Lindner leaves National Council of Churches after three decades of ecumenical service
New York, March 28, 2008 - The Rev. Dr. Eileen W. Lindner, widely known as editor of the Yearbook of American & Canadian Churches and as a tireless leader and chronicler of the ecumenical movement, has announced her departure from the National Council of Churches USA on May 15.
Lindner, former Deputy General Secretary of the Council for Research and Planning, has served as Director of Organizational Development since a reorganization of the NCC on January 1.
"Fund raising is a crucial position for any non-profit organization and this has never been more true for the Council than it is now," Lindner said. "The role of fund raiser needs to be focused much more sharply than is possible in my current position."
Lindner, a historian, researcher, pastor and popular public speaker, said her interests "have always been wider than fund development and the Council needs to feel free to rewrite the position description and search for a full-time professional in the field."
The Rev. Dr. Michael Kinnamon, NCC General Secretary, praised Lindner's contributions to the Council and said, "Eileen will certainly be missed as the NCC moves forward with this transition necessary to serving its best interests."
In a memorandum to NCC staff Wednesday, Kinnamon said: "I am sure you join me in celebrating Eileen's commitment and ministry in her time with the Council, especially her leadership with the Yearbook of American and Canadian Churches, the development of the policy statement on human genetics, and her concerns for children and health care to list only a few. I am deeply appreciative of Eileen's abiding commitment to the Council and its future and trust that her ministry will continue to serve Christ's church."
During Lindner's ten-year long tenure as editor of the annual Yearbook of American & Canadian Churches, the yearbook continued to be widely recognized as the most accurate and complete compilation of facts and figures on U.S. and Canadian churches and organizations.
Earlier in her career at the Council, Lindner served as Director of the Child Advocacy Office. During her tenure she established the Ecumenical Child Care Network, serving 18,000 preschool programs housed in churches of all denominations nationwide.
Lindner has also served as Associate General Secretary of the NCC for Unity and Relationships.
Eileen W. Lindner is a Presbyterian minister holding a Ph.D. degree in American Church History from Union Theological Seminary, New York. Over three decades, she has served the Presbyterian Church (USA) in a variety of capacities, including pastorates, synods, commissions and planning committees. Most recently, she was vice chair of a Presbyterian Task Force studying the pros and cons of establishing a separate corporation for disaster assistance, and chair of the Special Offerings Review Task Force.
She also holds an M.Phil degree from Union Theological Seminary in New York, and M.Div. degree from McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago and an M.S. degree from George Williams College, Downers Grove, Ill. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree at Waynesburg College, Waynesburg, Pa.
She provided staff leadership for the historic NCC policy statement, Fearfully and Wonderfully Made, which guides NCC member communions through the moral and ethical dimensions of the human applications of current biotechnologies. Lindner also conducted the first nationwide, in-depth, systematic study of health services provided by religious communities being undertaken by the National Council of Churches USA. The project surveyed more than 100,000 congregations to determine the level of health care education, delivery, and advocacy being offered.
In May 2006 she was named the first Dean of the Riggio Lynch Interfaith Chapel, a three-month appointment, at the Children's Defense Fund's Alex Haley Farm. The farm, in Clinton, Tennessee, serves as the spiritual home of the children's movement, where people of all ages come for spiritual renewal, character and leadership development, intergenerational mentoring, and interracial, interfaith, and interdisciplinary communication.
Lindner is the author of numerous books and articles on a variety of child advocacy subjects, most recently, Thus Far on the Way, Toward a Theology of Child Advocacy. She also wrote When Churches Mind Children, reporting on the nation's most extensive child care study. She serves as Theologian in Residence to the Children's Defense Fund's Summer Institute in Child Advocacy and has held other leadership positions in the CDF.
She has served on national and international commissions dealing with topics related to children and to families.
The NCC is the ecumenical voice of America's Orthodox, Protestant, Anglican, historic African American and traditional peace churches. These 35 communions have 45 million faithful members in 100,000 congregations in all 50 states.
NCC News contact: Philip E. Jenks, 212-870-2228, NCCnews@ncccusa.org