-The U.S. National Council of Churches will not go under any time soon, says Robert Edgar, its general secretary.
In an interview following the NCC’s assembly in November, in Atlanta, Ga., Mr. Edgar predicted the NCC would have a balanced budget by this year, accomplished through a combination of staff layoffs, strict financial controls and a $400,000 cash advance from the United Methodist Church. However, financial problems still remain a serious challenge, he noted.
A drop in financial support from cash-strapped member denominations and other financial problems had pushed the NCC to restructure, or die.
Mr. Edgar apologized again for signing a statement to support strengthening the institution of marriage, without first consulting NCC members. Co-signatories of the statement – entitled A Christian Declaration on Marriage – included the Roman Catholic Church, the Southern Baptist Convention and the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE).
Although few of the 36-member NCC denominations approve of same-sex unions, NCC liberals hope to change policies to permit both the ordination of openly gay and lesbian clergy and the church sanctioning of same-sex unions.