Welcome to the New York State Council of Churches.

We are a council, a collaboration, and a conscience shared by Christian denominations of many types.  We welcome your involvement.

We covenant to care for one another, safeguard the presence of a vital Christian faith community in each place, provide hospitality to all, proclaim the Gospel boldly in each place, and declare God’s just will among the powers and principalities. 

Our mission goals focus on social justice, institutional pastoral care, and ecumenical cooperation in education, worship, and action.

Bridging the Urban-Rural Divide Conference

Across the country, religious and social justice leaders, working in a wide variety of contexts, know there is a divide of perspectives and worldviews amongst members in our rural, suburban and urban congregations. There is convincing evidence, however, that the divide in many ways has a superficial quality. The shallowness of the conversation and labels like rural/urban, liberal/conservative can obscure common concerns and interests as communities of faith seek to attend to the real-life struggles of their parishioners and collectively work towards building a more just society.

Join the New York State Council of Churches at Fulton-Montgomery Community College in Johnstown, New York this summer as we bring people across the country to bridge the divide amongst diverse communities and ministry contexts and do justice in our communities and world.

Featured speakers at the Conference include:

Dr. Alison Collis Greene, Assistant Professor at Mississippi State University who wrote the award winning book: No Depression in Heaven which explores the way theologically diverse rural and urban churches in the Mississippi Delta advocated for the New Deal during the Great Depression. Drawing on this history, she will introduce some paradigms for how the church might best respond to human need in our time.

Dr. James Evans, Professor of Systematic Theology and former President of Colgate Rochester Theological Seminary and Senior Pastor of St. Luke’s Tabernacle Community Church in Rochester—a primarily African American congregation noted for its powerful outreach work and strong preaching. Dr. Evans will offer an in depth theological and pastoral reflection on the local church and its social justice work.

The Reverend Karina Feliz, Pastor of Highland United Methodist Church. Reverend Feliz will examine the church’s in role in pastoring to and with immigrants and undocumented workers in more rural settings. As you well know, Reverend Feliz is co-chair of the New York Annual Conference Immigration Task Force. Reverend Feliz is in the process of developing a tool to help congregations reach out to their neighbors and love strangers in our midst. We are eager to collaborate with her as we develop a model for outreach for congregations as part of the conference.

In addition, there will be elected officials, and speakers from the labor, business, and community organizing communities and small group discussion and opportunities to workshop around local issues with a diverse group of colleagues. Faith leaders, activists, community leaders, business-people, elected people from all political parties, and indeed all folks interested in bridging the urban-rural divide are welcome to attend!

Second Annual Awards Luncheon
Thursday, May 18, 2017 11:30 AM to 1:30 PM
First Lutheran Church, 181 Western Ave. Albany, NY 12203

Our second annual luncheon and fundraiser highlights the powerful and life changing ministries of the New York State Council of Churches. Your support is crucial to the success of this event and our on going work. Thank you for taking the time to consider a sponsorship role at our signature event. For more information, please visit this link

The luncheon illustrates our purpose to embrace a spirit of ecumenism and hospitality, to live into God’s call to do justice and to love our neighbor. Together we point to the Kingdom of God on earth, as we envision a world where the marginalized are freed from poverty, where prisoners can be restored to live happier and healthier lives, and where we help young people grow in their Christian discipleship.

As we will live into our vision and purpose:                  

   We promote faith formation opportunities for high school students and young adults.

   We certify and support chaplains in our state prison system and other state institutions.

   We help congregations and judicatories work ecumenically on a grassroots level to collaborate with other religious and secular partners to do justice.

Additional information regarding the purchase of tickets and sponsorship opportunities can be found at this link for electronic purchasing

2016 Year-End Appeal

During this season of Advent, The New York State Council of Churches brings you greetings in the name of Jesus Christ who invites us to embrace God’s blessing and the promise of a more just and peaceful world.

On behalf of the New York State Council of Churches, we write to make you aware of the work of the Council and ask for your support.

While our purpose and work may already be familiar to you, The New York State Council of Churches represents about 7,000 churches from 8 Protestant denominations in every part of the state. Our purpose is to work ecumenically and with a spirit of hospitality to help congregations live into God’s call to do justice and to love our neighbor. Together, we point to the Kingdom of God on earth where the marginalized are freed from poverty, where prisoners can be restored to live happier and healthier lives, and where we help young people grow in their Christian discipleship.  

