1998 NCC News Archives

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as ecumenical ship, serving the world

NCC "Church and Government Program"
Moves to 10 Cities

participating in the
of the

1. Interfaith Conference of Greater Milwaukee, Wisconsin

2. New Mexico Conference of Churches , Albuquerque, New Mexico

3. Maine Council of Churches, Portland, Maine

4. Oklahoma Conference of Churches, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

5. Florida Council of Churches, Orlando, Florida

6. Decatur Cooperative Ministries, Decatur, Georgia

7. Washington Association of Churches, Seattle, Washington

8. The Council of Churches of Greater Washington, Washington, D.C.

9. Fresno Metro Ministry, Fresno, California

10. Inter-Faith Ministries, Wichita, Kansas

NEW YORK, Mar. 11, 1998 ---- With ten cities now selected and a Bible study completed, the National Council of Churches’ (NCC’s) "Church and Government Program" has moved to the local level where it will be implemented by city and state ecumenical agencies.

"We have successfully moved into the next phase of the project, which involves specially selecting the 150 individual churches to participate," said Nancy Theoharis, Coordinator of the NCC’s Church and Government Program. "There is a lot of enthusiasm at the local level for this important effort to counter cynicism about government."

Aiming to help Christians in the NCC’s 33 Protestant and Orthodox member communions develop a healthy balance between confidence in government and criticism of particular government policies, the NCC’s program will enlist 15 congregations in each of the following 10 cities: Albuquerque, New Mexico; Decatur, Ga.; Fresno, Calif.; Milwaukee, Wis.; Oklahoma City, Okla.; Orlando, Fla.; Portland, Maine; Seattle, Wash.; Washington, D.C. and Wichita, Kansas. The cities were chosen for their strong ecumenical agencies upon the recommendation of national ecumenical leaders.

The participating congregations will reflect the geographical, denominational and racial/ethnic diversity of the United States. Local and regional ecumenical organizations (see attached list) will help choose the congregations and implement the program.

Each of the 150 specially selected congregations will arrange for an adult class to conduct a five-session Bible study called "Christians and Government," and hear at least one sermon preached on the need for both confidence in government and criticism of particular practices and policies of government.

Upon completion of the year-long project, the NCC will publish a collection of the sermons preached on the topic. The NCC has also engaged the Research Department of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) to study attitudinal changes in members of the participating congregations.

The NCC’s project is part of the larger "Partnership for Trust in Government" supported by the Ford Foundation in partnership with the Council for Excellence in Government.

According to the Rev. Richard Killmer, Associate Director of the NCC’s National Ministries Unit, the congregations are due to be chosen in one to two months time. "The program is now in the hands of the local agencies and congregations," Rev. Killmer said. "It is up to them to carry it out and report the results."


Writer: Wendy S. McDowell

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