The National Council of Churches (NCC) held the third annual meeting under the theme “Fear Not: God’s Love in an Anxious Age” on May 4-7, 2016, at the DoubleTree Hotel in Baltimore, Maryland. Attendees were from different churches and denominations of the three families; Orthodox, Catholic and Protestant, who gathered in the name of Christ. Fr. Maroutha A. Hanna was assigned to represent our church in this gathering, by His Eminence, Mor Dionysius Jean Kawak, the Patriarchal Delegate to the Eastern Archdiocese of the Syriac Orthodox Church in North America.
On Wednesday evening, an hour of worship started the gathering, in which His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon of
All America and Canada, Orthodox Church of America, gave a beautiful speech about love and peace and not fear. The following day, the participants were free to choose any of four sessions to attend: Christian Education, Faith and Order, Interreligious Relations and Joint Action Justice and Peace.
The participants were studying and looking for ways to get the churches more involved in today’s Political and Decision- making in our country. Moreover, the attendees believed that religions and faith must have a big part in shaping the country’s strategies in making peace.
In a remarkable initiative session, “Christian Education” group hosted Dr. Mohamed Elsanousi, representative of the network for religious and traditional peacemakers. Dr. Mohamed spoke about the ever relationship between Islam and Christianity; pointing out that what gathers the two religions is much more than what differs them. He also spoke about the great effort spent by some Islamic organizations, as well as individuals, to stress the respect and tolerance prophet Muhammad had for Christian and other religions.
The meetings were concluded on Friday evening, with a worship and prayers service, in which the attendees asked God Almighty to bless His church and guide her to play the right roll in our country.