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In Brief — Aug. 3, 2005 {0342}

In Brief — Aug. 3, 2005 {0342}

e-Review Florida United Methodist News Service

In Brief — Aug. 3, 2005

Aug. 3, 2005    News media contact:  Tita Parham*    
800-282-8011     Orlando {0342}

An e-Review News Item

TV commercials air during back-to-school time

By Emily Reece**

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Igniting Ministry kicks off another year this September with Open House Month and a series of commercials airing during the time kids across the country are heading back to school.

The Back-to-School advertising "flight" of commercials will run for three weeks beginning the week of Aug. 29 and include 1,231 commercials airing across 18 cable networks, including three Hispanic networks.

A scene from "The Journey," a new United Methodist television commercial that will debut during the flight of commercials airing this September during the back-to-school timeframe. Photo by Mike DuBose/UMCOM, Photo #05-222.

During the flight, The United Methodist Church will debut a new television spot. Grounded in Luke 15 and the parables of that chapter, the new commercial offers a metaphor of how individual journeys converge. "The Journey" explores how individual spiritual paths bring people together as they encounter Christ through each another.

The spot shows several images of people following a trail of items that catch their attention, not knowing exactly why they are following or where they are going. Ultimately, the path of each person leads to a place where all the journeys come together, and they begin to notice each other, finally seeing more than what they've been following. The spot strives to convey that seekers can find their paths and share the journey with "the people of The United Methodist Church."

To view the new spot and learn about a new "Expression Package" that helps churches explore the themes of "The Journey," visit The commercials in the September rotation can be viewed through the MediaWarehouse, also located on the site. A schedule listing when the commercials will air can be found at

Each September is also Open House Month across the denomination. During the month churches are encouraged to engage their communities and share Christ's spirit by inviting and welcoming newcomers. National Neighborhood Day, which takes place the second Sunday of September, offers another opportunity to sponsor events that welcome neighbors and build community connections. This year's National Neighborhood Day is Sept. 11.

Ideas and welcoming models for Open House Month are posted on the Igniting Ministry Web site at The site also offers advice and guidelines for placing advertising, along with fresh welcoming and training ideas. For information and ideas about National Neighborhood Day visit

Niger: UMCOR appeals for famine relief

By UMCOR  Hotline

NEW YORK — The United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) is rushing food aid to 55 villages in southern Niger where starvation and malnourishment have become epidemic.

Drought and locusts have created an acute crisis, according to officials of the humanitarian agency of The United Methodist Church, and last year's harvest was practically nonexistent. News reports portray families feeding their children grass and leaves from trees to keep them alive.

UMCOR is partnering with Swiss Interchurch Aid (HEKS), which has long-term commitments in Niger. The United Methodist Church in Switzerland is an alliance member. HEKS will use an UMCOR grant to provide seeds, cattle fodder and staple foods, such as milk powder, in the southern region of Niger, an arid country north of Nigeria and west of Chad.
Gifts to UMCOR Advance #101250, All Africa Drought and Famine, Niger, will provide ongoing assistance. Churches may also use a bulletin insert posted at to inform members about this crisis.

Individuals may give to UMCOR Advance #101250, All Africa Drought and Famine, Niger, by placing their contributions in church offering plates, with checks written to their local church or Florida Conference Treasurer and the Advance name and number in the memo line. Contributions may also be written and sent directly to UMCOR at P.O. Box 9068, New York, NY 10087-9068. Credit card donations may be made by calling 800-554-8583.


*Parham managing editor of e-Review Florida United Methodist News Service.
**Reece is training manager for Igniting Ministry at United Methodist Communications in Nashville.