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WCC moderator and general secretary to address ecumenical challenges at US symposium

12 October 2005

Free photo available - see below

"Challenges facing the ecumenical movement in the 21st Century" is the theme of a symposium to be held on 22 October at the Interchurch Center in New York.

Planned in honour of Aram I, Catholicos of the Armenian Apostolic Church (See of Cilicia) and moderator of the World Council of Churches' (WCC) central committee, who will be visiting the United States in late October, the symposium will feature WCC general secretary Rev. Dr Samuel Kobia as keynote speaker; Aram I will offer closing reflections.

Other symposium speakers will include Rev. Dr Wesley Granberg-Michaelson, general secretary of the Reformed Church of America; Rev. Dr Diane Kessler, executive director of the Massachusetts Council of Churches; Bishop Thomas Hoyt, president of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA; Rev. Dr Robert Edgar, general secretary of the National Council of Churches, Dr Anthony Kireopoulos, deputy general secretary of the National Council of Churches, Right Rev. Leonid Kishkovsky, moderator of the US Conference for the WCC and ecumenical officer, Orthodox Church in America, Rev. Deborah DeWinter, programme executive for the United States office of the WCC; and a representative from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. Archbishop Oshagan, prelate for the Eastern United States of America of the Armenian Apostolic Church (See of Cilicia), will deliver the welcome speech.

The symposium is being jointly sponsored by the Armenian Apostolic Church of America, the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA, and the WCC.

On Sunday, 23 October a pontifical divine liturgy will be celebrated by Aram I at St Bartholomew's Church at 13:30 p.m, to be followed by a banquet at the Pierre Hotel commemorating the 75th anniversary of the Armenian Apostolic seminary in Antelias, Lebanon.

Aram I was one of the founding members of the Middle East Council of Churches in 1974. He attended the WCC assemblies in Nairobi, Vancouver, Canberra, and Harare as a delegate; in 1975, he was elected to the WCC's Faith and Order Commission, and soon after as a member of the central committee. At the 1991 Assembly in Canberra, he was elected moderator of the WCC.

Media contacts:

- Caroline Hennessy 212-870-2192 917-407-6172 (mob.)

- Armenian Apostolic Church of America 212-689-7810

Interchurch Center address: 475 Riverside Drive, New York , NY 10115, USA.

A free high resolution photo of Rev. Dr Samuel Kobia with HH Aram I is available on the WCC website at:

www.wcc-coe.org/wcc/photo-galleries/portraits/aram-kobia.html