National Council of Churches

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The National Council of Churches of Christ is a network organization that considers itself the "leading force for ecumenical cooperation among Christians in the United States."

It was founded in 1950 as the Federal Council of the Churches of Christ in America. Its member faith groups include Protestant, Anglican, Orthodox, Evangelical, historic African American and Living Peace churches.[1],[2]

National Council of Churches Teams with Church World Service to condemn President Trump

A press release dated March 3 2017 announced that the National Council of Churches and the Church World Service partnered to "activate" the "churches representing 30 million Americans" to welcome all refugees. The statement was titled "Ecumenical Declaration to Protect Welcome and Restore Hope" and "outlines 10 action items the signees of this effort will proceed with immediately to mobilize their congregations nationwide and rescind the anti-refugee policies enacted by the Trump administration."[3]

A website[4] was launched to promote the effort using the hashtag: #GreaterAs1.

Ecumenical Declaration to Protect Welcome and Restore Hope

Screenshot from Church World Service Greater as 1 Website

Excerpt from the "Ecumenical Declaration to Protect Welcome and Restore Hope:"[5]

"We have as a community worked with Church World Service for more than 70 years to welcome and integrate refugees into our communities."
"They are also the most heavily vetted individuals ever to travel to our country; to suggest otherwise simply does not represent the facts."
"These executive orders have been celebrated by those who use fear to perpetuate racism and xenophobia, which seriously erode shared values, constructive dialogue, and American leadership in the world."

Entire Letter

"We representatives of Protestant, Orthodox and Anglican communions in the United States, Church World Service and the National Council of Churches of Christ in the United States, gathered together this 10th day of February, 2017, seek to join our efforts to those of other religious communities striving for the same sacred purposes, and officially declare our strong opposition to the executive order entitled “Protecting the Nation from Terrorist Attacks by Foreign Nationals.” On behalf of our joint membership of 37 national member communions constituting more than 30 million Americans, we stand united in our resolve to love our neighbor as ourselves, and to act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with our God in fellowship with the vulnerable, the outcast, the widow, the orphan, the immigrant, and all persons in need. As Americans we are a nation of displaced persons.

"This executive order drastically reduces refugee admissions; temporarily suspends the entire U.S. resettlement program; ends the resettlement of Syrian refugees; indefinitely bans individuals from Syria, Iraq, Iran, Libya, Yemen, Somalia and Sudan from entering the United States; and preferences religious minorities. We have already witnessed the heartbreaking consequences of this executive order. Refugees who had waited years to be approved for resettlement to the United States; who had sold their belongings and given up their shelter in preparation to finally find safety, had their flights abruptly cancelled and hopes of being reunited with their families in the United States dashed. By providing preference to Christians and other religious minorities, this executive order actually places them at greater risk in some countries, where they are seen as having special status and protection. We are unequivocally opposed to any policy that restricts access to life-saving protection due to a person’s religion.

"This executive order, as well as the two other immigration-related executive orders to build a wall and deport our undocumented community members, counters the values we as people of faith hold dear: to welcome the stranger and assist those most in need. These executive orders have been celebrated by those who use fear to perpetuate racism and xenophobia, which seriously erode shared values, constructive dialogue, and American leadership in the world. As Christians, we have a moral responsibility to speak out and advocate alongside all immigrants and refugees to stop these unjust and immoral executive orders.

"Refugee resettlement is one of the most cherished traditions upon which our country was founded, and plays a critical role in U.S. diplomacy and foreign policy. As the world faces the largest displacement crisis in recorded history, the United States should, this year, resettle at minimum 85,000 refugees, the same number we welcomed last year. Doing anything less would negatively impact global security and our commitments to our allies, including Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Greece, Kenya, and other countries that already host the largest number of refugees. Our nation’s security and hospitality are in no way mutually exclusive – in fact they are complementary -- and it is imperative that we speak out against the notion that refugees are a threat to our safety - they are not. We have a sense of shared community by being in the world with those who are different from us. Refugees are ordinary people fleeing life-threatening adversity. They are also the most heavily vetted individuals ever to travel to our country; to suggest otherwise simply does not represent the facts.

"The U.S. context is very different from the European one. Refugees admitted to the United States do not come here spontaneously, but as a part of a uniquely secure and well-managed program. We have as a community worked with Church World Service for more than 70 years to welcome and integrate refugees into our communities. Our congregations have been a bedrock of support for this demonstration of solidarity and compassion to people around the world. We hereby pledge to do everything in our power to restore and maintain hospitality and welcome to all people — regardless of where they are from, how they pray, or what language they speak.

