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Seeking God's Grace for the Gulf;
a day of special prayer October 3

Washington, September 28, 2010 -- This Sunday, October 3, is a day to seek God's grace for the Gulf in thousands of congregations related to the 36 member communions of the National Council of Churches.

The NCC is calling upon congregations and faith communities "to remember the Gulf oil catastrophe, pray for our brothers and sisters in the Gulf Coast, and reflect on our personal connection to the what is the largest oil spill in U.S. history."

The NCC Eco-justice program has posted worship resources and bulletin flyers for "Seeking God's Grace for the Gulf" on their webpage.

The Rev. Dr. Michael Kinnamon, NCC general secretary, has issued the following statement to urge churches to participate in the national day of worship and prayer:

From April 20 to July 15 more than 4.9 million barrels of oil spewed into the Gulf of Mexico. Beginning with the explosion of the DeepWater Horizon oil rig, which killed eleven rig workers , the ensuing weeks and months were periods of pain and stress for the people of the Gulf.  Even now, though the leak has been stopped, the future is uncertain. The oil spill has changed the face of the Gulf Coast.  

As the Gulf Coast begins long-term recovery, we support our brothers and sisters in this time of healing. On October 3, 2010, the 36 member communions of the National Council of Churches will stand with the people of the Gulf Coast in a national day of reflection, worship and healing. 

The theme for that day will be Seeking God's Grace for the Gulf. Congregations around the country will unite for prayer, song, worship and reflection on the oil spill. Together, we will declare that all of us have been deeply affected by the spill, and all of us are called to be wise and responsible stewards of the earth’s energy resources. 

As people of faith, we are also called to be caretakers of our brothers and sisters around the world. The Gulf oil spill highlights the challenges we face every day as we strive to live out this call to ensure a healthy and sustainable future for our children and future generations.

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),