August 12, 2008

Nikki Stephanopoulos, a longtime spokesperson for the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America and mother of Washington political insider George Stephanopoulos, retired this month. Stephanopoulos began in 1983 as an editor for the archdiocese’s Orthodox Observer and soon rose to become the director of news and public relations for the million-plus-member church. She is a member of the governing board of the National Council of Churches.

Jorge Lara-Braud, 77, a Presbyterian lay pastor, teacher and social activist, died June 22 after a fall near his Austin, Texas, home. The Mexico City native converted from Catholicism while studying at the PCUSA-related Pan-American School in Kingsville, Texas. Lara-Braud founded the Hispanic-American Institute at Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary. For many years best known as a lay pastor in Austin, he also held posts at the National Council of Churches, the Presbyterian Seminary of Mexico and San Francisco Theological Seminary.