The Monthly Update

June 2004 Update

 Bits and Pieces from across the United Methodist Church

 "Are you in the wilderness today? If you are, you're probably right where God wants you to be! Only in the empty, lonely, desert places of life do we learn how to trust God completely. In the desert we die to self and to the world. In the desert we are tested and strengthened for ministry."

- "The Cornerstone", The Reverend Ben Sharpe, November 14, 1996

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Of Interest.

+ Wrap-up: 2004 General Conference

Following are some General Conference issues not covered or with supplemental information in the General Conference edition of The Christian Methodist Newsletter:

- The 2004 General Conference included the most non-U.S. delegates in UM church history, though there were times when there were struggles to hear voices from the central conferences. The Central Conference Communication Initiative  was reduced by the General Council on Finance and Administration to $1 million. A Global Education Fund was first reduced to $4 million. In other issues of international concern, the conference passed without  debate a resolution on May 5 stating that the United States should end the practice of both blocking and detaining Haitian asylum seekers. A new and related resolution on "Refugees, Immigrants, and Visitors to the United States" notes that the events of  Sept. 11, 2001, have provided a basis for unjust treatment of some immigrants and made it difficult for some visitors to enter the country.

- On May 1, General Conference approved a petition 624-184 that added language to the Social Principles in support of "laws in civil society that define marriage as the union of one man and one woman."                                                                              - Newscope; May 28, 2004.

- Delegates voted 672-164 to permit a new Cote d'Ivoire [Ivory Coast] Episcopal Area. It consists of over one million new members.

- Role of Bishops. Going into the 2004 General Conference, several issues affecting the episcopal role were set to come before the body. The first question was addressed in the opening debate on conference rules that bishops chair the conference's legislative committees. As soon as debate was open, David L. Severe, a member of the rules committee, moved to amend the rules to enable the committee to elect its chair from within its membership as with past general conferences: passed 493-418.

     The conference also had to address a proposal from the General Council on Finance and Administration to reduce the number of bishops eligible for election in each jurisdiction by one. Becky Haase, California-Pacific Conference, when making the presentation for the Conferences Legislative Committee, said that the legislative committee thought "we need to do much more in terms of studying the episcopacy rather than just deal with numbers and boundaries." She continued by saying, "The Council of Bishops have also been discussing this and have themselves expressed a need for study." The plenary adopted the proposal for a study committee, 817-79, on May 6. The legislative committee and plenary also had made changes in order to prevent any single jurisdiction or central conference from having its eligible number of bishops reduced in two consecutive quadrennia. The motion to refer passed 485-423. The body also referred a proposal from the Council of Bishops that would enable it to elect a full-time executive. the plenary decided 478-430 to refer to the study committee.

     Also in the scope of the task force on the episcopacy are the bishops' general church responsibilities, role of  retired bishops, jurisdictional and central conference boundaries, compensation and the demand on the Episcopal Fund, and the possibility of episcopal term limits. The task force, which has been allotted $147,000 for its work, will report back to the General Conference in 2008.


- The 2004 General Conference is now on record as supporting the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice. In a 480-350 decision on the evening of the last day, the conference affirmed the membership of the General Board of Church and Society and the Women's Division, General Board of Global Ministries, in the coalition. Lyn A. Powell, North Georgia Conference, spoke against the resolution, saying that the coalition is in conflict with the Discipline, particularly its stance on abortion. Beth Capen, New York Conference, countered the argument, saying, "After our last General Conference, the coalition conformed to their advocacy to that which we had passed." Language on abortion in 6 161J of the Social Principles was amended by the General Conference to include the sentence, "We particularly encourage the church, the government, and social service agencies to support and facilitate the option of adoption." A new resolution, "Ministry to Those Who Regret a Past Abortion," encourages pastors and local churches to make referrals and information available for those seeking help with "post-abortion stress."

- The UMC spoke out against the abuse of prisoners in Iraq during the final minutes of the General Conference: 637-127.

- The General Conference also adopted without debate an amended version of a resolution on nuclear deterrence. The new statement, proposed by an education and advocacy group called Methodists United for Peace and Justice, criticizes the policies of President George W. Bush's administration. "These policies undermine the intent of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and increase the risk that nuclear weapons will actually be used," the conference said. The body called upon the General Board of Church and Society to create an annual "report card" on how nations are addressing the issues in the resolution.

- A new resolution adopted by the General Conference opposes all unilateral first-strike actions and "calls on the president and Congress of the United States to cease and desist from such actions without ratification by, and collaboration with, the United Nations." Another new resolution supports the development of a Department of Peace by the U.S. government. A bill that would establish such a department, H.R. 2459, has been introduced in the House of Representatives.

