A fifteen-member ecumenical task force was created last month as a step toward restructure of the National Council of Churches. The move came at the climax of a five-day meeting of the NCC General Board, longest in its history, in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Board action implemented a proposal made in December by Dr. R. H. Edwin Espy, NCC general secretary, for a new “General Ecumenical Council” that would embrace many now outside the conciliar movement, including the Roman Catholic Church (see CHRISTIANITY TODAY, December 19 issue).
The task force was asked to “assist the General Board in exploring the implications of applying the guidelines to the roles and functions for the NCCCUSA in respect of (a) planning and program, (b) funding, (c) accountability and staffing, (d) scope, and (e) organization and structure, and to do so by developing various alternatives or options for the General Board to examine and to act upon together at the [next] meeting.” The next meeting will be held in Washington. D. C., June 20 and 21.
Chairman of the group will be the Rev. Arie R. Brouwer, 34-year-old program secretary for the Reformed Church in America. Iowa-born Brouwer is a newcomer to ecumenical affairs. He is a graduate of Hope College and Western Theological Seminary. Before joining the denominational headquarters staff in New York in 1968 Brouwer pastored churches in Michigan and New Jersey.
The task force was appointed by Espy and Dr. Cynthia Wedel, NCC president. It includes two denominational presidents, the Rev. Robert Marshall of the Lutheran Church in America and the Rev. Robert Moss of the United Church of Christ. There are also two students on the committee.
The Tulsa board meeting was a quiet affair, a marked contrast to the December ...1
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