeritus of sociology at Eastern College, St. David’s, Pa.

** WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 14, 4 TO 6 P.M. –
      WORKSHOPS ON NCC PRIORITIES AND PARTNERSHIPS

Topics will include "Interfaith Dialogue in a Challenging Environment," "Poverty Housing and Habitat," "Children of Poverty," "Building a Strong Base – Resourcing Congregations for Spiritual Formation," "Faith and Order Challenges," "Tools for Building a New Ecumenical ‘Something’," "Climate Change, Environment and the Church," "State/Local Councils of Churches and Interfaith Councils in Relation to/with the National Council of Churches," "Fundraising in a Broken World."

** WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 14, 6:15 P.M. –
      HONORS TO ANDREW YOUNG, OTHER ECUMENICAL LEADERS

Ambassador Andrew Young will soon conclude his term as the NCC’s President in 2000-2001. He will be honored at a 6:15 p.m. reception Wednesday, November 14. The General Assembly’s second annual "sacrificial dinner" celebration honoring outstanding ecumenical programs and leaders will follow.

** THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 15, 9:45 A.M. –
      DR. MUZAMMIL SIDDIQUI, MUSLIM LEADER, TO SPEAK

Dr. Muzammil Siddiqi of Garden Grove, Calif., is the Immediate Past President of the Islamic Society of North America, the largest Muslim organization in the United States. He will deliver a keynote address to the National Council of Churches General Assembly on Thursday, Nov. 15, at 9:45 a.m. Subject: The situation of Muslims in the United States since September 11, and his vision of how Christians and Muslims might cooperate and help each other.

Concerned to build interfaith understanding in the wake of the September 11 attacks, NCC General Secretary Bob Edgar and prominent Muslim leaders met September 26 and agreed to a regular pattern of consultation among Christian and Muslim leaders. This builds on a foundation laid by the Council’s Interfaith Relations Commission over the past 25 years, which has included periodic meetings (but not the regular consultation now planned) with Muslim leaders and production of resources for interfaith understanding for use in local communities. Dr. Edgar recently visited the Plainfield, Ind., headquarters of the ISNA, with which the NCC has had a relationship for many years.

** THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 15, 5 P.M., GREEK ORTHODOX CATHEDRAL -
      INSTALLATION OF ELENIE K. HUSZAGH AS NCC PRESIDENT 2002-2003

Venue: Greek Orthodox Cathedral of the Ascension, 4700 Lincoln Ave., Oakland. Service of worship and installation: 5 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 15. Banquet follows. Ms. Huszagh, of Nehalem, Ore., is a longtime Chicago attorney and lay member of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America. She will serve as National Council of Churches President in 2002-2003. A profile of Ms. Huszagh is available at www.ncccusa.org/news/huszagh.html

** FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 16, 7 A.M. T0 1 P.M. --
      HABITAT FOR HUMANITY WORK PROJECT

A team made up of NCC General Assembly members and staff will assemble at 8:30 a.m. (lobby, Oakland Marriott City Hotel) and work from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Habitat homes in Fremont (880 S to Stevenson Blvd. exit in Fremont, east to Fremont Blvd., right on Fremont Blvd. Merge left at Fremont Blvd./Washington Blvd. fork into Washington Blvd. Take first right onto Roberts Ave. Turn right onto Adams Ave. The site is 6311 Adams Avenue, at the corner of Roberts and Adams Aves.) Each volunteer gets a "work apron" decorated by children in churches across the United States.

Local Contact: Krysta Morgenthaler, Volunteer Coordinator, East Bay Habitat for Humanity, 510-251-6304, ext.6.

** OTHER NCC GENERAL ASSEMBLY STORIES

POVERTY MOBILIZATION AND WORK FOR BROADER CHRISTIAN UNITY: Last year the General Assembly launched a decade-long "poverty mobilization" aimed at reducing U.S. poverty and an "Expanded Table" initiative to seek a broader Christian unity. Progress reports are scheduled for the 1:30 p.m. session Wednesday, Nov. 14 (Poverty Mobilization) and 9:45 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 15 (Expanded Table), with additional discussion during workshops on NCC priorities and partnerships from 4 to 6 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 14.

ALSO: The NCC"s Executive Board, a subgroup of the General Assembly, meets Tuesday, Nov. 13, from 9 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. A displays area will feature NCC and partner programs. A prayer chapel will be open from 7 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. daily Nov. 13-15.

Newsroom: OCC 210 - 2nd Floor, Oakland Marriott Hotel
Contact: NCC News, 212-870-2227 (Nov. 12-15 at 510-451-4000)
E-mail: news@ncccusa.org;

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