 - Linda Bloom; United Methodist News Service (UMNS); General Conference Newsroom; {GC04109}; May. 10, 2004.

- United Methodists denounce Native American sports mascots.  United Methodist agencies and other organizations are not to conduct meetings or hold events in cities where professional sports teams use Native American mascots Delegates to the 2004 United Methodist General Conference rejected the use of Native American names and symbols for sport teams, calling the practice dehumanizing and a blatant expression of racism. It called upon all churchwide agencies, annual conferences and other United Methodist-related entities to hold meetings and events only in cities that do not sponsor sport teams using Native American names and symbols.

- UMNS; Nashville {04202}; May. 13, 2004.

- Church asks for new U.S. policy on Haitian asylum seekers. The General Conference passed a resolution May 5 stating that the United States should end the practice of both blocking and detaining Haitian asylum seekers. The resolution cited the unstable and often violent conditions in the Caribbean nation. The church encouraged Washington to give Haitian asylum seekers full access to the process for seeking asylum and to increase resettlement opportunities in the United States. The United Methodists also asked the U.S. government to assist Haitian asylum seekers who have fled into the Dominican Republic, which shares the island with Haiti.

- Elliott Wright; UMNS; Nashville {04203}; May 13, 2004.

- Conference Decides Against Expanding Voting Rights. A petition that would have expanded the voting rights of most clergy not in full connection to include voting for delegates to general, jurisdictional, and central conferences was referred to the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry. Submitted by the Missouri Conference Board of Ordained Ministry, the petition sought to amend the UM constitution to enable associate members and local pastors who have completed the Course of Study to be able to vote for delegates, though only those in full connection would be eligible for election. The General Conference legislative committee supported expanding the voting rights further to include probationary members. However, on the evening of May 6, delegates to the 2004 conference decided 472-340 that GBHEM should study the question and report to the 2008 conference. In speaking to the committee's recommendation, Norman H. Coleman III of West Ohio said that clergy not in full connection "make up a vital part of United Methodist ministry" but need to have someone to consider as their "elected representative." David L. Severe of Oklahoma, in making the motion to refer, said that this resolution would "move away from our historic position with respect to who has rights to do certain things."                                                                                                                                                                                - Newscope; May 28, 2004.

- General Conference Elects Four to University Senate. Four persons were elected to the UM University Senate by delegates to General Conference. David Maldonado Jr., president of Iliff School of Theology in Denver, and Socorro Brito de Anda, president of Lydia Patterson Institute in El Paso, Texas, were elected in the category of chief executive officers of UM higher education institutions. Rebekah Miles, professor of ethics and UM doctrine at Perkins School of Theology in Dallas, and L. Gregory Jones, vice president of the Association of UM Theological Schools, were elected in the category of persons holding positions relevant to academic or financial affairs or church relationships.                                   - Susanne Whorl, UMNS. Taken from Newscope; May 28, 2004.


- Church creates Connectional Table to lead general agency work. The Connectional Table that was approved May 5 by delegates to the church's General Conference is substantially different from the model proposed by the denomination's General Council on Ministries. The legislative committee that processed the Council on Ministries proposal essentially set that plan aside and came up with an alternate Connectional Table that is smaller and less costly. The Table will begin operating next Jan. 1 - 2 years sooner than the date in the Council on Ministries' proposal. The Council on Ministries will go out of existence at the end of a transition period.

     The table will have 47 members, compared with about 130 in the council's proposal.  The Rev. Deborah McLeod, Florida, who presented the successful proposal, said the new table would be holistic, collaborative, diverse and functional. "It's a small table, and it will work." The General Administration Committee's goal was not to create a new general agency, she said. "We do not see this as one giant super agency. It is a place for collaboration, conversation and decision."

     Bishop Edward Paup, president of the Council of Ministries, urged the delegates to adopt the original proposal, known as "Living Into the Future." "We have believed through this process that there is a disconnect at the general church level, especially between decisions made about our resources, our money, and decisions made about our ministry and mission."

The "Living Into the Future" plan would have combined the functions of the Council on Ministries and the Council on Finance and Administration, bringing mission and money to the same table, and both agencies would have gone out of existence. Paup said the other proposal "does not connect the connection."

     Under the successful proposal, the Council on Finance and Administration will remain intact. The new table's members will consist of:

+ 28 people elected through jurisdictional and central conferences. One will come from each of the seven central conferences - regional units of the church in Africa, Asia and Europe - and a total of 21 will come from the five U.S. jurisdictional conferences. The jurisdictional members are to represent the proportionate membership of each jurisdiction based on combined clergy and lay membership.

