ACP 2014 Lohre Remarks-1

Local Impact, Global Reach: Challenges for Church Communications
and Religious Journalism Today

Associated Church Press Convention,
Palmer House, Downtown Chicago, Thursday, April 24, 2014

For Such a Time as This: The Glocal Potential for Ecumenism in a Time of Rapid Change

By Kathryn M. Lohre 

At the end of last year, I completed a two-year term as president of the National Council of Churches. I was thirty-four when my presidency began in 2012, the youngest woman and first Lutheran to ever serve. It was a turbulent time in the Council – fraught with changes in executive leadership, an ongoing financial crisis, and questions about the viability of a heavy institution in an era of “networking” and “convening.” The NCC had become a pressure cooker for the internal challenges facing many of its 37 member communions. My election was driven by the hope that what was needed was the leadership of one who had come of age in our rapidly changing landscape. It was 2012, and the reality had set in that as Evangelical, Pentecostal, and ethnic churches were reporting steady growth, the mainline Protestant denominations were in rapid decline.