"As we are reminded by Jesus in Matthew 25:35, “For I was a stranger and you welcomed me”: we recognize the face of Christ in the migrant and the refugee.

In that spirit, we hereby:

  • 1. Request a meeting with President Trump, and urge him and his Administration to immediately rescind all three immigration-related executive orders, and to affirm the importance of welcoming policies and a robust refugee resettlement program that provides protection to the most vulnerable, regardless of their nationality or religion.
  • 2. Call on Members of Congress to do everything in their power to rescind these three executive orders, prevent them from taking effect, and robustly support and fund the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program.
  • 3. Call on the judicial branch to continue to uphold the decisions that block the implementation of these executive orders.
  • 4. Dedicate one Sunday in the upcoming three months to engage all of our congregations in honoring refugees’ and immigrants’ journeys, educating our communities about the biblical call to welcome refugees and immigrants, and inviting our congregation members to take action to publicly support refugee resettlement and the immigrant members of our communities.
  • 5. Pledge to encourage each of our communions to organize and facilitate meetings with local, state and national policy makers to educate them about our collective support and action in solidarity with refugees and immigrants, and urge them to serve as champions by supporting policies that affirm welcome, meeting with their immigrant and refugee constituents, and appropriating adequate resources to serve refugees.
  • 6. Resolve to be vigilant in addressing other potential executive orders and congressional actions that would unjustly affect refugees and immigrants in the United States.
  • 7. Provide resources, support and encouragement to our congregations in the organizing of public, prayerful demonstrations of welcome for refugees and immigrants.
  • 8. Commit, each of us who can, to raising $1 million within six months to help refugees who have already arrived in the United States, those who will arrive in the months to come, and our public witness work in solidarity with refugees and immigrants.
  • 9. Establish a Steering Committee that will convene our leadership once a month for a period of at least one year or until the effects of these executive orders have been resolved by Administrative, Congressional, or Judicial Action. The Committee’s purpose shall be to ensure that the above commitments are fulfilled. The Committee will be co-chaired by the President and CEO of Church World Service, Rev. John L. McCullough, and the General Secretary & President of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the United States, Jim Winkler. The Steering Committee will have no less than five (5) members and will include Heads of Communions and Ecumenical Officers represented here in Chicago on this Friday, February 10, 2017.
  • 10. Invite other religious communities to join these commitments to make this an interfaith effort. It is our resolve to work ecumenically to share information about this Ecumenical Declaration to Protect Welcome and Restore Hope, its goals, and reason for being, through our mainline and social media outlets. We pledge to invite all of our constituents and all other people of faith to join us in promoting a future that is rooted not in a spirit of fear, but in “a spirit of power, of love, and of self-discipline” (2 Timothy 1:7).

"Through this Ecumenical Declaration, we pledge to Protect Welcome and Restore Hope by engaging our congregations and networks in safeguarding the refugee resettlement program and bringing a bold, prophetic voice to stand in solidarity with immigrants and refugees. We affirm our resolve to not rest until the United States fully lives up to its promise as the land of the free, until all refugees are welcome regardless of their nationality or religion, and until policies designed to sow fear and mistrust among our communities are rescinded. We will make this Ecumenical Declaration to the White House, U.S. Congress, and to all local congregations of participating members, and to communities across these United States and the globe.

“Let us love, not in word or speech, but in truth and action” (1John 3:18). Together, let us protect welcome and restore hope - for we are all truly Greater as 1.

Signatories

Marxism in the National Council of Churches

Another shorter, concise look at the leftism/Marxism within the National Council of Churches (NCC) is a devastating piece of investigative reporting by Rael Jean Isaac, a noted conservative Jewish writer, who is the bête 'noir of the Left when it comes to exposing their infiltration and operations, especially on world affairs, Writing in the March 1984 edition of "Midstream", a leading conservative journal of the Cold War era, in her article "Mainline Church Activism", Isaac threw open the NCC's role in supporting communist, pro-communist, terrorist and pro-Marxist movements, fronts and causes from the Middle East to Vietnam, Mozambique, South Africa, Cuba, and the then dictatorship of the Marxist Sandinistas in Nicaragua.

So as not to slight many of the other leftist/Marxist church organizations supporting these groups, and others, she also provided some information (due to space limitations), on the larger, Marxist/liberation theology dominated World Council of Churches (WWC), an organization in which the Soviet KGB and Communist Party of the Soviet Union had a significant influence. She named names, provided quotes and sources (29 footnotes), exposed how the NCC and WCC, plus the United Methodist Church (and its "Anti-Defense Lobby" created and funded Coalition for a New Foreign and Military Policy (CNFMP), the direct successor to its "Hanoi Lobby" arm, the Coalition to Stop Funding the War (CSFW), and other leftist church groups aided freedom's enemies all the while attacking the U.S. and its foreign policies.