+ An "effective bishop," selected by the Council of Bishops. The bishop will be the chairperson of the table.

+ The presidents of most of the church's general agencies: the Board of Church and Society, Board of Discipleship, Board of Global Ministries, Board of Higher Education and Ministry, Commission on Christian Unity and Interreligious Concerns, Commission on Religion and Race, Commission on the Status and Role of Women, Commission on United Methodist Men, Commission on Communications, Commission on Archives and History, and Council on Finance and Administration.

+ One youth and one young adult from the new Division on Ministries with Young People.

+ A member from each of the denomination's racial-ethnic caucuses.

+ The general secretaries of the agencies named above, as well as the general secretary of the Board of Pension and Health Benefits and the president and publisher of the United Methodist Publishing House. The general secretaries and Publishing House president will have voice but not vote.

     The new table is to be half laity, half clergy; half female, half male; not less than 30 percent members of racial-ethnic minority groups (excluding central conference members) and at least 10 percent youth and young adults. The Connectional Table will determine its own internal structure and staff needs.           

 - Tim Tanton; UMNS; General Conference Newsroom {GC04804}; May. 6, 2004.


+ Division, Unity Debate Continues as Annual Conferences Begin.

In a statement released May 20, the Good News board of directors spoke in support of the unity statement adopted by General Conference and called all to follow church law and doctrinal standards as a necessity to attain that unity.

     Earlier this spring, Karen Oliveto of Bethany UMC in San Francisco married nine same-sex couples. She awaits resolution of an official complaint against her.

     While the UMC proclaimed its unity by an overwhelming majority of the General Conference, some of those who raised the idea of a split have now given their viewpoint as to what "unity" means. "We just want to be sure that the church is really serious about being unified and our leadership willing to do those things that would help us be, in reality, a unified church," said James V. Heidinger II, president and publisher of Good News. "Just claiming we are unified or passing a unity resolution can be just wishful thinking if we fail to abide by the guidelines of our covenant." The Good News board called upon the various conferences to follow church law and doctrine. "We call upon them to uphold our covenant and mission, despite disagreements over the issue of homosexuality," the board's statement said. The statement went on to say that unity cannot be attained when gays and lesbians are appointed as pastors or when persons "perform homosexual unions or marriages.'"

     In the Pacific Northwest Conference, those who disagreed with the acquittal of Dammann are expressing their concern that the conference has "broken covenant with our General Conference."                          - Newscope; May 28, 2004.


+ Research Reveals Ministers' Favorites Among Various Bible Versions.

A new study shows that, although there are many different Bible versions available, the market continues to be dominated by just five. The study by Ellison Research found that the Bible version most likely to be used by pastors in their work is the New International Version (NIV). In fact, 31 percent of pastors favored the NIV, followed by the King James, the New Revised Standard, the New King James, and the New American Standard Version.

     The study was conducted among a representative sample of 700 senior pastors throughout the United States. Ron Sellers, president of Ellison Research, says the survey found that ministers tend to select their preferred Bible versions based on perceived accuracy of the translation and its readability. Sellers points out that many of the newer versions and translations of the Bible have yet to make significant inroads into the market. Meanwhile, he says, "When you take everything other than those [aforementioned versions], just 9% of all Protestant ministers rely on anything other than the big five, if you will. So it was a bit of a surprise that other ones have really done very little to impact the clergy market."

     The study also revealed that there is "tremendous variation denominationally in what Bibles are used by ministers as well as what Bibles they would recommend to their congregation," Sellers says. He notes that different denominations appear to have obvious favorites. "Number one among the Pentecostal churches was the King James Version -- it almost wasn't mentioned among Methodists," the researcher notes. "The New American Standard was very popular among Southern Baptists," he adds, "and among Lutherans it was fairly popular, but it was not one of the most popular versions among Methodists and Pentecostals."                                                          - Allie Martin; AgapePress; May 11, 2004.


Annual Conference Reports.

Red Bird Missionary Conference met May 14-15. Bishop James R. King Jr. presided over the Red Bird missionary Conference session held at Hope UMC, Frakes, Ky. Members adopted a revised constitution and by-laws of the Red Bird Missionary Conference and began formalizing the Red Bird Missionary Conference Strategic Plan for mission and ministry for the next quadrennium. The conference raised $13,663.60 for "Missions with Uganda." A Service of Repentance and Reconciliation was held, and a report from the General Conference delegation was received. The 2005 budget for world service and programs was adopted with no increase over the 2004 budget. Membership is 1,367, up three from the previous year.                                                               - Ruth A. Wiertzema; Newscope; May 28, 2004.


