NCC, China church leaders meet in Shanghai
- NCC leaders warmly received by Chinese church leaders; promise mutual
prayers and a 'deeper working relationship'
Shanghai, China, March 5, 2009 -- The president and general secretary of the
National Council of Churches, in a historic first, have traveled to China to
affirm with Chinese Christian leaders a mutual desire to engage in an "even
deeper working relationship that allows us to consult regularly with one
another and to speak and act together in response to contemporary issues."
H.E. Archbishop Vicken Aykazian and the Rev. Dr. Michael Kinnamon met here
February 26 with leaders of the China Christian Council (CCC) and the
National Committee of the Three-Self Patriotic Movement of Protestant
Churches in China (TSPM). It was the first time an NCC president and general
secretary have traveled together to China.
The trip was supported financially by the Common Global Ministries Board of
the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and the United Church of Christ.
The Rev. Dr. Xiaoling Zhu, the board's area Executive for East Asia and the
Pacific, accompanied Kinnamon and Aykazian on the trip.
The NCC leaders along with the Rev. Gao, Feng, President of the CCC, and
Elder Fu, Xianwei, chair of the TSPM, expressed "thanks for the distinctive
gifts that God has given us in our different settings (a point which is
central to the witness of the Three-Self Movement)" and rejoicing "that we
are related to one another in Christ, and that through one another we can
grow in knowledge and love of God. Ours is a relationship of mutual
encouragement in order that the body of Christ might be built up in love
In their discussions, the American and Chinese leaders celebrated "the
strong bonds that have developed over the years between our organizations
and between the churches in our countries. Signs of this relationship
include praying for each other (as during the 2008 earthquake in China),
periodic visits (such as the one this year), and occasional support for one
Among the contemporary issues on which the leaders plan to "speak and act
together" are the pollutants that the U.S. and China emit daily into the
"We recognize that China and the United States together produce 40 percent
of the world's carbon emissions," the leaders said. "For this reason,
political leaders in our two nations have affirmed the need to work together
to reduce such pollution and, thus, to address the urgent problem of climate
"As churches, we can encourage this process of political collaboration by
joining our voices in defense of God's creation. We can share materials on
environmental protection and look for ways to provide education on
ecological concerns that draws on the resources of one another."
The leaders pledged to raise the idea of deeper partnership with our
governing bodies and to continue this conversation on forms of regular
The NCC leaders also expressed their anticipation of the Bible Ministry
Exhibition of the Church in China that, scheduled for display in Washington
and Dallas in the near future. They pledged to help advertise this event in
"This will be a way of calling attention to the reality of the Chinese
Christian community and of emphasizing our shared commitment to biblical
study and translation," they said.
Aykazian and Kinnamon encouraged the CCC "to play an ever more active role
in the global church, including in the World Council of Churches," and
promised to advocate for this in appropriate settings."
"Our common prayer," the U.S. and Chinese church leaders said, "is that
God's will be done and that God's name be glorified! May our work and life
together bear witness to the reconciling love of God, Father, Son, and Holy
Spirit, the One who creates, redeems, and sustains us all."
NCC News contact: Philip E. Jenks, 212-870-2228 (office), 646-853-4212
(cell) , pjenks@...