Long Island Council of Churches
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The Council's mission statement is that it: "unites diverse Christians to work together to improve the well being of Long Islanders and to promote interfaith understanding and cooperation." Its goal is also to: "promote understanding and cooperation between Christians and non-Christians". Specifically, the LICC works with health agencies and with social service agencies:
to provide emergency food, housing, medical assistance, transportation assistance, chaplaincy services, disaster relief, and advocacy for a wide range of social issues, including affordable housing, adequate health care, the environment, social, racial and gender equality, anti-poverty and anti-bias programs, prison reform, substance abuse and domestic violence programs.
The LICC was formed in 1969, in a merger of the Nassau and Sullfolk County Councils of Churches.
The Council has issued policy statements from time to time. on various issues. At times it has done so by itself, and in other instances it has done so jointly with other organizations, including the Long Island Board of Rabbis, and the Commission on Christian-Jewish Relations of the Episcopal Diocese of Long Island.
The Board of Governors of the LICC has energetically criticized both Hebrew Christians and Jews for Jesus. In 1980, speaking of Jewish-Christian groups, including Messianic Judaism, it charged that "certain groups are engaging in subterfuge and dishonesty in representing the claims of their faith groups".
In September 1999, it faced cuts coupled with a cumbersome contract-renewal process by Nassau County. It attempted to operate without a contract, but at the end of the day it had to furlough chaplains at a local medical center and geriatric center.
In May 2000, Hope Koski became the LICC's first female president. Speaking of the Council, she said:
It's a way for the small and normally separated Protestant churches that range from congregations of 20 to 30 people to congregations of thousands to come together with a unified voice. It lets small congregations have some strength from larger congregations, and larger congregations gain the strength of smaller congregations.... We work very hard for the social integration of all Long Islanders with each other so that people aren't afraid of each other. Anything we can do to lessen the fear of neighbors for each other and of communities for people they don't know is well within our range of interest. To make sure that peace reigns and make sure we have no religious wars on Long Island. Lord knows, we don't need that.
Clayton L. Williams served as the LICC's Executive Director in its formative years, as did Jack Alford in later years. Rev. Thomas W. Goodhue, a United Methodist minister, has served as its Executive Director in more recent years.
The Council is governed by a Board of Governors, which is made up of clergy, lay denominational representatives, and members of the business and nonprofit communities.
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