When I first arrived in Chicago, the Church Federation of Greater Chicago was a visible and important part of the life of the city, with a broadcast ministry, hunger programs and advocacy efforts in civil rights, education and public policy. An annual banquet was held in a hotel ballroom, with all the seats at every table taken and greetings brought by the mayor.
Today, although the World Council of Churches and the National Council of Churches continue to be faithful expressions of unity, local conciliar efforts are mostly dormant. The only time I see brothers and sisters from other denominations is at the annual Mayor's Prayer Breakfast and the Martin Luther King Day celebration.
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