National Council of Churches elects interim general secretary

Posted Jan 20, 2012

Ms. Clare J. Chapman, deputy general secretary and general counsel of the National Council of Churches, will be NCC Interim General Secretary. Photo/NCC, Kathleen Cameron

[National Council of Churches] Ms. Clare J. Chapman, Esq., Deputy General Secretary and General Counsel of the National Council of Churches, has been named NCC Interim General Secretary by the Council’s Governing Board.

Chapman, who had been carrying out the duties of general secretary since the December 31, 2011 departure of Michael Kinnamon, was elected to the interim position today [Jan. 20] during a conference call meeting of the Governing Board.
Chapman will serve as interim until the board decides on the next steps for filling the office permanently.

“Clare has been entrusted by God with gifts that will serve the Council well at this transitional time , and we are grateful for her willingness to serve,” said NCC President Kathryn Mary Lohre.

Lohre noted that Chapman served as NCC interim General Secretary from September 1, 2007, when former General Secretary Bob Edgar became President and CEO of Common Cause, until January 1, 2008, when former General Secretary Michael Kinnamon assumed office.

Kinnamon, who became General Secretary January 1, 2008,  announced his intended departure at the November 2011 Governing Board meeting. Based on advice from his cardiologist, Kinnamon relayed that frequent travel and other demands of the office were detrimental to his health.

Before joining the NCC staff in January 2007, Chapman served on several committees, commissions and task forces.  For more than two decades she was on the staff of the United Methodist Church ‘s General Commission on Christian Unity and Interreligious Concerns as its associate general secretary for program and administration.

Chapman has extensive ecumenical and interfaith experience.  She has been an advisor to one United Methodist delegation to the World Council of Churches, and delegate to another. She was a member of the first official United Methodist delegation to the Vatican for discussions on Christian unity.

Since its founding in 1950, the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA has been the leading force for shared ecumenical witness among Christians in the United States. The NCC’s 37 member communions — from a wide spectrum of Protestant, Anglican, Orthodox, Evangelical, historic African American and Living Peace churches — include 45 million persons in more than 100,000 local congregations in communities across the nation.