Christian Churches Together will meet in Pasadena?s Lake Avenue Church February 6-9, 2007 Ed. Note: Media are welcome to attend the open sessions on Wednesday, February 7 .
Pasadena, Calif., February 5, 2007 ? Representatives of nearly 40 Christian denominations and groups committed to ?being together? will meet here February 6-9 in the Lake Avenue Church.
This will be the sixth annual gathering for Christian Churches Together in the USA (CCT), an informally structured organization that began in 2001 to provide a meeting place all the major groupings of Christian traditions.
Members of Christian Churches Together represent the ?five families? of Christianity in the U.S., according to the Rev. Wesley Granberg-Michaelson, general secretary of the Reformed Church in America and chair of the CCT steering committee. The five faith families are Evangelical/Pentecostal, Catholic, Orthodox, Protestant and Racial/Ethnic.
Special presentations on the understanding and practice of evangelism will be made to the membership by spokespersons for each of the five traditions on Wednesday, February 7.
The five presidents of the CCT represent those families: Father Leonid Kishkovsky, Orthodox Church in America; Cardinal William Keeler, Archdiocese of Baltimore; Bishop James Leggett, International Pentecostal Holiness Church; the Rev. Larry Pickens, United Methodist Church; and the Rev. Dr. William Shaw, president of the National Baptist Convention, USA Inc., a historic African American communion.
An important topic on the meeting agenda will be discussion of the CCT?s Poverty Committee, which is recommending that the members come together on a major initiative to overcome poverty in the U.S.
Expanding the space
In 2001, a number of U.S. church leaders discussed the need for an ecumenical gathering that included Christian churches and traditions that were not members of the National Council of Churches USA (NCC) or the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE). The idea was encouraged by NCC General Secretary Bob Edgar, and by John Busby, then National Commander of the Salvation Army and a member of NAE, who chaired the first steering committee."
Christian Churches Together met in Baltimore in September 2001 to explore the possibility of creating ?a new, more inclusive body.? By March 2006, 36 churches and organizations were founding members of the CCT.
The CCT bylaws affirm the desire to ?be together:? (1) celebrate a common confession of faith in the Triune God; (2) discern the guidance of the Holy Spirit through prayer and theological dialogue; (3) provide fellowship and mutual support; (4) seek better mutual understanding; (5) foster evangelism faithful to the Gospel; (6) speak to society with a common voice; and (7) promote the common good.
The CCT?s actions to eliminate ?the scandal of poverty? in the U.S. is an example of the group?s desire to speak with a common voice to promote the common good, Granberg-Michaelson says. ?Other concerns will follow as participants discern the needs to be addressed together.?
Church leaders interested in joining the CCT initiative may contact the Rev. Wesley Granberg-Michaelson, chair of the CCT Steering Committee, at 616-698-7071, ext. 315, firstname.lastname@example.org .
Media and press inquiries may be directed to:
Philip E. Jenks, email@example.com . 212-870-2228 Jean Stromberg, firstname.lastname@example.org Sharon van Gelderen, email@example.com
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