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Below is one of a selection articles found in an attempt to gauge the impact in the media of the WCC's 9th Assembly. Since it appeared in an independent publication, this article neither represents nor necessarily reflects the official policy of the World Council of Churches.




U.S. Church Leaders at WCC Assembly Beg Forgiveness for ‘Raining Down Terror' on World


PORTO ALEGRE, Brazil-Delegates representing U.S. denominations at the Ninth Assembly of the World Council of Churches issued a letter February 18 begging God's forgiveness for their nation's policies relating to war, the environment, and poverty.  "From a place seduced by the lure of empire we come to you in penitence," they said, "eager for grace, grace sufficient to transform spirits grown weary from the violence, degradation, and poverty our nation has sown, grace sufficient to transform spirits grown heavy with guilt, grace sufficient to transform the world."

The letter was read aloud to the full Assembly by Fr. Leonid Kishkovsky, chief ecumenical officer of the Orthodox Church in America and a former president of the U.S. National Council of Churches.  Besides Kishkovsky, others who spoke at a press conference presenting the letter included John Thomas, President of the United Church of Christ; Sharon Watkins, General Minister of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ); Michael Livingston, the current NCC president; and Stanley Noffsinger, General Secretary of the Church of the Brethren.  The group asserted that their letter had consensus support among the heads of U.S. denominational delegations at the WCC Assembly.  Other prominent U.S. denominations represented at the Assembly include the United Methodist Church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), the Episcopal Church, and various African-American Baptist and Methodist churches. (...)