The National Council of Churches of Christ in the USA has joined its 36 communions, 140,000 churches and 52 million members to the rising national call for fasting. In a resolution entitled "For the Faithful Living of These Days" passed unanimously by delegates to the Council's annual General Assembly meeting in Oakland California on November 15, 200l the Council called its members and "all people of goodwill" to practice, "a weekly day of fasting. . . (and) to utilize the savings . . . to make regular donations of food, money, time and talent to community pantries, food kitchens and places of refuge and hope."
The Council is the largest and oldest ecumenical organization in the nation. It represents 13 Orthodox traditions, the nation's historic Black churches and main line Protestant communions. Based in New York the Council is known as the translator of the New Standard Revised Version of the Bible and for its outspoken stance on issues of social justice from Civil Rights to poverty. The General Assembly is its national governing body.
The "Faithful Living of These Days" resolution also urged "members of our communities and others to call upon local, state and federal agencies to 'Stop the Clock' on eligibility terminations of Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) and unemployment insurance, food stamps and health care."
General Secretary Bob Edgar noted that more than 500,000 persons have been laid off in October alone and that less than 30% of them have unemployment insurance and even less have health insurance. "In this season of national suffering our wounds must not be self-inflicted," he added.
Rev. Bob Edgar has served as General Secretary of the Council since January 2000. A Methodist minister and former President of Claremont Theological Seminary, he served as a Congressman from Pennsylvania for 12 years between 1974 and 1986.