Several other articles in "Midstream" focused on the leftist Christians who opposed Israel's self-preservation policies, "Liberal Protestants versus Israel", October 1981, and "The Sanctuary Movement and the Jews" (along with her husband Erich Isaac}, in the May 1986 edition (which focused on both Jewish and Christian leftist religious organizations who supported the Latin American communist guerrillas and the PLO, respectively. Among the groups covered were EPICA, CISPES, New Jewish Agenda (NJA), the successor to Breira, Global Justice, American Friends Service Committee (AFSC), and the cited CPUSA legal front, the National Lawyers Guild (NLG), among others.

Financing

Jean Rael Isaac and her husband have been in the forefront of exposing the leftist machinations and influence in the American religious scene long before most other writers took notice of what was going on, though David Jessups' study "Preliminary Inquiry Regarding Financing Contributions to Outside Political Groups by Boards and Agencies of the United Methodist Church, 1977-79" helped blow the lid off of the covert UMC financing of communist and leftist causes around the world. Other writers who came along to further the research of the Isaacs and Jessups included William Poole Capital Research Center, among others there, [{Readers' Digest]] magazine, and S. Steven Powell whose "Covert Cadre" thoroughly exposed the role of the Marxist/communist Institute for Policy Studies (IPS) role in penetrating and using religious organizations to further their pro-Soviet, pro-PLO and pro-Sandinista goals.

By reading these cited works, plus newer studies about the religious left, it helps to explain the hardcore leftist positions of the NCC, WCC, WOLA, EPICA, COHA, and Riverside Church, among other such groups. Many of the names you see below will be exposed for who they really are, not who the posed as to fool the public, which they did very well until the Isaacs and company got after them.

Officers and Commissions

The following are the NCC Officers for 2010-2011:[6]

  • General Secretary: The Rev. Dr. Michael A. Kinnamon, a Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) minister elected staff head of the NCC in November 2007.
  • President: Rev. Peg Chemberlin, a Moravian minister and executive director of the Minnesota Council of Churches.
  • President Elect: Kathryn Lohre, a lay member of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and assistant director of the Pluralism Project at Harvard University.
  • First Vice President: Rev. Dr. Cheryl H. Wade, a minister in the American Baptist Churches in the USA, former treasurer of the ABC and currently Director of Philanthropy at the Kendal Corp., Kennett Square, Pa.
  • Vice President: Right Rev. Johncy Itty, Episcopal Bishop of Oregon, Portland, Ore.
  • Vice President at Large: Mr. Stanley J. Noffsinger, a layman and General Secretary of the Church of the Brethren General Board, Elgin, Ill.
  • Vice President at Large: Rev. Raymon E. Hunt, Secretary of the Christian Education Department, African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church.
  • Secretary: Rev. José Luis Casal, General Missioner The Presbytery of Tres Rios, Presbyterian Church (USA)
  • Immediate Past President: Archbishop Vicken Aykazian, Diocesan Legate and Ecumenical Officer, Diocese of the Armenian Orthodox Church of America, Washington, D.C.

National Council of Churches Governing Board

The following are members of the 2008-2011 National Council of Churches Governing Board:[7]

African Methodist Episcopal Church

African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church

Alliance of Baptists in the USA

American Baptist Churches USA

Armenian Church of America

Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)

Christian Methodist Episcopal Church

Church of the Brethren

Episcopal Church

Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

Friends United Meeting

Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America

International Council of Community Churches

Korean Presbyterian Church in America

Mar Thoma Church

Moravian Church in America

National Baptist Convention, USA, Inc.

Orthodox Church in America

Philadelphia Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends

Presbyterian Church (USA)

Progressive National Baptist Convention, Inc.

Reformed Church in America

Syrian Orthodox Church of Antioch

The Swedenborgian Church

United Church of Christ

The United Methodist Church

Communication Commission

The following are Communication Commission officers for the term 2008-2011.[8]

  • Chair: Jerry Van Marter, Presbyterian Church (USA), Louisville, Kentucky
  • Vice Chair: Wanda Bryant-Wills, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Indianapolis, Indiana
  • Secretary: Henry Hess, Christian Reformed Church, Burlington, Ontario
  • Treasurer: Burton Buller, Mennonite Media, Harrisonburg, Virginia
  • Delegate to NCC Board: Nikki Stephanopoulos, Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, New York, N.Y.

