Bishop Cynthia Moore-Koikoi has been elected to serve as president of Christian Associates of Southwestern PA, effective January 1, 2020. She currently serves as vice-president of the ecumenical organization whose board includes leaders of denominations or organizations represented in 10 Southwestern PA counties.
“I am excited to welcome Bishop Moore-Koikoi as our next president! Her election comes at a pivotal time: Christian Associates of Southwest Pennsylvania will celebrate our 50th anniversary in 2020,” said the Rev. Liddy Barlow, executive minister for CASP. “As we celebrate our past, we are also looking forward with energy and imagination to the future of ecumenism in our region. Bishop Moore-Koikoi’s commitment to the unity we share in Christ in the midst of our diversity makes her exactly the leader we need for this year of celebration and expectation."
Launched in 1970, Christian Associates approaches ecumenism at the judicatory level, but in a way that provided the communication and resources to help efforts at the congregational level. It became the main actor in collaboration between the region’s denominations as they worked together towards addressing education and social issues. For example, Christian Associates was an important organizer for the faith community’s response to Pittsburgh’s high unemployment rates during the late 1970s and early 1980s following the closure of many of the steel mills. Christian Associates took the lead in organizing the faith community's response to natural disasters, such as Hurricane Ivan in 2004.
The organization has been active in anti-racism work; in communications in print, TV, and radio; and in projects to increase interfaith understanding. Mostly recently it helped to spearhead the interfaith response to the terrorist attack on Tree of Life synagogue.
Today, Christian Associates continues its legacy of engaging the wider Church through collegiality, collaboration, connectedness, and communication. It builds trusting relationships between church leaders; organizes the region’s congregations around social issues; connects the Church to the local communities; and communicates news, events, and information to help churches thrive.