The Governing Board of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA (NCC) met virtually for its biannual board meeting on October 13, 2021.
For the first time in its 71-year history, the NCC Governing Board elected all women as officers. The officers began their two-year terms effective yesterday as follows: Bishop Teresa Jefferson Snorton, 5th Episcopal District, Christian Methodist Episcopal Church, as Chair; Bishop Elizabeth Eaton, Presiding Bishop, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, as Vice Chair; Kimberly Gordon Brooks, 1st Vice President of the 3rd District Lay Organization, African Methodist Episcopal Church, as Secretary, and Rev. Teresa “Terri” Hord Owens, General Minister & President, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), as Treasurer. Three of the officers are women of color.
“Serving in leadership in the National Council of Churches is both an honor and a privilege,” said new NCC Chair, Bishop Teresa Jefferson Snorton. “At this pivotal time in the life of the church in the United States, it is noteworthy that the NCC is modeling inclusiveness in selecting its leaders. The denominations that make up the NCC demonstrate a commitment to embody the diversity of God’s creation in so many ways. This commitment is a call for all of us to show the love of God to all, promote unity in Christ Jesus and to resist the current cultural trends of divisiveness. I am humbled to be a part of the life of NCC in this moment.”
The NCC Governing Board also approved the Updated Edition of the New Revised Standard Version (NRSVue) of the Bible, which is considered the most meticulously researched, rigorously reviewed, and faithfully accurate English-language Bible translation. The process began in 2017 when the NCC commissioned the Society of Biblical Literature (SBL) to conduct a review and update of the 1989 New Revised Standard Version Bible (NRSV).
The NRSVue, like the NRSV and the Revised Standard Version (RSV), follows in the tradition of the King James Bible, making changes that were warranted on the basis of accuracy, clarity, euphony, and current English usage. The SBL applied recent scholarship to ancient texts to help readers explore the meanings of these texts in light of the cultures that produced them. The NRSVue is as free as possible from the gender bias inherent in the English language, which can obscure earlier oral and written renditions.
Friendship Press, a subsidiary of the NCC, acted as liaison to SBL during the review. A list of those who worked on the NRSVue can be found on the Friendship Press website: https://friendshippress.org/nrsv-review-update/ Licensees may release NRSV Updated Editions of the Bible on or after May 1, 2022.
“It is a matter of great pride for me to have led the Board through the approval process for the NRSVue. Knowing that each generation has undertaken the stewardship of this precious resource, we played our part to extend its relevance and legacy. Having relied on the most dedicated biblical scholars of our generation, we are proud now to share the most up to date translation of our sacred texts,” said Rev. Dr. John C. Dorhauer, General Minister and President, United Church of Christ, National Ministries, and Past Chair of NCC’s Governing Board.
According to NCC President and General Secretary Jim Winkler, “Being part of the update of the New Revised Standard Version has been a joy for me. This is a monumental achievement. Credit is due to many people, but I especially wish to thank the Society of Biblical Literature and Friendship Press for their scholarship and leadership,” he said. “The NCC approved this project a number of years ago and has provided oversight throughout. The NRSV is viewed as the most accurate Bible available and the incorporation of new learnings and insights makes it only better.” Mr.
Winkler added, “I also congratulate our new NCC board officers. We believe this is the first time all of our officers are women. I look forward to working closely with our new chair, Bishop Teresa Jefferson Snorton. She is an extraordinary and gifted leader.”