Abortion, Assisted Suicide, Euthanasia & Other Life Issues.

...A pro-family group is hailing the introduction of a new bill in the U.S. legislature requiring that women seeking an abortion be informed about the pain their unborn child experiences during the lethal procedure. Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council joined Republican senators Sam Brownback and Jim Talent as well as Republican congressmen Christopher Smith, Joe Pitts (R-PA), Phil Crane, and Jo Ann Davis for the May 20 introduction of the Unborn Child Pain Awareness Act. The proposed law says that a woman who seeks to terminate the life of her unborn child 20 weeks or more after fertilization must be notified of the medical evidence that the child will experience pain, and the abortionist would be required to offer the mother anesthesia for the child. Recently, during the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban trial, pediatrician Dr. Kanwaljeet Anand testified that the procedure causes "severe and excruciating pain" to fetuses at this stage of development and beyond. Commenting on the bill, Senator Brownback noted, "We don't treat a dog or an animal that's slaughtered as inhumanely as we do a child that's being aborted that's over 20 weeks of age. So I'm really hopeful that we can get broad support for this." Perkins says the legislation, which falls into the "right to know" category, would send an important message, telling the unborn "... we see your pain and we will do what we would do for any American -- we will help."                                                                                                                         - AgapePress; May 24, 2004


(UM) Bishops.   Bishops call for U.N. role in Iraq, decry violence [Note: The following is an example of our UM leadership propounding on international political relations that exhibits their continuing support from a leftist bias.]

The United Methodist Church's bishops are urging the U.S. government to request help from the United Nations in establishing a transitional government in Iraq. In a May 11 resolution, the Council of Bishops said it "laments the continued warfare by the United States and coalition forces" in Iraq, noting that the cycle of violence has led to the "denigration of human dignity and gross violations of human rights of Iraqi prisoners of war."  The bishops say they pray for military personnel and their families, and ask that United Methodists pray for peace. The council also asks the U.S. government to "request that the United Nations become involved in the transition process to a new Iraqi government" and that a multinational development plan be started for rebuilding Iraq and other Middle Eastern nations.

     The statement comes a few days after the April 27-May 7 General Conference, the church's top legislative assembly and the only entity that speaks for the entire denomination. A group of bishops had drafted a resolution for the assembly to consider at its gathering in Pittsburgh, but the resolution didn't have enough votes to get on the floor.[I.e., The delegates recognized the lack of soundness in this statement. Our bishops are wont to take extreme political positions.]

     On May 5, the National Council of Churches USA issued a statement expressing sadness and indignation over the situation in Iraq. The NCC, which includes the United Methodist Church among its members, said U.S. actions have led to the alienation of many around the world. "It is time the United States takes actions that befit its place among the community of nations," the NCC said. [It needs to be restated that the NCC is a far-left political advocacy organization.]

     In their statement, the United Methodist bishops said the "continuing loss of Iraqi civilian lives, especially children, and the increasing death toll among United States, coalition military and civilian personnel in Iraq grieves the heart of God." They went on to note that "the premises advanced by the United States government for engaging in this war - namely, the presumption of weapons of mass destruction and the alleged connection between al-Qaida and Iraq - have not been verified." [In actuality, they have.] A full text of the council's statement follows: 


Resolution on the War in Iraq

Whereas, the prophet Micah reminds us that God "shall judge between many peoples, and shall arbitrate strong nations far away," and calls nations to "beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks," that nations will no longer "lift up sword against nation, and neither shall they learn war any more" (Micah 4:3); and

Whereas, The Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church states that "we deplore war" and "urge peaceful settlement of all disputes" (Para. 164G, The Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church 2000); and,

Whereas, the continuing loss of Iraqi civilian lives, especially children, and the increasing death toll among United States, coalition military and civilian personnel in Iraq grieves the heart of God; and,

Whereas, the premises advanced by the United States government for engaging in this war, namely, the presumption of weapons of mass destruction and alleged connection between Al Qaeda and Iraq have not been verified; and,

Whereas, the cycle of violence in which the United States is engaged has created a context for the denigration of human dignity and gross violations of human rights of Iraqi prisoners of war;

Therefore, The Council of Bishops of The United Methodist Church:

1.      Laments the continued warfare by the United States and coalition forces.

2.      Prays for military personnel and their families who have sacrificed as a result of this war and for a swift end to the destruction and violence raging in Iraq.

3.      Asks the United States government to request that the United Nations become involved in the transition process to a new Iraqi government.

4.      Requests the United Nations to establish a legitimate transitional government of Iraq to maintain the peace and safeguard sustainable development efforts.

