As the mainline churches restructure, so does their umbrella ecumenical partnership. The National Council of Churches, of which The Episcopal Church is a member, has recently emerged from a period of transformation as well.
No longer supported by the richest and largest Christian denominations in the United States, the NCC has moved their headquarters from New York City to Washington DC. They also have trimmed their staff extensively and elected to focus on two main issues: promoting peace around the world, and ending mass incarceration here at home.
Still, this new approach is not without pitfalls. Specifically:
Activists who came of age during the Vietnam era have led mainline institutions for several decades, but the dominance of aging white liberals is nearing an end. Whereas white evangelicals have deliberately cultivated young leadership and have many people under 35 in key positions, mainliners lag badly in this area.
Particularly given its emphasis on peace, the NCC will need to deeply and critically plumb the Christian ethical tradition for insight about how to promote peace with justice in a hostile world. The de facto pacifism that permeates much of liberal Protestantism may prove too idealistic to influence defense and counterterrorism policy.
Read the whole article from the Religion News Service here.