New National Council of Churches President Installed

The National Council of Churches has installed its 26th president, Kathryn Lohre, a member of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America, in a ceremony Wednesday.

In an interview with The Christian Post, outgoing NCC President the Rev. Canon Peg Chemberlin spoke highly of Lohre.

“I think she is going to be outstanding and very good for the National Council of Churches,” said Chemberlin, who believed that Lohre “brings needed innovation” to the leadership role.

Chemberlin also said that Lohre will be crucial to a good “leadership transition” as “many of the leaders of the National Council of Churches are going to be completing their vocational calling in the next ten years.”

Lohre served in many positions within the ELCA, including the ELCA Commission for Women Steering Committee and director of Ecumenical and Inter-Religious Relations in the Office of the Presiding Bishop.

Lohre’s major focus has been that of ecumenical and interfaith efforts, including being assistant director of Harvard Divinity School’s Pluralism Project from 2005 to 2011.

“From our perspective here at the Pluralism Project, we see this in part as a media problem. We are all familiar with the phrase ‘if it bleeds, it leads,’” said Lohre, in a video presentation done earlier this year as part of the project.

“In fact in our work with our religious diversity news database we specifically seek out those articles that feature stories of interfaith bridge-building and relationship building across the globe.”

Kathryn Lohre was installed as the new president of the National Council of Churches on Nov. 9. She will serve a two-year term beginning on Jan. 1, 2012.

The National Council of Churches was founded in 1950 as an ecumenical organization that brings together Christian denominations with the purpose of carrying out various ministries.

Lohre is the first member of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America to become NCC president. She is also the first woman to succeed a woman as NCC president, and at age 34, is the second youngest NCC president.

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