NCC GENERAL ASSEMBLY TO MEET NOVEMBER 4-6, JACKSON, MISS.
for the 2003 General Assembly
October 7, 2003, NEW YORK CITY -- Jackson, Miss., will host the National Council of
Churches USAs Nov. 4-6, 2003, annual General Assembly. Many special guests
will join delegates from the NCCs 36 Protestant, Orthodox and Anglican member
churches, which, in turn, comprise 50 million adherents in 140,000 local congregations
The 280-member General Assembly is the highest legislative body of the nations
leading ecumenical body, through which U.S. churches work to address peoples
spiritual and social needs. This meeting marks the end of one four-year program cycle and
the beginning of the next.
Here are just a few 2003 General Assembly highlights:
- Installation of Bishop Thomas L. Hoyt, Jr., Christian Methodist
Episcopal Bishop of Mississippi and Louisiana, as National Council of Churches President
for 2004-2005. Service at 8 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 6, at Anderson United Methodist Church
also will include installation of other NCC officers. Dr. Hoyt, 62, is widely recognized
as a theologian, preacher, pastor and Bible scholar. The Assembly also will elect new
leaders for 2004-2007 and thank those completing their service - especially Elenie
K. Huszagh, NCC President in 2002-2003.
- Actions on social issues, including proposals that the NCC join
national boycotts of Taco Bell and Mt. Olive Pickle companies. These votes would be
especially significant given the NCCs insistence that boycotts are a measure of last
resort. It has been more than 15 years since the NCC endorsed a boycott (May 1988, related
to Royal Dutch/Shell's connections at that time to apartheid South Africa). Other proposed
actions concern prescription drug costs, several international issues and next steps in
the churches consideration together of issues posed by human genetic technologies.
- An emphasis on children, reflected in actions on public education and
on advocacy for childrens needs, the participation of the Piney Woods School Choir,
a letter-writing campaign on behalf of children, and a giant pew so adults can experience
how children feel at worship.
- A look at the role of youth and young adults in the ecumenical movement,
through a pre-Assembly event Nov. 3; young adult caucus breakfast Nov. 6, and
participation of 10 young adult stewards from across the United States who will serve in
the background as they observe up close the deliberative work of ecumenism.
- A multimedia meeting engaging multiple dimensions of perception and interaction
- spatial, intrapersonal, interpersonal, kinesthetic, musical, mathematical and
linguistic. Speeches and discussions will be interwoven with a civil rights tour, worship
and Bible study, time for silent reflection, and - at delegates tables - modeling
clay and chenille stems for spontaneous sculptures. A resident potter - Ky Johnston, who
teaches at Delta State University in Cleveland, Miss. -- will reflect the Assemblys
theme "In the Potters Hands." Also expect dozens of colorful banners, a
bookstore and an exhibit hall.