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e-Review Florida United Methodist News Service


An e-Review News Item | April 16, 2009 {1003}

This series includes:

• Methodists asked to skip a lunch to save a life April 25
• New Web site offers Rethink Church resources for churches, annual conferences
• Church profile updates needed for find-a-church program
• ZOE Ministry offers summer mission moments
• Nominees sought for distinguished evangelist award
• Support materials available for Peace with Justice Sunday
• Stewardship conference offers ministry resources
• Florida man to speak at national gathering of United Methodist Men
• School of Congregational Development ready to renew church


Methodists asked to skip a lunch to save a life April 25

By Diane Degnan**

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The people of The United Methodist Church are marking the lead-up to World Malaria Day April 25 with a renewed call to members and friends to support Nothing But Nets, a grassroots anti-malaria effort that allows anyone, for $10, to send a lifesaving bed net to a family in Africa.

“We’re asking people to ‘skip a lunch, send a net, save a life,’ ” said Bishop Thomas Bickerton, chairperson of The United Methodist Church’s Global Health Initiative.
Dubbed “To Lunch or Not to Lunch?” the campaign highlights how $10, the average cost of lunch, is all it takes to provide a potentially lifesaving bed net to an African family. A $10 donation at covers the cost of the bed net, its distribution and education on its use.

Bed nets protect children and their families from the bites of malaria-infected mosquitoes.
“Malaria is a crisis that is threatening many of God's children across the globe,” said Bickerton, referring to malaria’s rank as Africa’s leading killer of children under age five. “Insecticide-treated mosquito nets are the most scientifically proven way to stop its spread.”
Bickerton joins the people of The United Methodist Church in urging everyone to forego a lunch out and to direct that $10 savings toward the purchase of a bed net.
New downloadable resources are available at for churches to use for World Malaria Day 2009, including a bulletin cover, door hanger, web banner, poster, postcard, public service announcements and more.
Inspired by a column by sportswriter Rick Reilly, Nothing But Nets’ founding partners include the people of The United Methodist Church, the United Nations Foundation, the National Basketball Association’s NBA Cares and Sports Illustrated. To date, Nothing But Nets has raised $25 million, enabling the distribution of 2.5 million bed nets.
Seven-year old Hannah Skelton of Caldwell United Methodist Church in Caldwell, N.J., raised $400 for Nothing But Nets after she learned of the plight of children in Africa from her pastor, the Rev. Jeff Markay. “He told us kids were dying … and I really wanted to help,” Hannah said.
Hannah emptied her piggy banks and scoured the house to find spare coins when her parents promised to match whatever she could raise. Then she began calling family members and friends to ask if they could help her raise money for nets. “Nets can help because mosquitoes can’t get in the nets,” Hannah said.
When Hannah took the money to the bank and shared her story with the bank teller, she got $10 more. Hannah is continuing her quest to raise money and says she will continue to give through her allowance. “I am trying to get everyone in Africa to have a mosquito net,” she said.
More information on malaria or making a contribution to Nothing But Nets is available at or by calling 888-252-6174. Donors support this life-saving ministry through The Advance.


New Web site offers Rethink Church resources for churches, annual conferences

By Diane Degnan

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — United Methodists can find resources for Rethink Church at a new Web site,

As the next evolution of the denomination’s “Open hearts” advertising and welcoming campaign, Rethink Church seeks to redefine the church experience beyond the church doors and invite people to become engaged in the world.

“We hope Rethink Church will cause people inside the church to reassess what it means to be people of faith,” said the Rev. Larry Hollon, chief executive of United Methodist Communications. “This campaign is an invitation to a revolutionary conversation about what it means to be people in mission. It’s more than rethinking. It’s a radical return to understanding what the Gospel is for us in our day.”

National advertising will begin April 20, though the campaign’s official launch date is May 6.
The Web site offers both annual conferences and congregations resources for getting started, including a bishops’ task list, a Rethink Church 101 guide, an FAQ and a conference-level launch strategy. The site also describes Rethink Church training opportunities available in the areas of welcoming, connecting and identifying.

In addition, offers downloadable tools, such as videos and graphics. A lectionary resource provides thematic ideas, along with Scripture verses to use in exploring those themes. Ideas also include how to illustrate themes with worship visuals, décor, video clips and activities.

Also accessible through is United Methodist Communication’s Igniting Ministry Team, which, in addition to coordinating advertising content and training, continues to manage the matching media grant program.

“Many churches are already outward focused and inviting people to become engaged in the world as an expression of faithful discipleship as a follower of Jesus,” Hollon said. “The church is a base of operation for expressing faith. Rethink Church extends an invitation for all of us to consider moving out of the doors and into the world and being a part of the co-creation with God who is transforming the world.”

Rethink Church products are also available at, including free Rethink Church brochures and DVDs. Red Rethink Church T-shirts are available for $10 in sizes small to 2x. Rethink Church buttons are available in quantities of 20 for $10.


