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Yearbook of American and Canadian Churches:
Why religious leaders can’t work without it

The 2006 yearbook reflects 'robust immigrant history' in U.S.
The Yearbook examines blogs and the emergent church

New York, March 30, 2006 -- In addition to its obvious value to scholars, the National Council of Churches' 2006 Yearbook of American and Canadian Churches is an essential addition to any pastor's library. Proponents suggest scenarios to pastors in which the Yearbook would be helpful, including:

• The youth in your congregation are conducting a study of other churches and they wish to hear from pastors and theologians representing a wide spectrum of opinions. Your first thought is that it would be nearly impossible for the youth to establish that many pen pals. Your second thought is the 2006 Yearbook of American and Canadian Churches and its directory of blogs posted by clergy and laypersons across the country.

• Flood ravages the Gulf Coast. Your congregation wants to provide relief supplies and a youth work camp to assist victims. You open the Yearbook of American and Canadian Churches and consult the directory of U.S. Ecumenical Bodies, to obtain the name and contact numbers for the councils of churches in Louisiana and Mississippi so you can forge a partnership in a ministry of relief.

• You have been approached by a local pastor of the Apostolic Christian Church. His congregation wishes to discuss with your congregation the possibility of using your sanctuary on Sunday evenings for worship. You wish to present this request to your church board but you are not familiar with this church and its traditions and beliefs. You consult the directory for U.S. Religious Bodies, to read about this denomination. For follow-up questions you contact the church headquarters at the number listed in the Yearbook of American and Canadian Churches.

• There is a large Muslim community in your town. Your church is planning to host a community health fair in the year 2007. You want to be certain that the date will not conflict with any Muslim holidays. You consult the Yearbook of American and Canadian Churches to find a date that is respectful of all religious traditions.

• Your Stewardship committee is planning a presentation to the congregation to develop financial pledges to the church. Last year per capita giving in your church was $613. The committee is interested in how this compares to giving nationally within your denomination and in others. You consult the statistical information in the Yearbook of American and Canadian Churches, which allows you to see your pattern of giving within a larger context.

• Your congregation will soon celebrate its centennial. A group is working on writing a history of the parish. The group needs to locate some records for your denomination, which are nearly 100 years old. You consult Depositories of Church History Material in the Yearbook of American and Canadian Churches, which provides the group with the contact information for your denominational archives.

• Your congregation, working with other congregations in a local ecumenical agency, recognizes the need to establish a local ecumenical youth ministry. Many ideas about program, focus, cost, and organization are put forward. Consulting the chapter index for U.S. Ecumenical Bodies, you note that nearly 40 ecumenical agencies provide such programs. With the contact names and addresses, you suggest your group collect some information about what others are doing.

• A young woman in your congregation is interested in pursuing a vocational call. She doesn't know which seminary she should consider and wonders how many women are engaged in theological study. You refer her to the Yearbook of American and Canadian Churches where she finds in the directory of U.S. Theological Schools and Bible Colleges, a complete listing of schools with contact information and denominational affiliation. In this section she is able to review seminary enrollment statistics for women over the last decade.

The 2006 Yearbook of American and Canadian Churches costs $45 and may be ordered at www.electronicchurch.org

Contact NCC News, Philip E. Jenks, 212-870-2228, pjenks@ncccusa.org; Daniel Webster, 212-870-2252, dwebster@ncccusa.org; or Leslie Tune, 202-544-2350, ltune@ncccusa.org.

 


 

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