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NATIONAL COUNCIL OF CHURCHES EXECUTIVE BOARD MEETS NOV. 14

November 14, 2000, ATLANTA, Ga. – The National Council of Churches’ Executive Board this morning affirmed the work of the NCC General Secretary and staff to "reshape and resize its operations" in line with available revenues while seeking to maintain the integrity of its program, laying a sure base from which to move forward.

The 50-member Board reviewed several financial and administrative matters before preparing to move into the larger annual NCC General Assembly (1:30 p.m. Tuesday through 11:45 a.m. Friday) of which it is a part. The Assembly’s 250 delegates represent the NCC’s 35 Protestant and Orthodox member communions, which, in turn, count 50 million adherents.

Dr. Bob Edgar, the NCC’s General Secretary, and Barbara Ellen Black, the NCC’s Interim General Manager, confirmed a small surplus in operating revenue over expenditures for January-June 2000, and said they expected the same in July-December 2000. Furthermore, they brought forward a balanced budget for January-June 2001, which was adopted today by the Executive Board.

The Executive Board celebrated the end to years of deficit spending and restoration of the Council’s fiscal integrity, including implementation of a host of financial controls and efficiencies. Results include a "clean" audit, with "no material weaknesses," for January-June 2000.

Also during calendar year 2000, the Council’s global humanitarian response ministry, Church World Service, took responsibility for its own financial and administrative management, a move that has served to clarify revenue streams and expenditures of CWS (about $65 to $70 million annually) and of the NCC’s other ministries of education, justice and unity (about $7 million annually).

"We now have a clear focus in the NCC’s ministries of faith, justice and education and on how much money this part of the NCC has to manage," Dr. Edgar said.

Recognizing that reshaping the work of the Council is painful and will affect lives, and acknowledging that the NCC continues to face challenges as it seeks to live within its means, rebuild its reserves and – ultimately – fund new program initiatives, the Executive Board took time for prayer and reflection on these issues, led by United Methodist Bishop Melvin Talbert.

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