As Council we have three foci:
1.     We work across denominational and secular lines to do justice by seeking to impact public policy and laws which can help lift people up in more significant ways than charity alone.
2.     Certify and support chaplains in our state prison system and other institutions.
3.     We offer ecumenical experiences to help high school students and young adults to grow in the Christian faith and build a better world.

In our time, the need for the Council to work ecumenically and partner with many to advocate for policies and laws which lift people up and not discriminate is more palpable than ever. Your investment in our work to build a just and compassionate society is so important.

As you may be aware, denominations across New York State support the Council to varying degrees. As denominational budgets tighten, however, we cannot rely alone on denomination based support. In this spirit, we invite you to be a Friend of the Council and ask you to consider making a gift to support our work. All gifts which are $60 or more bring with it a free ticket to our Annual Awards and Fundraising Luncheon to be held on May 18, 2017 in Albany. We welcome recurring or single donations. We also accept credit cards.

All gifts of $60 or more will also be listed in our luncheon program as a Friend of the Council unless you prefer otherwise. Giving levels at $120 or more will be listed as a Sustainer, $180 or we will list as a Partner, $240 or more will be named as an Advocate, and $360 or more as a Leader.

Here is the link to make your donation or a check made payable to New York State Council of Churches may be sent to our office at 1580 Central Ave. Albany, NY 12205.

Thank you for your consideration. May every blessing be upon you.

In faith,

Peter Cook                                                                                                                                                  Executive Director                                                                                                            

Dustin Wright                                                                                                                                                 President                                                                                                                                                         Pastor, Messiah Lutheran Church, Rotterdam

Photos from some October 2016 Events

On Monday, October 17 the New York State Council of Churches joined 90 other organizations under the auspices of NYrenews at the Greater St. John's Church of God in Christ in Albany to advocate for a 100% renewable energy law in New York which would also address the needs of social justice communities and displaced workers. It was a full house. The next town hall will be December 7 at the Friends Meeting House on Rutherford Street in New York City. We are building a movement for a just energy future.

On Tuesday, October 18, It was a pleasure for the New York State Council of Churches to be at Unitarian Universalist Church in Garden City on Long Island with such a diverse crowd to discuss the adverse consequences of Dog Whistle Politics. How do Dog Whistle Politics work in this election? When politicians refer to "law and order" or "crack downs on illegal aliens", or supporting "real and hard working Americans" these are benign but coded ways to use race bating to build political support without being overtly racist. The conversation is the third one we have held in New York where we call on each other to bring our best selves to the conversation. In every interaction, seek to disrupt the narrative then gently offer an alternative narrative. Call out your candidates if you see them using these appeals in their literature, ads or speeches.

Faith for a Fair NY 2016 Conference

                                Photos from September 25-27, 2016 Conference and Rally


Video Series for Congregational Study and Discernment on Gun Violence in the US

The New York State Council of Churches is pleased to offer a new series of 4 videos to facilitate congregational discussion and discernment on the issue of gun violence. In each of the 4 videos, Our Director of Social Witness, the Rev. Brooke Newell, leads reflections on various aspects of gun violence through the lenses of Scripture, Christian Tradition, statistics surrounding gun ownership and gun violence, and an Albany area "person in the pew" who tells her story.

The 4-video series and other resources are free for congregational and personal use.

Peter Cook,
Sep 23, 2016, 9:27 AM
Peter Cook,
Jun 14, 2016, 11:54 AM
Peter Cook,
Sep 13, 2016, 8:49 AM
Peter Cook,
Sep 13, 2016, 8:53 AM
Peter Cook,
Feb 22, 2016, 9:54 AM
Peter Cook,
Sep 1, 2016, 12:34 PM
Karen Lapierre,
Feb 22, 2017, 9:55 AM
Karen Lapierre,
Jan 25, 2017, 8:21 AM
Peter Cook,
Apr 1, 2016, 10:03 AM
Peter Cook,
Sep 28, 2016, 7:39 AM
Peter Cook,
Aug 31, 2016, 10:51 AM