Church profile updates needed for find-a-church program

By Caryl Kelley**

LAKELAND, Fla. — The United Methodist Church’s Rethink Church campaign is working to redefine the church experience as one that extends beyond the doors of the church into the world. The thought is that there are many “doors” through which to enter church life beyond just the door to the sanctuary. 

The Rethink Church advertising campaign resource materials at will be introducing people to a new theme designed for seekers called Through this Web site seekers will be able to see the many “doors” available for entry into church life that match their own interests and preferences.

In order to find a church that meets certain needs, the site will direct people to the Find-a-Church feature, a database of more than 35,000 United Methodist churches. Users can search the database of churches by geographic location, congregation size, language and ethnicity, programs and services, church activities, and more.

Beyond knowing the address of a church, seekers will need to know what the church is all about and which “door” they can enter. A church can be the most welcoming church in the world, but some people may never make it through the door if they don’t get an idea of where they can belong.

Church leaders can help by updating their church profile at Here, information about a church’s specific age level ministries, church service times, community outreach programs, a photo of church or any other important information can be added.


ZOE Ministry offers summer mission moments

By Susan Graebe**

CLAYTON, N.C. — This summer, ZOE (Zimbabwe Orphans Endeavor) Ministry is offering daily vacation Bible school (VBS) mission supplements consisting of five sessions lasting five minutes each.

The mission moments feature pictures and videos of orphaned children in ZOE Ministry programs. The content encourages children in the United States to reach out and share their resources with children in Africa.

The VBS packets can be requested by e-mailing Requests should include a contact name, e-mail, phone, church name, and mailing address, including zip code.

ZOE Ministry is sharing Christ and giving hope to children who have been orphaned by HIV/AIDS and genocide. Projects are currently offered in Zimbabwe, Zambia, Rwanda and Kenya. ZOE offers medical care, food relief, education, clothing and life-skills training. ZOE Ministry is an official Advance project of the General Board of Global Ministries of The United Methodist Church.

More information about ZOE Ministry is available at


Nominees sought for distinguished evangelist award

By Caryl Kelley

LAKELAND, Fla. — The Foundation for Evangelism is seeking nominations for the 2009 Distinguished Evangelist of The United Methodist Church Award.

This award, first presented in 1989, recognizes a United Methodist clergy- or layperson for extraordinary accomplishments in helping people experience God’s transforming love through Jesus Christ. 

The Distinguished Evangelist of The United Methodist Church Award is one way in which The Foundation for Evangelism supports the development of leaders with a passion for evangelism who have a multiplying impact on The United Methodist Church. With this honor, the Foundation highlights an individual whose personal ministry in evangelism is recognized throughout the denomination. 
The recipient must be a United Methodist clergy- or layperson now living who has made extraordinary accomplishments helping people experience God’s love through Jesus Christ in the Wesleyan tradition; an individual devoted in mind and heart to a holistic evangelism that incorporates both the personal and social aspects of the Christian faith; a person whose service to The United Methodist Church has been marked by loyalty and effectiveness; and an individual whose personal life reflects the quality and attractiveness of the Christian religion at its best.

Nominations may be submitted at More information about the award and the process for nomination is also available on the site or by calling 800-737-8333. The deadline for nominations is June 1.


Support materials available for Peace with Justice Sunday

By Caryl Kelley

LAKELAND, Fla. — Support materials to help educate congregations about Peace with Justice Sunday June 7, the first Sunday after Pentecost, are now available online.

Materials may be accessed at by choosing “Special Sundays,” then Peace with Justice Sunday.

A list of resources is also available, as well as a link to the online store where additional free printed resources can be ordered. Resources can also be ordered by phone at 888-346-3862.

Included in the resources is a children’s sermon that offers suggestions on talking with children about Peace with Justice; a page of worship resources, including a call to worship, hymns and prayers; a downloadable 2009 Peace with Justice Sunday poster and bulletin inserts in color or black and white; and a video titled “Forgive the World,” which features the facets of Peace with Justice Sunday, including peace education and reconciliation work around the world, cross-cultural reconciliation and help for those in war torn areas.

To help motivate church members to participate in Special Sundays, the Rev. Jane Follmer Zekoff shares her experience and expertise on promoting Special Sundays. A fact sheet of helpful “Talking Points” is included.


Stewardship conference offers ministry resources

By Caryl Kelley

LAKELAND, Fla. — The National Association of United Methodist Foundations is sponsoring “Ministry Resources for Challenging Times,” an event featuring Lovett Weems, Ken Carter and Val Walker.

The June 23-25 conference in San Antonio, Texas, is the fourth annual Summer Stewardship Gathering. It is designed specifically for those in stewardship ministry.

