The National Council of Churches Stands with Muslims in Condemning French Attack

The National Council of Churches joins the world in expressing outrage upon the news of the killings of the 12 employees of the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo. We condemn the killings, along with any ideology that seeks to silence voices of comment and criticism, especially with the use of extremist violence fueled by political ideology or misguided religious zeal. We also defend the rights of those who critique even that which is deemed sacred and untouchable to others, even as we ask that this critique always take place in a spirit of charity because of the inherent sensitivities.

At the same time, we fear that this defense of free expression may feed anti-Muslim sentiment and bring further division between Christians and Muslims.  We are also aware that this same defense of free expression may be further misinterpreted by extremists as being against Islam itself. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, as we speak out against this act of senseless violence and its perpetrators, we join with Muslims across the globe who are also horrified by this evil.  

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Joint Statement on Normalizing U.S. - Cuba Relations by the NCC and the Cuban Council of Churches

It is with great joy and celebration that we, the National Council of Churches of Christ in the USA, and the Cuban Council of Churches, join together in expressing our thanks to God, the One who inspired the writer of the Book of Revelation to declare, “Behold, I make all things new.”

In this new day of cooperation and openness between the United States and Cuba, we reflect upon the times when our Councils worked together with grace and hope, looking for a future in which our nations’ leaders might join in welcoming each other as we have. We are pleased that our churches played a part in leading the way to the events of this week. We are grateful also for the witness of those who tirelessly work for reconciliation, especially today for Pope Francis, who, in the name of Christ, urged our governments to begin normalizing relations.

As we celebrate the changes that have begun, we recognize that still more must be done. We call upon the churches of our two nations to join together in unity and harmony as we urge our nations’ leaders to finish the work of normalization.

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NCC Celebrates Moves Toward US-Cuba Normalization

Washington, DC: Today the National Council of Churches rejoices in the steps taken by Presidents Obama and Castro to normalize relations between the United States and Cuba. In addition, the NCC celebrates the return of Alan Gross, imprisoned for five years in Cuba, to the United States, and the humanitarian release of three of the "Cuban 5."

"The news that Cuba and the United States are now ending a half-century of hostility is welcome indeed during this season of Advent,” said National Council of Churches General Secretary Jim Winkler. “I salute Presidents Obama and Castro, and express thanks to Pope Francis and all those who helped bring this moment to pass. I ask local churches in the United States to follow the example of churches across Cuba and ring their bells in thanks and celebration!"

NCC Chair Roy Medley also stated: “We thank God for this wonderful news of these significant steps toward normalization of relations between our two nations. The NCC has long advocated for this day and we know our partners at the Cuban Council of Churches are as jubilant at this moment as are we."

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Celebrating the Resumption of Jewish – Christian Dialogue: A Reflection

After two years of silence, a major dialogue resumed between Jewish and Christian leaders in mid-November. Focusing on pastoral issues, and aimed at exploring common challenges and ministries related to such issues, the dialogue has been an important part of Jewish – Christian relations for several years.

Co-Convened by the National Council of Churches and the National Council of Synagogues, the Jewish-Christian Dialogue on Pastoral Issues had been meeting regularly since 2010 until differences among some participants over matters related to but outside the purview of the dialogue, on Israel and Palestine, stalled the conversation. Another dialogue, formed in 2004, dealing with Middle East issues, as well as a new conversation begun this year among participant organizations’ leadership, have not yet resumed due to some of these ongoing differences.

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Mission Statement of the NCC

The NCC is a community of communions called by Christ to visible unity and sent forth in the Spirit to promote God’s justice, peace, and the healing of the world.

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Interfaith Conference on Drone Warfare,
January 23-25, 2015 at Princeton Theological
Seminary

Ecumenical Advocacy Days 2015

Come to Washington, DC, April 17-20, 2015, for the 13th Annual National Gathering of Ecumenical Advocacy Days for Global Peace with Justice titled, “Breaking the Chains:  Mass Incarceration and Systems of Exploitation. Click here to learn more and register for EAD 2015.

January 27, 2015 18:00
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January 21, 2015 14:59
Next month, join the Shoulder to Shoulder Campaign, the Safe Alliance for Interfaith Leadership, and Noor Islamic Cultural Center, in the suburbs of Columbus, Ohio, for "Divinity & Diversity: Building Our Beloved Community Together." This interfaith conference will include interactive workshops, keynote talks, and facilitated conversations about building and strengthening interreligious relationships and resilient communities in America for years to come.

January 16, 2015 11:07
Really interesting: MLK's drafts of speeches, including one to the NCC in 1957: