National Council of Churches to consolidate
in its Maryland Avenue offices in Washington
New York, February 13, 2013 – In a move aimed at
streamlining operations to “free up the Council to be about the priorities
that the churches set together,” the National Council of Churches will
consolidate its operations in Washington, D.C.
The NCC will remain in New York through “satellite offices” for three senior
program staff: Dr. Joseph Crockett, associate general secretary, Education
and Leadership Ministries; Dr. Antonios Kireopoulos, associate general
secretary, Faith & Order and Interfaith Relations; and the Rev. Ann
Tiemeyer, program director, NCC Women’s Ministries.
Discussions are currently underway with NCC partners to secure office space,
with the express hope that the Council will be able to maintain its historic
presence at The Interchurch Center, 475 Riverside Drive.
One of the satellite offices will be in Union Seminary, across the street
from The Interchurch Center.
NCC Transitional General Secretary Peg Birk will join Cassandra Carmichael,
head of the NCC’s Washington Office, Shantha Ready Alonso, director of the
NCC’s poverty initiative, Nate Hosler, advocacy officer and ecumenical peace
coordinator, and Tyler Edgar, assistant director of the NCC's eco-justice
program, in the Council’s offices at 110 Maryland Avenue, an ecumenical
center owned by the United Methodist Church.
Six administrative positions have been eliminated by the Council as a result
of its ongoing restructuring and a streamlining of its accounting system.
Outside vendors will likely provide human resource, IT, strategic
accounting, and communications support, according to Birk.
The decision to consolidate operations in Washington followed a feasibility
study by staff to determine “where the NCC can best achieve its work,
providing the flexibility required by the new structure” Birk said.
The study followed a report last year by an NCC Governing Board Task Force
on Revisioning and Restructuring the NCC. “The decision to consolidate
operations in Washington provides flexibility for future possibilities
concerning the location – or locations – of the Council,” said NCC President
“The critical NCC policy work can be coordinated from any location but to be
the prophetic ‘voice of the faithful’ on the ground in the places of power,
it is best served by establishing our operations in Washington,” Birk said.
The long-run savings of the consolidation in Washington are projected at
between $400,000 and $500,000, according to Birk.
In the 1960s, the National Council of Churches occupied three floors of The
Interchurch Center in New York, in addition to its offices at 110 Maryland
Avenue in Washington.
The NCC was the impetus in the planning of The Interchurch Center, which
opened in 1960. The Interchurch Center was conceived as the “Protestant
Vatican on the Hudson” when President Dwight D. Eisenhower laid the
cornerstone in 1958.
Over the years, however, many church denominations moved their headquarters
outside New York, including the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, the
Presbyterian Church (USA), and the United Church of Christ.
“It is important that we honor this moment with reverence and respect for
the Council’s history as an iconic presence in the beloved ‘God Box,’" said
"It is equally important that we look with hope upon this new chapter in the
Council’s life,” Lohre said.
“This consolidation will free us from the infrastructure of a bygone era,
enabling us to witness more boldly to our visible unity in Christ, and work
for justice and peace in today’s rapidly changing ecclesial, ecumenical and
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 40 million persons in more than 100,000 local
congregations in communities across the nation.
NCC News contact: Philip E. Jenks, 646-853-4212