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National Council of Churches and Church World Service
The theme of the 2008 General Assembly is, "Jesus Said ... Whoever is Not Against You is For You," from Luke 9:50.
The theme focuses on the words of Jesus, a response to his disciple's complaints about a man they didn't know who was casting our demons in Jesus' name.
The words invoke the brokenness of a world in which suspicion and distrust govern our relationships and create obstacles to church unity. Topics planned for discussion at the General Assembly raise questions about our obligation to be good neighbors: immigration reform, the meaning of Christian unity in a pluralistic era and the "phobias" that stand in the way of ecumenical unity, racial justice, and interfaith dialogue.
Registration and hotel information forms may be downloaded from the General Assembly Web site, www.ncccusa.org/ga2008. The registration fee is $250 until September 29, when the price goes up to $275.
Press credentials can be obtained from the NCC Media Relations Office.
The Assembly will be presided over by the president of the National Council of Churches, H.E. Archbishop Vicken Aykazian, who represents the Diocese of the Armenian Church of America (Eastern). The Assembly is composed of delegates and visitors from the 35 member communions of the NCC and CWS.
The agenda, worship, speakers, exhibits, awards, banquets and other events are taking shape under the direction of a General Assembly program planning committee chaired by Bishop Demetrios (Kantzavelos) of Mokissos, auxiliary bishop of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America and chancellor of the Chicago Metropolis. Other members of the committee include board and staff of the NCC and CWS, and the Rev. Dr. Jim Ryan, council executive of the Colorado Council of Churches in Denver, which is hosting the General Assembly.
Young adults from member communions will gather in Denver prior to the General Assembly for an agenda that is in the planning process. As in past years, young adults will form a group of Stewards to support the logistics and business of the General Assembly. An application form for stewards can be downloaded at the General Assembly Web site.
In addition, a Women's Caucus and luncheon will be held early in the Assembly schedule.
Speakers to address the General Assembly have not been announced, but they will include Archbishop Aykazian, the Rev. Dr. Michael Kinnamon, NCC general secretary, and the Rev. John McCullough, CWS executive director.
NCC News contact: Philip E. Jenks, 212-870-2228, NCCnews@ncccusa.org
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