Long Island Council of Churches

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The Long Island Council of Churches (LICC), a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization, coordinates the ecumenical work of churches in Nassau and Suffolk Counties in Long Island, New York.[1][2]

As of 2004, the LICC represented 800 Protestant churches, and had non-voting representatives from the Catholic, Greek Orthodox, and Jewish communities.[3][4] It is located in Hempstead, New York.[5]

Mission statement[edit]

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."[1] Its goal is also to: "promote understanding and cooperation between Christians and non-Christians".[6] 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.[6]


The LICC was formed in 1969, in a merger of the Nassau and Sullfolk County Councils of Churches.[1]

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.[7]

The Board of Governors of the LICC has energetically criticized both Hebrew Christians and Jews for Jesus.[8][9] 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".[10][11][12]

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.[13]

In May 2000, Hope Koski became the LICC's first female president.[3] 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.[3]


Clayton L. Williams served as the LICC's Executive Director in its formative years, as did Jack Alford in later years.[14][15][16][17] Rev. Thomas W. Goodhue, a United Methodist minister, has served as its Executive Director in more recent years.[4][18][19][20]

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.[6]


  1. ^ a b c "Long Island Council of Churches". Ncccusa.org. Retrieved July 30, 2010. 
  2. ^ New models for financing the local church: fresh approaches to giving in the computer age. Books.google. 1974. ISBN 9780809618927. Retrieved July 30, 2010. 
  3. ^ a b c Marcelle S. Fischler (October 15, 2000). "Long Island Journal-Multiple Personalities? Yes, on the Radio". The New York Times. Retrieved July 30, 2010. 
  4. ^ a b Marcelle S. Fischler, "Long Island: Reaching Out, and Into a Turf Battle", The New York Times, September 12, 2004
  5. ^ Yearbook of American & Canadian Churches 2009. Books.google. August 10, 2009. Retrieved July 30, 2010. 
  6. ^ a b c "About Us". Ncccusa.org. Retrieved July 30, 2010. 
  7. ^ "Long Island Journal". The New York Times. June 14, 1981. Retrieved July 30, 2010. 
  8. ^ Evangelicals and Jews in an age of pluralism. Books.google. November 6, 2008. ISBN 9780819176691. Retrieved July 30, 2010. 
  9. ^ "Jews for Jesus Criticized", The Milwaukee Sentinel, August 6, 1977
  10. ^ Messianic Judaism. Books.google. 2000. ISBN 9780826454584. Retrieved July 30, 2010. 
  11. ^ The image of the Judaeo-Christians in ancient Jewish and Christian literature. Books.google. 2003. ISBN 9783161480942. Retrieved July 30, 2010. 
  12. ^ Introduction to New and Alternative Religions in America: African diaspora traditions and other American innovations. Books.google. 2006. ISBN 9780275987176. Retrieved July 30, 2010. 
  13. ^ Allan Richter (October 10, 1999). "Cuts Open Gaps in Social Services Net". Nassau County (Ny): The New York Times. Retrieved July 30, 2010. 
  14. ^ Price, Jo-Ann (September 9, 1973). "Queens Family Court Aided by Protestant Clergymen Counselors". The New York Times. Retrieved July 30, 2010. 
  15. ^ "Welfare Project Balked in Nassau; Would Have Put Recipients in Mitchel Field Barracks". The New York Times. May 17, 1970. Retrieved July 30, 2010. 
  16. ^ Goldman, Ari L. (July 2, 1977). "Jews for Jesus Sue to Bar Letter Disseminated by L.I. Church Council". The New York Times. Retrieved July 30, 2010. 
  17. ^ Kevin LaHart, "What was once Bizarre has become Commonplace,", The Spokesman-Review, February 5, 1976
  18. ^ Praying: the rituals of faith. Books.google. November 2005. ISBN 9781596270169. Retrieved July 30, 2010. 
  19. ^ Nadel, Laurie (March 26, 2006). "L.I. At Worship; It's Not if, It's When: Waiting for the End, With Trepidation and Joy". The New York Times. Retrieved July 30, 2010. 
  20. ^ Thomas W. Goodhue (February 26, 2010). "Opinion: Tread carefully with ethnic comments". Newsday. Retrieved July 30, 2010. 

External links[edit]