36 U.S. Church Bodies Send Delegates to
NCC/CWS General Assembly Nov. 9-11, St. Louis

Pre-Assembly Interfaith Conversation on Public Education, Young Adult Event Set for Nov. 8

The annual General Assembly of the National Council of Churches USA, the nation’s leading ecumenical organization, and of Church World Service, the humanitarian agency, will be held in St. Louis, Mo., Nov. 9-11, with two pre-events set for Nov. 8: A day-long event for young adults and an evening Interfaith Conversation on Public Education. 

General Assembly Venue: Sheraton St. Louis City Center, 400 S. 14th St., unless otherwise noted.  Media coverage is welcome. 

NCC Media Liaisons: Carol Fouke-Mpoyo, cfouke@ncccusa.org, 212-870-2252 and Leslie Tune, ltune@ncccusa.org, 202-544-2350 or (cell) 202-297-2191.  CWS Communication Director: Ann Walle, 212-870-2654; awalle@churchworldservice.org

The NCC and CWS are ministries of their 36 Protestant, Christian Orthodox, Episcopal, African-American and Living Peace member churches (denominations), which in turn count 45 million members in more than 100,000 local congregations nationwide. 

The 280-member General Assembly is made up of official delegates from member churches, and has final say on policy, which the NCC and CWS, although autonomous institutions, share.  Assemblies are an opportunity for a broad cross-section of churches to speak together with one voice and to join in ecumenical worship, Bible study and fellowship.

2004 General Assembly highlights:

Daily Nov. 8-11 – Bookstore, exhibits on NCC and CWS programs; daily worship; Bible study.

November 8, 10 to 11 a.m. – NCC General Secretary Robert W. Edgar addresses chapel service at Eden Theological Seminary, St. Louis.

Nov. 8, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. – Young Adult Pre-Assembly Event.  Open to all young adults (ages 18-30), including young adults from greater St. Louis, along with NCC young adult delegates and stewards.  Keynote speaker: Colleen Carroll Campbell, an award-winning journalist, former speechwriter to President George W. Bush, and author of the critically acclaimed book, “The New Faithful: Why Young Adults Are Embracing Christian Orthodoxy.” 

Nov. 8, 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. – Interfaith Conversation on Public Education, co-sponsored by the NCC Committee on Public Education and Literacy and the St. Louis Interfaith Partnership.  Keynote speaker: Congressman Chaka Fattah.

Nov. 9, 2:15-5 p.m. – NCC/CWS General Assembly opens.  Highlights: Opening prayer and statements.  Welcome from Orvin Kimbrough, Executive Director, St. Louis Interfaith Partnership.  Reports from NCC General Secretary Robert W. Edgar and CWS Executive Director John L. McCullough.

Nov. 9, 5:15 – 6:45 p.m. – Reception with local church leaders.

Nov. 9, 7:30-9 p.m. – Worship at Christ Church Cathedral.  Preaching: Christian Methodist Episcopal Bishop Thomas L. Hoyt, Jr., President, National Council of Churches.

Nov. 10, 10:30-11:45 a.m. – “Rotation Forum” on the programmatic ministries of the NCC and CWS – each of which will have 10 tables (one for each of their several programs).  Each delegate will have the opportunity to participate in three presentations.  

Nov. 10, Noon-2 p.m. – Awards of Excellence Banquet.  Awards include:

  • Unity Award being presented to the Rev. Dr. Michael Kinnamon, Allen and Dottie Miller Professor of Mission, Peace and Ecumenical Studies, Eden Theological Seminary, St. Louis, Mo.
  • Peace and Justice Award being presented to Baldemar Velasquez, President, Farm Labor Organizing Committee, and William Bryan, Mt. Olive Pickle Company, who on Sept. 16 signed an agreement that ended the 5-1/2 year consumer boycott of Mt. Olive. 
  • Hope Award being presented to Tim Janis, Music with a Mission.
  • J. Irwin Miller Award, recipient TBA.  In honor of an NCC founder and early president who died in August 2004.

Nov. 10, 4-6 p.m. – Action on Policy Statement, “The Church and Children: Vision and Goals for the 21st Century,” which describes the mandate, vision and goals for churches’ work together for the welfare of all children, and Release of a New Study Guide for Congregations on Human Genetics, a project of the NCC’s Human Genetics Policy Development Task Force.

Nov. 11, 5:30-8:30 p.m. – Assembly Peace Banquet, focusing on the Decade to Overcome Violence, a global observance led by the World Council of Churches.  Highlights:

  • Music by singer Peter Yarrow (of Peter, Paul and Mary) and by Kulna Sawa, a young adult musical group from Damascus, Syria, that includes Christian and Muslim performers.
  • Stories of people and organizations in the St. Louis area making a positive witness for peace.
  • Jam session with the musicians to follow.

-end-

The National Council of Churches USA, founded in 1950, is the leading force for ecumenical cooperation among Christians in the United States. The Council’s 36 Protestant, Anglican and Orthodox member churches include 45 million persons in more than 100,000 local congregations in communities across the nation.

As they gather in the Council, the member communions grow in understanding of each other's traditions. They work to identify and fully claim those areas of belief they hold in common; they celebrate the diverse and unique gifts that each church brings to ecumenical life, and together they study those issues that divide the churches. And they cooperate in many joint programs of education, advocacy and service that address critically important needs and that witness to our common faith in Jesus Christ.

For more information about the National Council of Churches USA, visit www.ncccusa.org or write:

National Council of Churches USA
475 Riverside Drive, Suite 880
New York, NY 10115 USA

Church World Service is a cooperative ministry of these 36 Protestant, Orthodox, and Anglican denominations, providing sustainable self-help and development, disaster relief, and refugee assistance in partnership worldwide.  CWS works with the ecumenical family of the National Council of Churches as an independent not-for-profit.

The agency is known across the US for its 2,000 regional CROP Walks, raising awareness and funds to fight hunger and poverty.

For more information on Church World Service, visit www.churchworldservice.org  or call (800) 297-1516.


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