WCC Moderator, General Secretary to Address Ecumenical Challenges in N.Y.

A symposium will be held on Saturday at the Interchurch Center in New York to address "Challenges facing the ecumenical movement in the 21st Century."

Sponsored by the Armenian Apostolic Church of America, the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA, and the World Council of Churches, the symposium is planned in honor of Catholicos Aram I, head of the Armenian Apostolic Church and moderator of the World Council of Churches' central committee.

Aram I was one of the founding members of the Middle East Council of Churches in 1974. He attended the WCC assemblies in Nairobi, Vancouver, Canberra, and Harare as a delegate. In 1975, he was elected to the WCC's Faith and Order Commission, and soon after became a member of the central committee. At the 1991 Assembly in Canberra, he was elected moderator of the WCC. Aram I will offer closing reflections.

As part of Saturday’s symposium, attendants will hear a keynote address from the Rev. Dr. Samuel Kobia, the General Secretary of World Council of Churches.

Other symposium speakers include Rev. Dr. Wesley Granberg-Michaelson, general secretary of the Reformed Church of America; Rev. Dr. Diane Kessler, executive director of the Massachusetts Council of Churches; Bishop Thomas Hoyt, president of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA; Rev. Dr. Robert Edgar, general secretary of the National Council of Churches, Dr. Anthony Kireopoulos, deputy general secretary of the National Council of Churches, Fr. Leonid Kishkovsky, moderator of the US Conference for the WCC and ecumenical officer, Orthodox Church in America; Rev. Deborah DeWinter, program executive for the United States office of the WCC; and a representative from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. Archbishop Oshagan, prelate for the Eastern United States of America of the Armenian Apostolic Church of America, will deliver the welcome speech.

On Sunday, Oct. 23 a pontifical divine liturgy will be delivered by Aram I at St Bartholomew's Church at 1:30 p.m., to be followed by a banquet at the Pierre Hotel commemorating the 75th anniversary of the Armenian Apostolic seminary in Antelias, Lebanon.