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The National Council of Churches: Gathering for Resilience, Resistance and Persistence

By Rachel Chapman

Silver Spring, Maryland was the gathering place for the 4th Christian Unity Gathering of the National Council of Churches November 8 -10.  The NCC is made up of 38 Christian denominations called Member Communions.  The theme for this year’s gathering was “Resilience, Resistance and Persistence.”

In the course of three days over 200 clergy, lay persons and seminary students participated in the Children’s Defense Fund’s “cradle to prison pipeline” event on mass incarceration, working meetings of Convening Tables on justice and advocacy, interfaith relations, faith and order, and Christian education and formation.  A hosted visit to the National Museum of African American History and Culture was also a part of the experience.

The United Church of Christ was well represented by Rev. John Dorhauer, President and General Minister, and several others.  Rev Dorhauer is a member of the NCC Governing Board.  The chair of the Governing Board, Bishop Darin Moore, gave a rousing sermon at the opening worship.  During the ending program, a gala, Vanita Gupta, President and CEO of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, was the keynote speaker.  The leader of the Samuel DeWitt Proctor Conference, Dr. Iva Carruthers, was presented an award for ecumenism and Dr. Sayyid Syeed of the Islamic Society of North America received an award for interfaith excellence.  Additionally, Rev. Osagyefo Sekou, Ms. Brittany Caine-Conley and Rev. Seth Wispelwey were honored for their leadership to the resistance during the protests in Charlottesville.

The National Council of Churches advocates on behalf of many social justice issues, challenges faced by people who are marginalized every day, with the goal of being agents of change and peace.  Please mark your calendars for a monumental gathering for racial justice planned for April 3- 4,2018 at the National Mall DC.  For more information on the work of the NCC and the Member Communions, please visit nationalcouncilofchurches.us/.


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