Welcome

 

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. 



JOB OPENING - EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

Background
The NYS Council of Churches is seeking an Executive Director to lead the organization into its next phase of growth and accomplishment. NYSCC joins together Christians of many denominations across New York State to care for one another, safeguard the presence of vital Christian communities, 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 witness and advocacy on state-level issues, such as income inequality, health care for all, earth care, and an end to mass incarceration; institutional pastoral care; and ecumenical cooperation in education, worship and action.

Responsibilities                                                                                                                                       The Executive Director supervises and administers the work of the Council, with responsibility for staff, programs, fundraising, communications, financial functions, office operations, property and legal affairs. The Executive Director leads the organization’s extensive social justice advocacy work and pastoral care programs. Please see the full position description for more details.

Qualifications                                                                                                                                                              A passion for social justice and commitment to building interdenominational partnership to proclaim God’s good and just purposes throughout New York State.                                                                       Knowledge of the Christian faith and active membership in a NYSCC member denomination https://sites.google.com/site/nyscouncilofchurches/about-us-1/member-churches                        Demonstrated executive leadership, preferably in a faith-based organization                                         Experience in public policy witness including issue analysis, resource development, networking, communications, media outreach, advocacy, speaking and writing.                                                             Proven success in fundraising and grantwriting                                                                                            Master’s degree or higher in a field relevant to the NYSCC mission and programs

Salary and Specifications                                                                                                                     Full-time salary of $65,000 with competitive benefits package. Position located in the Capital District with travel throughout NYS. Please send a resume, cover letter, and one relevant writing sample via email to Karen Lapierre at nyscoc@aol.com by August 21, 2015.



June 26, 2015

As Christians, we are called to honor and cherish both the civil rights and the committed relationships of our lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender brothers and sisters. We give thanks for the Supreme Court's decision making marriage equality the law of the land.

Furthermore,
we condemn dishonest rhetoric that shamefully twists the good news of Jesus Christ into a message of hatred and intolerance.

At the June 18th meeting of our Executive Committee, the following statement in support of marriage equality was adopted. Please join us as we continue to pray for, and work for, justice for all.

With Hope,
The Rev. Brooke Newell, Director of Social Witness


New York State Council of Churches

Statement In Support of Marriage Equality

In 2011, marriage equality became law in New York State.  Some pastors in New York have paid a price for officiating at same gender marriages over and against the official stances of their denominations.

It is time for the New York State Council of Churches to speak with a common voice in support of Marriage Equality in our state.

The Christian Church is mandated to stand for justice in our common civic life. Religious leaders before us have spoken to end slavery, and to ensure equal rights to all persons regardless of gender, nationality, religion, and race.  We now declare that our faith calls us to affirm civil marriage equality for same-sex couples.

Our religious traditions and sacred texts teach us that wherever love is present, God is also present. One of God's gifts is our capacity to love one another. The ability of two people to enter into relationships and form families of love and care is an expression of this gift.  It is holy and good.  We therefore support the right of same-sex couples to enter into such relationships on an equal basis with heterosexual couples.  This is a right that all people have as members of the human family.  The state should not deny individuals their fundamental civil right to marry whom they love.

We support civil marriage equality as an issue of religious freedom, for a denial of civil recognition dishonors the religious convictions of those communities and clergy who do officiate at, and bless, same-sex marriages. The state should not favor the convictions of one religious group over another to deny individuals their fundamental right to marry and have those marriages recognized by civil law.  By the same token, we uphold the right to freedom of conscience in this matter: the state may not require religious groups to officiate at, or bless, same-sex marriages.

For further study, the NY State Council of Churches recommends:

   Jesus, the Bible, and Homosexuality by Jack Rogers (2006, revised in 2009)

   The Bibles Yesto Same Sex Marriage by Mark Achtemeier (2014)

   What the Bible Really Says about Homosexuality by Daniel A. Helminiak (2000)

   Witness without Parallel: Eight Biblical Texts that Make Us Presbyterian by Earl Johnson (2003)

Addendum:

Most of our member denominations have longstanding statements on marriage equality. 

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America http://www.elca.org/Faith/Faith-and-Society/Social-Statements/Human-Sexuality

The General Synod of the United Church of Christ http://www.ucc.org/lgbt_issues_marriageequality_index#Marriage_Equality_and_the_UCC

The United Methodist Church http://www.umc.org/what-we-believe/the-social-community  Equal Rights Regardless of Sexual Orientation

Quakers http://www.nyym.org/?q=sexual_orientation

American Baptist Churches USA  http://www.abc-usa.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/homosexuality.pdf

The Reformed Church in America   http://wrfnet.org/articles/2013/06/reformed-church-america-approves-position-homosexual-relationships#.VRsjcUZj-i4

The Presbyterian Church USA http://www.religionnews.com/2014/06/19/presbyterians-vote-allow-gay-marriage/

The Episcopal Church http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2015/03/18/where-christian-churches-stand-on-gay-marriage





New 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.