Kathryn Lohre installed November 9
as National Council of Churches president
9, 2011 -- Kathryn Mary Lohre, Director of
Ecumenical and Inter-Religious Relations in the Office of the Presiding
Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, was installed
as the 26th President of the National Council of Churches.
The installation took place during the Council's Governing Board
meeting at the ELCA Churchwide Office in Chicago. Lohre will serve her two
year term from January 1, 2012 to December 31, 2013.
The Rev. A. Roy Medley, general secretary of American
Baptist Churches USA, was installed as President Elect of the National
Council of Churches following his election by the NCC Governing Board
Lohre, who has been serving as NCC President Elect, will succeed the Rev. Canon Peg Chemberlin, who will now serve as
immediate past president of the Council. This is the first time in the
history of the NCC that a woman will succeed a woman in the role.
At a luncheon honoring her installation sponsored by
Odyssey Networks, Lohre told the story of the National Council of Churches
reception for Liberian peace activist Leymah Gbowee on October 7, the day
she won the Nobel Peace Prize.
The reception, organized by the Rev. Ann Tiemeyer,
was originally planned
as the last stop on a tour to promote Gbowee's memoirs and to add Gbowee's
name to the NCC’s Circles of Names campaign, was hastily rearranged so
Gbowee could meet with supporters and the media in The Interchurch Center
spoke movingly as she described Gbowee's visit to the NCC as
a historic milestone in the contributions of women of faith to peace and
justice movements around the world.
"I was not there," said Lohre. But because the National
Council of Churches represents a wide community of persons of faith, "we
Kathryn Lohre was assistant director of the Pluralism Project at Harvard
from 2005 to 2011, serving with project director Dr. Diana Eck, a member of
the NCC Governing Board and chair of the NCC's Interfaith Relations
Lohre is a member of the Central Committee of the World Council of Churches.
She previously served on the ELCA Bishop's Global, Ecumenical and Interfaith
Relationships Roundtable, the Commission for Women Steering Committee and as
an assistant to the ELCA Youth Gathering (2000).
Lohre is a summa cum laude graduate of St. Olaf College, Northfield, Minn.,
and earned the Master of Divinity degree at Harvard Divinity School. In May
2011, the Graduate Theological Foundation, Mishawaka, Ind., conferred an
honorary Doctor of Divinity to Lohre, "in recognition of her election as
president-elect of the National Council of Churches and also in recognition
of her contributions to women's interfaith issues and pluralism."
At 34, Lohre is the first Lutheran and the second youngest president of the
Council. The Rev. Dr. M. William Howard, an American Baptist, became
president in 1979 at the age of 33.
See the ELCA video of Lohre's installation address:
Since its founding in 1950, the National Council of
the Churches of Christ in the USA has been the leading force for
shared ecumenical witness among Christians in the United States. The NCC's
37 member communions -- 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),