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Archbishop Demetrios of America
welcomes NCC delegation

New York, May 14, 2010 -- A delegation from the National Council of Churches was warmly welcomed May 6 by His Eminence Demetrios of America, Archbishop of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America.

"His Eminence was a warm and gracious host and we had an excellent conversation," said the Rev. Dr. Michael Kinnamon, NCC General Secretary.

Also attending the meeting was the Rev. Lydia Veliko, Ecumenical Officer of the United Church of Christ and chair of the NCC's Membership and Ecclesial Relations Committee; and the Rev. Mark Arey,
Director, Inter-Orthodox, Ecumenical and Interfaith Relations for the archdiocese.

Kinnamon said he expressed the prayerful concerns of the NCC's 36 member communions for the people of Greece at a time of economic crisis.

"This is certainly a situation that calls for pastoral insight and support," Kinnamon said. "Each day we read of millions of young women and men in Greece who are unable to find work or live out their lives using their God-given gifts to the fullest extent.

"The intervention of the European Union may help avert a complete collapse of the Greek economy," Kinnamon said, "but the people of Greece will continue to suffer for years to come under the effects of the economic measures being mandated."

Kinnamon called upon the member communions of the NCC to be in prayer for the people of Greece and for the Greek Orthodox Church during this difficult period.

Kinnamon also noted that Archbishop Demetrios will be leading the Bible Study at the 2010 General Assembly of the NCC and Church World Service when it meets in New Orleans November 9-11.

"His Eminence has doctorates in New Testament, church history and theology and is an internationally recognized scholar as well as church leader," Kinnamon said. "I know his contributions will be deeply appreciated by his sisters and brothers from many communions in New Orleans."

Since its founding in 1950, the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA has been the leading force for ecumenical cooperation among Christians in the United States. The NCC's member faith groups from a wide spectrum of Protestant, Anglican, Orthodox, Evangelical, historic African American and Living Peace churches include 45 million persons in more than 100,000 local congregations in communities across the nation.

NCC News contact:  Philip E. Jenks, 212-870-2228 (office), 646-853-4212 (cell),

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