Committee Chairs

  • Electronic Media Programming: Ava Martin, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Chicago, Illinois
  • News/Media Relations/WFN: J. Bennett Guess, United Church of Christ, Cleveland, Ohio
  • Media Advocacy and Education: Lesley Crosson, Church World Service, New York, New York
  • Marketing and Promotion: Kristi Bangert, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Chicago, Illinois
  • Web Managers: Dianna Ott, Presbyterian Church (USA), Louisville, Kentucky[8]

Communication Staff

Faith and Order Commission

"The Faith and Order Commission affirms the oneness of the Church of Jesus Christ and keeps before the churches the Gospel call to visible unity in one faith and one Eucharist communion, expressed in worship and in common life in Christ, in order that the world may believe."

The following are Faith and Order Commission Members, as of March 22, 2010:[9]

  • Commission Chair, Anton C. Vrame, Ph.D. --Director, Department of Religious Education at Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America

Staff:

Interfaith Relations Commission

The following are members of the Interfaith Relations Commission, 2008-2011:[10]

Invited by The Commission

  • Rev. Jonathan Barton, Virginia Council of Churches
  • Rev. David Leslie, Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon
  • Dr. Tony Richie, Church of God Theological Seminary & Society for Pentecostal Studies
  • Professor Kelton Cobb, Center for Faith in Practice – Hartford Seminary
  • Fr. Francis Tiso, Secretariat, Ecumenical & Interreligious Affairs US Conference of Catholic Bishops
  • Dr. Amos Yong, Society of Pentecostal Studies
  • Mr. Samir Selmanovic, Emergent Village
  • Dr. Don Thorsen, Wesleyan Theological Society

Interfaith Relations Commission Staff

  • Dr. Antonios Kireopoulos, Senior Program Director for Faith and Order and Interfaith Relations of the National Council of Churches USA, as of March 22, 2010.[11]

Justice and Advocacy Commission

The following are in the Justice and Advocacy Commission, as of March 22, 2010:[12]

  • Wesley M. "Pat" Pattillo, Senior Program Director for Justice and Advocacy and Communication
  • Rev. Ann Tiemeyer, Director, Women's Ministry Program / Justice for Women
  • Cassandra Carmichael, Director of the Washington Office and the NCC Eco-Justice Program
  • Tyler Edgar, Associate Director of the Eco-Justice Program
  • Jordan Blevins, Assistant Director of Eco-Justice Program and Coordinator of Poverty Initiatives and Washington Internships
  • NaKeisha Sylver-Blount, Washington Advocacy Officer, Racial Justice/Human Rights
  • Kevin Williams, Administrative Assistant for the Washington Office

Affiliated Organizations

The Council has been affiliated with the following organizations:

Mildred Jeffrey

Meyerson explains[14] Mildred Jeffrey's role as an emissary from United Auto Workers leader Walter Reuther to organizations including National Council of Churches, Cesar Chavez's United Farm Workers, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, Students for a Democratic Society and events and movements such as Earth Day the Civil Rights Movement and the 1963 March on Washington.

By the end of World War II, Millie had become one of a number of extraordinarily talented staffers whom Walter Reuther hired to help him mold the auto workers into the greatest force for social democracy that America has ever known. Under Reuther, the UAW became the anchor tenant in the house of postwar liberalism. Its contracts, and those of the steelworkers,set the standard for the entire manufacturing sector, and for the three decades after World War II, working- class living standards in the United States rose just as steeply as upper-middle class living standards – an equality of economic opportunity that America has experienced only during this period of union strength.
More than that, though, the Reutherites saw it as their duty to bolster newer movements for social equality. They provided political and material assistance to the civil rights movement (it was the UAW that paid for the signs and sound system at the great 1963 March on Washington), for Cesar Chavez’s farm workers, for the campus left in the early ‘60s, for start-up feminist organizations and the first Earth Day. And for several decades, Walter Reuther’s emissary to these groups was Millie Jeffrey.
And so it was that Millie trained activists from the National Council of Churches to lobby for civil rights, introduced the young Jack Kennedy to NAACP leaders, secured UAW support for inner-city community organizing, and obtained the UAW’s campground at Port Huron for the founding meeting of Students for a Democratic Society. In the years before the New Left descended to ultra-left wackiness, there was no better emissary between the generations of ‘30s and ‘60s leftists. In the ‘70s, when many New Leftists began to re-engage reality, Millie was there to ease their reentry.''

External links

References