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General Assembly to meet
'For the Healing of the Nations'

Orlando, Florida, Nov. 2, 2006 Ė The General Assembly, the highest decision-making body of the National Council of Churches USA and Church World Service will gather here next week (Nov. 7-9). 

All 35 member communions are expected to send nearly 200 delegates along with several visitors to the Wyndham Orlando Resort. 

Worship, bible study, celebration, and action will all be a part of the annual gathering of the USA's oldest national ecumenical body. 

The delegates from Protestant, Orthodox, Anglican, historic African American and peace churches will be representing 45 million Christians from 100,000 congregations.  

The meeting will be presided over by NCC President Michael Livingston. In addition, NCC General Secretary Bob Edgar and CWS executive director John McCullough will report on the work of the sister organizations.

The General Assembly will vote on a final version of a human biotechnology policy at this meeting.  They will also consider adoption of a strategic plan for 2007-2011 for the National Council of Churches and other resolutions or actions on urgent current issues.  

The NCC will also submit a report from a delegation that visited Lebanon last month to assess the effects of the Israel/Hezbollah war. 

The keynote speaker on Thursday evening will be the Rev. Dr. James A. Forbes, Jr., senior minister of New York City's ecumenical Riverside Church.  Last September, Dr. Forbes announced plans to retire to pursue his new national ministry Ė in response to a calling that took root in 2004 when the NCC and Riverside Church collaborated on their "Let Justice Roll: Faith and Community Voices Against Poverty" and "Mobilization 2004" campaigns.  

Each day will begin with worship to help delegates explore the theme:  "For the Healing of the Nations" (Revelation 22:1-2).  "Public worship is a celebration of the conviction that Christ is in the midst of Godís people.  Worship equips and empowers the faithful to act as agents of Godís transformation, and sets the framework for our work as the people of God in community responding to Godís gift of unity through Jesus Christ," the Assembly planners said.

Delegates will also engage in bible study.  They will encounter and be encountered by the Word.  Neither an exegetical study of the text, nor a preaching on the text, this will be a collective look at the text using focused questions for discernment, a time for us to encounter God through scripture.  

Wednesday rotation forums will acquaint delegates with the wide array of programmatic efforts of the NCC and CWS.  Among the forum topics are:  Ending the Poverty that Kills; Overcoming Hunger; and For the Peace of the World: A Christian Curriculum. 

NCC News contact:  The Rev. Dan Webster, 212.870.2252,


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