National Council of Churches
by Archpriest Andrew Harrison
I was invited to attend the annual meeting of the National Council of
Churches in Chicago as part of the OCA delegation. I attended the Orthodox Caucas meeting
which consisted of Coptic, Greek, Armenian, Antiochian, and Syrian Orthodox
representatives. Bishop Dimitrios from the Greek Orthodox Church presided.
The secretary proposed we open a dialogue with Black Churches because
they usually take the same stand on issues as the Orthodox. She also reported that the
Penecostal Church of God in Christ was applying for membership in the NCC. They also
have similiar positions on abortion, women's ordination, and homosexuality and are asking
about other member churches that are not Protestant. The growing conservative membership
is giving the Orthodox Churches more impact on the direction of the NCC. The mainline
protestant churches are in decline which is giving them an identity crisis. Their
theological differences are becoming blurred. This creates for them a problem with
There was a general consensus that Orthodox participation in the NCC
will help Orthodoxy in general confront the problems created in the modern world. The
secretary suggested that we need greater and more effective participation and gave the
1. The development of an Orthodox liason committee be to help the NCC deal with problems.
2. A need to train the younger generation in ecumenical activities.
3. That the NCC facilitate annual meeetings between inter-Orthodox and
Oriential Orthodox to work toward greater participation.
She also spoke about the fall out which will occur with the attempt of
the Metropolitian community church who is seeking membership in the NCC. The Black
African churches as well as the Orthodox Church have taken a strong stand against their
The role of the Orthodox Church's participation in the NCC was
discussed. The opinion of all was our primary role was to educate.