The Middle East Council of Churches


About the M.E.C.C.

The MECC is a meeting-place for the indigenous churches of the region, a facilitator of their common response to common needs. It encourages and supports relationships between its member churches in an ecclesiastically sensitive manner, adhering to the historical confessions of the united Church, the Apostles’ and Nicene Creeds, to which all its members subscribe. Its family structure emphasizes consensus and participation in community. Larger and smaller families each have equal opportunity to have their voices heard in its deliberations, and no one perspective is permitted to eclipse any other. The decision-making process of the MECC is sensitive to the various church traditions represented.

As far as possible, the Middle East Council’s program initiatives complement ministries which its members already fulfill. And over the years these programs have sifted out into three program units: Faith and Unity, Education and Renewal, and Life and Service. The General Secretariat focuses these activities and augments them. Administration, finance and communications departments in the Council enable, strengthen, rationalize and publicize the work.

The constitutionally regularized decision-making and program-implementation processes begin with the Council’s General Assembly. This ninety-six member body, an effective instrument of the member churches, meets once every four years, it reviews and assesses what has been done, and it gives the general mandate for what is to happen through the next four years. In the interim it gives authority to the Executive Committee to carry on. The Assembly-appointed General Secretary and three Associates form an administrative General Secretariat which regularly reports to the Council’s four Presidents and to the Executive Committee.

Organization and Activities
General Secretariat

The General Secretariat is an administrative and executive body which accounts to the Executive Committee. The Secretariat coordinates programs and activities, keeping in view the whole picture within the framework of policies and guidelines articulated by the churches through the Council's governing bodies. It deepens the integrated vision and oneness of the Council as it assists member churches to relate to each other and grow towards a truly ecumenical fellowship, cooperating in witness and service.

The General Secretariat is composed of one General Secretary, the Council's chief executive officer, and three Associate General Secretaries. Care is taken to represent all four families of the Council at this level of staff leadership. The Associate General Secretaries assist the General Secretary in any function he may delegate to them. As assigned by the Executive Committee, they may also bear responsibilities for directing Council units and programs.

To facilitate the work of the Secretariat as a whole, the General Secretary may invite to its meetings directors of units and departments and program coordinators who are not Associate General Secretaries.

Beyond general administrative responsibilities, through program coordinators, the General Secretary directly supervises programs in
  • studies and research
  • human rights, justice and peace
  • interreligious dialogue
  • relations with Christian bodies, both those within and outside the region.

    He also supervises liaison offices in various countries.
    Expanded purpose statement
    Programs Directly under the General Secretary
    Coordinated Programs:
  • Department of Service to Palestinian Refugees (DSPR)
  • Emergency Relief, Rehabilitation and Reconstruction (ERR) in Lebanon
  • Ecumenical Relief Services (ERS) in Response to the Gulf War
    Linked autonomous programs
    Contact the General Secretariat:
    Cyprus | Lebanon
  • Gulf Newsletter from the MECC Gulf Liaison Officer (June 1999)
    Interviewwith Rev. Riad Jarjour, MECC General Secretary (April 1999)
    An Iranian delegation visits Cyprus and Lebanon (March 1999)
    News archives

    Faith & Unity

    Unity, especially in the Middle East's pluralistic context, is integral to the churches' witness to Jesus Christ. The Christ who heals and unites cannot be presented to the people of the area while those who believe in him remain divided. The MECC is a link between the churches established to serve the cause of Christian unity.

    Purpose statement
    Contact the Unit on Faith and Unity
    How do we see the Virgin Mary? (February 1999) Week of prayer for Christian Unity (January 1999)
    Fourth Ecumenical Workshop for Pastors in Lebanon (July 1998)
    News archives

    Education and Renewal

    The Unit on Education and Renewal helps the churches exchange their experience and understanding of church renewal. It is a focal point where cooperation between the churches is organized in the area of Christian education. It assists the churches' education programs and fosters cooperation in the areas of youth, women's programs, family life, and religious education in private, public and church-related schools.

    Purpose statement
    Contact the Unit on Education and Renewal
    Education and Renewal Commission meets in pieces (March 1999)
    Women in Egypt discuss issues (February 1999)
    Patriarch Hazim addresses youth (December 1998)
    News archives

    Life and Service

    Through the Unit on Life and Service churches share and discuss how they may cooperate and mutually complement each other in Christian diakonia. No less than elsewhere, in the Middle East's pluralistic environment the churches must respond to ongoing or emergency needs among their own people and in society at large. The Unit coordinates its humanitarian services with and assists Christian institutions engaged in diakonia. It encourages churches to cooperate in ministry, and helps train Christians in areas of diakonia, development and service to the poor and marginalized, refugees and migrants.

    Purpose statement
    Contact the Unit on Education and Renewal
    Commission on Life and Service in Beirut (September 1998)
    Marriage Between Relatives discussed (July 1998)
    Refugee Workers' Training Session (June 1998)
    News archives

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