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from the Palm Beach Post, January 21, 2002, The Associated Press, Memphis, Tenn.
Nine Protestant denominations pledged Sunday to launch a nationwide campaign against racism designed to help pull together the 22 million members of their congregations.
"We seek forgiveness for the sin of division," church members prayed as leaders of the denominations formed a new group called Churches Uniting in Christ.
The churches promise to unify their congregations, desipite historical divisions based on race, and coordinate their efforts to oppose racial injustice.
"We've got to do that or we shouldn't be calling ourselves Christians," said Beverly Nicholson, who joined more than 1,200 other worshipers taking the vow for unity.
Memphis was chosen for the meetings because it is the city where Martin Luther King Jr. was murdered in 1968. Today is the national holiday honoring King's birth.
Denominations in Churches Uniting for Christ are the African Methodist Episcopal Church, Zion Church, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Christian Methodist Episcopal Church, Episcopal Church, International Council of Community Churches, Presbyterian Church (USA), United Church of Christ and United Methodist Church.
You need to contact the national ecumenical office of any of the member denominations. For the Episcopal church the National Ecumenical Officer is Bishop Christopher Epting at Episcopal Church Headquarters in NYC. 1-800-334-7626. You may e-mail his administrative assistant Jean Schwarz at firstname.lastname@example.org. You need to realize that CUIC was just Inaugurated on Sunday (1/20/02) and a staff has yet to be hired. The plan is for each national ecumenical office to encourage local implementation but that will take time. You can let the national office know of your interest and that may help them to know there is interest out there but don't expect immediate results. The office of the Consultation on Church Union (the predecessor organization) is being dismantled now & a new staff & location will probably take several months to establish. In the meantime keep an eye on the web site www.cuicinfo.org
The Rev. K. Gordon White Associate General Secretary Consultation on Church Union
Jeffrey Newhall, Madeleine Pattershall were cc'd on Rev. White's e-mail.