All sessions will take place at Alamo Heights United Methodist Church in San Antonio ( Housing will be at the Marriott Residence Inn Airport, both just minutes from San Antonio Airport.

A brochure outlining the event schedule and a separate registration form are available by contacting Joyce Russell at Texas Methodist Foundation at 800-933-5502 or

The registration fee is $125 by April 30 or $150 May 1-June 1. Registration forms should be sent with checks made payable to Texas Methodist Foundation. The regular registration deadline is June 1.

Hotel information is included in the brochure. Attendees must make their own reservations at 800-331-3131 by June 1 to receive the hotel’s special group rate.


Florida man to speak at national gathering of United Methodist Men

By Rich Peck**

NASHVILLE, Tenn. –– Dr. Patrick Morley, author of “The Man in the Mirror,” a book that sold 3 million copies, will be one of three principal speakers at the Tenth National Gathering of United Methodist Men in Nashville.

Some 5,000 men are expected to attend the July 10-11 event at Belmont University in Nashville.
In 1973 Morley founded Morley Properties, which, for several years, was hailed as one of Florida’s 100 largest privately held companies. During this time he was the president or managing partner of 59 companies and partnerships.

In 1991 Morley sold his business and founded Man in the Mirror, an Orlando, Fla.-based organization that helps men find meaning and purpose in life. The ministry trains and provides resources to help church leaders reach men more effectively.
Every Friday morning since 1986 Morley has taught a Bible study to 150 businessmen in Orlando. The study is webcast throughout the United States and 72 countries.

“The ministry of Man in the Mirror exists in answer to the prayers of all those wives, mothers, and grandmothers who have for decades been praying for the men in their lives,” Morley says.
Morley graduated with honors from the University of Central Florida, which selected him to receive its Distinguished Alumnus Award in 1984. He studied at Harvard Business School and Oxford University. He graduated from Reformed Theological Seminary, earned a doctorate in management at Walden University and received an honorary doctorate from Belhaven College.
For sport he races a 1974 Porsche 911. He lives in Winter Park, Fla., with his wife, Patsy. The couple has two adult children.
Other speakers at the event include Chicago Area Bishop Hee-Soo Jung and the Rev. Kevass Harding, pastor of a Wichita, Kan., congregation that grew from 25 members to more than 800 in eight years.

While the event officially closes July 11, people staying over in Nashville may attend a July 12 morning worship service led by Bishop William W. Morris, a retired United Methodist bishop residing in the Nashville area.
Musicians for the event include Vince Gill, a two-time Country Music Association Entertainer of the Year award winner, and Steve Hornbeak, a Nashville-based recording artist who has appeared with David Letterman, Jay Leno, and Ellen DeGeneres.
Details and registration information are available at or by calling 866-297-4313 or 615-340-7145.

School of Congregational Development ready to renew church

By Caryl Kelley

LAKELAND, Fla. — The 2009 School of Congregational Development will bring together hundreds of church leaders looking to renew their congregations and create new ones.

Jointly sponsored by the United Methodist general boards of Discipleship (GBOD) and Global Ministries, this year’s school takes place in Evanston, Ill., July 29-Aug. 2.

The Northern Illinois Annual Conference and Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary are serving as this year’s hosts. Bishop Hee-Soo Jung, episcopal leader of the Chicago Area, will be part of the event leadership. Speakers and leaders include the Rev. Mike Slaughter of Ginghamsburg United Methodist Church in Tipp City, Ohio; Bishop James E. Swanson Sr. of the Holston Area (East Tennessee and surrounding areas); Dr. Laceye Warner of Duke Divinity School; Dr. Cecilia Harris of Chicago; and Dr. Irving Cotto, director of congregational development for the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference.

Ministry tracts provide training targeted to the specific needs of attendees, who come from a variety of congregations and leadership roles. The school has also developed ministry tracks for bishops, superintendents and other conference leaders in congregational development. This enables bishops to join their cabinet leadership in learning and planning how they will strengthen congregations in their area.

This year the topics include “Living Out the Wesleyan Way,” “Effective Cross-Cultural Outreach” and “Identifying Your Congregational DNA.”

The cost for the full event is $375 by May 1, $425 by June 15 or $475 until event starts.

More information about the School of Congregational Development is available at or on the school’s Facebook group (by choosing “groups” and typing School of Congregational Development). Questions may also be directed to GBOD at 877-899-2780.


News media contact: Tita Parham, 800-282-8011,, Orlando

*Parham is managing editor of e-Review Florida United Methodist News Service.
**Degnan is a staff member in the public information office at United Methodist Communications in Nashville, Tenn.
   Kelley is subscription manager, photographer and contributing writer for e-Review Florida United Methodist News Service.
   Peck is part-time communications director for the General Commission on United Methodist Men in Nashville, Tenn., and communications coordinator and editor of UM Men magazine.  
   Susan Graebe is associate director of ZOE Ministry in Clayton, N.C.