ELCA’s Lohre concludes term as National Council of Churches president


Kathryn Lohre and new NCC general secretary/president, James WinklerAcknowledging the “honor and privilege to serve in this role as the youngest woman and the first Lutheran,” Kathryn Lohre, director for ecumenical and inter-religious relations of the ELCA, concludes her two-year term as president of the National Council of the Churches of Christ (NCC). “I look forward to participating in the life of the council as the transitional plans continue to unfold,” Lohre said.  She will begin serving a two-year term as NCC past president on Jan. 1, 2014. The council promotes ecumenical cooperation among Christians in the United States.

James E. Winkler, general secretary of the United Methodist General Board of Church and Society, was elected and installed as NCC general secretary/president during a meeting of the governing board in Chicago Nov. 18-19.

“The election of James E. Winkler as general secretary/president is cause for celebration,” said Lohre. “He brings a remarkable balance of ecumenical passion, administrative skills and strong relationships with church leaders and faith-based partners. We are confident that Mr. Winkler will lead the National Council of Churches into a period of renewed vitality as we seek to respond anew to Christ’s call to unity in a rapidly changing religious landscape,” she said.

The office of general secretary/president, formerly general secretary, is the leading staff position in the NCC. Under a restructuring, the former office of NCC president has been renamed chair of the NCC governing board.

Lohre said Winkler’s role will be to implement the new structure of the governing board, intended “to breathe life into what the churches have named as two priorities for the next period—mass incarceration and inter-religious relations with a focus on peace.”