After decades at New York City's Interchurch Center (once called the "God Box" and the "Protestant Vatican on the Hudson"), the National Council of Churches is closing its headquarters. It will consolidate its operations at a United Methodist-owned ecumenical center in Washington, D.C.
The council hopes to maintain a New York presence via "satellite offices" for three senior staff, which could still include space in the Interchurch building.
Peg Birk, NCC transitional general secretary, said the move will save $400,000 to $500,000 in the long run.
The council also eliminated six administrative positions and will likely use outside vendors for human resources, information technology, strategic accounting and communications support.
NCC President Kathryn Lohre, ELCA director for ecumenical and interreligious relations, said council members can "look with hope upon this new chapter in the council's life. ... This consolidation will free us from the infrastructure of a bygone era, enabling us to witness more boldly to our visible unity in Christ, and work for justice and peace in today's rapidly changing ecclesial, ecumenical and interreligious world."
The ELCA is a member of the NCC.
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