We Are Church Together

New York State Council of Churches

New York State Council of Churches  

The Rev. Peter Cook, executive director


The New York State Council of Churches, founded in the late 19th century, represents 7,000 congregations across the State of New York. We are comprised of eight partner denominations, including American Baptist Churches USA, The Episcopal Church, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Presbyterian Church USA, The Reformed Church in America, The Religious Society of Friends, United Church of Christ, and The United Methodist Church.

We Are Resilient TOGETHER

We Are Hopeful TOGETHER

The New York State Council of Churches:
Certifies and supports Protestant chaplains in Department of Corrections and Community Supervision, Office of Mental Health, and Office of Children and Family Services as they seek to offer love and hope to so many who feel hopeless and have had little experience of being loved unconditionally. We urge fully-ordained pastors, including those who may be serving as parish ministers, to consider applying for certification. The Departments of Corrections, after a state hiring freeze, will resume interviews of candidates to fill at least 12 chaplain openings. In October, we held our annual chaplain’s conference virtually, which can be viewed at WWW.NYSCOC.org.
Advocates for laws and policies, consistent with our denominational partner’s social principles, which address structural racism, economic inequality, and environmental degradation.
+With the advent of the pandemic, the Council sought to synthesize all public health guidance for congregations. We also engaged in rigorous advocacy for the State and Federal governments to address the economic impact and racial disparities. Our guidance appeared on the New York State website. We now continue to advocate for just distribution of the vaccine. Central to our efforts has been to consistently call on the very wealthiest New Yorkers to contribute more, to address severe state underinvestment in social services before and during the pandemic, including cuts to drug and alcohol programs, home care, Medicaid, education and infrastructure budgets. We also advocated for increased Federal aid.
+Our Statewide Ecumenical Advocacy Day took place virtually on February 25. We focused on raising additional revenue for the state budget, support for the Climate and Community Investment Act, expansion of funding for affordable housing, prevention of cuts to long-term care, and multiple reforms to ease the process for people re-entering society from prison. The full description of our 2021 legislative asks and video of all the presentations can be found at WWW.Nyscoc.org.
Promotes mission-consistent development of church property. The Council and three other partners—Interfaith Assembly on Homelessness and Housing, Interfaith Affordable Housing Collaborative and Bricks and Mortals—received a generous grant from Trinity Church Wall Street to help us consult with congregations in New York City about repurposing their property to build affordable housing. We also offer grants and assessments to congregations outside of New York City seeking to develop their property. Our Who is My Neighbor Seminars offer expert guidance. Seminars can be found at WWW.Nyscoc.org.
Partners with the Federation of Indian American Christian Organizations to champion religious freedom and human rights in India. Our advocacy work has been complemented with monthly webinars. We continue to strengthen bonds with our partner, the Church of South India.

God's Work. Our Hands, TOGETHER

We thank our denominational partners for their support. You can view our virtual fundraising event, which tells the full story of the Council on our website. WWW.Nyscoc.org.
Our new offices are near the capitol at Westminster Presbyterian Church, 85 Chestnut Street, Albany, New York, 12210. Office email is [email protected]; phone is 518-436-9319.
The Reverend Peter Cook is Executive Director and can be reached at [email protected] or 508 380-8289.