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NCC Program Commissions:
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Responding to Emergencies
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Past General Assemblies:
2009: Minneapolis
2008: Denver
2007: New Jersey
Orlando, Fla.
2005: Hunt Valley, Md.
2004: St. Louis, Mo.
2003: Jackson, Miss.
2002: Tampa, Fla.
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Witnesses of These Things: Ecumenical Engagement in a New Era

The Centennial Ecumenical Gathering and General Assembly of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the USA and Church World Service met November 9-11, 2010 in the Marriott New Orleans at the Convention Center.

Please read this letter from Michael Kinnamon which offers preliminary observations on the gathering.

Note that feedback on the vision papers is welcome as the process of responding to and refining them continues - please send feedback on the papers to Michael Kinnamon via

If interested in using the World Café process in your settings, see the World Café Toolkit for resources as well as contact information for the facilitators at the Gathering.

Visit the NCC News page for news items about the Centennial Gathering.

The evaluation form can be completed and: mailed to Centennial Gathering Registrar, 475 Riverside Dr., Suite 800, New York, NY 10115-0050; faxed to 212-870-2817; or scanned and emailed to


The following information was posted in preparation for the gathering. Updated documents and transcripts or recordings of sessions will be made available in the coming weeks.


Full Program Book (Nov. 6; high-res; 9MB)

Full Program Book (Nov. 6; low-res; 1.5MB)

Schedule Pages Only (Nov. 6; high-res; 1.8MB)

Schedule Pages Only (Nov. 6; low-res; .5MB)



Preparing for the Centennial Gathering:
September Checklist | October Checklist

Online Registration Form and Fees

Travel and Hotel Reservation Information


Invitation Letters:
September Letter
| October Letter

Why Is This General Assembly Different?

Letter Concerning Sexual Harassment

A Pastoral and Educational Response to Sexual Harassment

Alphabet of Acronyms

A Prayer for Witnesses

Commemorative Hymn by Carolyn Winfrey Gillette

Guide to Sacred Spaces in New Orleans



Invitation to the Corinthian Café Conversations

World Café Toolkit

Descriptions of the Studies: Five Vision Papers

Full Text of the Five Vision Papers



Special Event: Claire Randall Women's Leadership Lunch

Special Event: African American Climate Initiative Breakfast

Special Events: Screenings of Have You Heard from Johannesburg

Related Event: New Fire 2010 - Young Adult Ecumenical Days

Related Event: Restoring New Orleans Work Day

Related Event: Local and Regional Ecumenism Consultation



Minutes of the November 2009 General Assembly

Proposed Amendments to the General Assembly Constitution

Proposed Amendments to the General Assembly Standing Rules

Report of the Membership and Ecclesial Relations Committee and Identity Statement from Community of Christ

Report of the Ecumenical Networks Standing Committee

Proposed Resolution on Comprehensive Immigration Reform (version adopted by both NCC and CWS boards)

Proposed Resolution for Decommissioning of the Special Commission for the Just Rebuilding of the Gulf Coast

Proposed Message: A Call to Ratify the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treat (START II)

Proposed Message on Honoring the Sacredness of Religious Others

Statement on the Relationship between the Latin American Council of Churches and the NCC/CWS General Assembly

Report on the NCC/CWS Visit to Colombia, Venezuela, and Ecuador

Criteria for General Assembly Awards

Approval Form for General Assembly or NCC Governing Board Proxies


For further information or assistance, please contact the registrar:

Ammon Ripple


Why is this General Assembly Different?

The year 2010 will mark the one hundredth anniversary of the Edinburgh World Mission Conference, an event that is often regarded as the symbolic beginning of the modern ecumenical movement.  With this in mind, the boards of the National Council of Churches and Church World Service have called for their 2010 General Assembly – November 9-11 in New Orleans – to be a Centennial Ecumenical Gathering of the movement, not simply an assembly of these two organizations.

Leaders of various partner bodies - in this effort to realize a visible unity of faith, witness, and service - will participate in this Centennial Ecumenical Gathering, including the National Association of Ecumenical and Interreligious Staff (NAEIS), the State Ecumenical Executives (SEE) Group, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Christian Churches Together in the USA, Churches Uniting in Christ, the Canadian Council of Churches, the Caribbean Council of Churches, the Latin American Council of Churches, the Cuban Council of Churches, the World Student Christian Federation, and the World Council of Churches. Representatives from several of these are serving on the Centennial Gathering planning committee, further signifying the distinctive character of this gathering. 

The theme for the Centennial Gathering will be “Witnesses of These Things:  Ecumenical Engagement in a New Era.”  The theme is taken from Luke 24:48 which is the scriptural theme text for the 2010 Week of Prayer for Christian Unity – an additional reminder that there is one, multi-faceted ecumenical movement.  In one sense, this event will be a “celebration” of modern ecumenism, but also a time for assessing the churches’ failure to receive God’s gift of unity, for anticipating new directions for ecumenism in the 21st Century, and for recommitting ourselves and our churches to the ecumenical calling. 

The process of preparing for the Centennial Gathering includes five study groups dealing with crucial themes of our era: 

  • Christian Understanding of Unity in an Age of Radical Diversity
  • Christian Understanding of Mission in an Age of Interfaith Relations
  • Christian Understanding of War in an Age of Terror(ism)
  • Christian Understanding of the Economy in an Age of Growing Inequality
  • Christian Understanding of Creation in an Age of Environmental Crisis

The study groups are preparing brief vision papers that will 1) assess the current state of ecumenical thought and action on each topic, and 2) suggest future directions for common, life, witness, and mission. Draft papers will be shared in advance of the gathering in November and a series of 'Corinthian Cafe Conversations' will be a dynamic way for all participants to engage these key issues and provide usable feedback and new insights on the papers, the topics in general, and the larger visioning process. 

The gathering itself will be a combination of worship, bold public witness, and small group discussion of the papers. (One session will also be set aside for the business of Church World Service and the National Council of Churches.) Various high-profile speakers have been invited; but much of the event will involve participants speaking with one another about the future of the ecumenical movement in North America. Considerable attention will be paid to the setting in New Orleans, five years after Katrina. And the gathering will be enriched by the visible presence of interfaith partners, as well as ecumenical friends from outside the United States.  

Michael Kinnamon
General Secretary
National Council of Churches