ELCA Presiding Bishop Mark Hanson is chairing a search committee for a “transitional general secretary” to lead the National Council of Churches — an ecumenical Christian body representing 45 million people in more than 100,000 congregations across the country. The ELCA is the only Lutheran church with membership in the council.
The search was announced Feb. 29. The former general secretary, Michael Kinnamon, left the post Dec. 31 for health reasons. Clare Chapman, Esq., is interim general secretary. Hanson said the search committee hopes to present a candidate to the council’s governing board by June 2012.
The announcement coincides with the formation of the council’s 16-member task force charged with “re-envisioning and restructuring” the 62-year-old organization. Kathryn Lohre, who directs ELCA Ecumenical and Inter-Religious Relations and is president of the council, called the appointment of the new task force “a signal of the rebirth” of the National Council of Churches.
Lohre is the first ELCA member to serve as president of the communion.