5.      Calls for the rebuilding of Iraq and other nations in the Middle East through a multinational development plan that honors the participation of the peoples of the region and gives them hope for the future.

6.      Invites United Methodists throughout the world to pray for a new era of peace and to advocate for public policies that promote justice, life, and reconciliation among adversaries                               - Tim  Tanton; UMNS; Nashville {04200}; May. 11, 2004.


[This is just one example of poor use of the money that leaves the local church in the form of apportionments.]



+ Evangelical leaders say the American family will crumble unless Christians phone Congress to demand passage of a constitutional ban on homosexual marriage. The president of the National Association of Evangelicals, Rev. Ted Haggard, hosted a rally in Colorado that was broadcast via satellite to churches nationwide. He was joined by Focus on the Family founder James Dobson and other Christian leaders. Dobson said the Federal Marriage Amendment is currently supported by just 30 of the 67 senators it needs for passage. Unless that changes, he predicts that legalization of same-sex marriage will deprive children of the mother and father they need for role models. A black church leader, Bishop Wellington Boone, said homosexual marriage is not a civil rights issue, because he cannot "become white," but many people have left the homosexual lifestyle.

- Agapepress; May 24, 2004. This may be found at (


+ The four justices of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court who decided homosexual marriage should be legalized are coming under some sharp criticism, along with other judges around the U.S. who seem to be overstepping their constitutionally defined powers. Montana state legislator Jeff Laszloffy was one of many state lawmakers who came to the nation's capital last week to voice their concern over judicial activism. "I'm frankly appalled as a state legislator," he says, "that we have judges in many states who are not only making laws but setting public policy. That is a role constitutionally reserved to legislators. The actions of a few rogue courts have thrown the institution of marriage into chaos and turmoil." The Montana lawmaker says people in blue jeans should be determining public policy -- not people in black robes. In light of the legalization of same-sex marriage in Massachusetts, he wonders, "Do four members of a state supreme court have the authority to make such a far-reaching change in public policy? I would submit that they do not. Public policy should be set by the people either directly through the initiative process where possible, or indirectly through their elected representatives -- but not by the courts."                                               - AgapePress; May 24, 2004


+ The Salvation Army is vowing to stand by its Christian principles in a pending battle over the more than $250 million in contracts it has with New York City. The city is on the verge of passing a law which would force entities with city contracts to write same-sex benefits into their hiring policies. Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, says such laws illustrate several implications of legalized homosexual "marriage" -- the economic cost, the threat to religious liberty, and the willingness of homosexual activists to sacrifice the poor and needy to advance their agenda. "The bottom line," says Perkins, "is that religious organizations will either be forced to compromise their moral principles, or the neediest people in our nation's cities will be deprived of the effective services faith-based organizations can provide." New York City is the Salvation Army's largest area of ministry, with soup kitchens, thrift shops, and recovery centers ministering to tens of thousands a year. It would be devastating to the poor of the city if they had to leave. But Army spokesman Major George Hood says that they will not compromise. "Our existing policy is that we will not sign any contracts that require domestic-partner benefits, or contracts that force The Salvation Army to change its spiritual integrity," he states. "So I would imagine that we will hold to that policy." Hood says The Salvation Army would recoup as much of the money as possible through private donations.                                      - AgapePress; May 26, 2004.

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A few years ago during the furor over the exclusion of some favorite hymns from the proposed UM hymnal, a group of protesters filled the chapel at St. Luke's UMC in Tulsa, Oklahoma. UM pastor Larry Eisenberg said, "While they are setting up..., let's just sing a little." He then led them in a rousing chorus of "Onward Christian Soldiers." It was included in the new hymnal - the one we have now. Reverend Eisenberg was a member of Concerned Methodists. [Pastor Larry Eisenberg has since gone on to be with the Lord.]


Global Outlook


What's true of biology is also true of faith. If it isn't growing, it's probably dead.  The Daily Walk, December 15, 1992.

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Afghanistan. The UM Committee on Relief will refurbish up to 60 schools and health clinics in the Kabul region of Afghanistan with a grant valued at $4.6 million from the U.S. Agency for International Development. UMCOR has completed 200 houses in the Shomali Valley region and anticipates finishing another 140 houses in the coming months. As general contractor for the new project, UMCOR will subcontract work to local firms in the provinces of Kabul, Kapisa, and Parwan.                                                                                - Linda Beher, UMCOR. Newscope; May 28, 2004.


The Episcopal Church.

The divide between Anglicans in Africa and the Episcopal Church in the U.S. -- both members of the worldwide Anglican Communion -- continues to expand. A group of African and Asian archbishops have given the American church a three-month deadline to respond to their ultimatum: either the ECUSA must repent of its pro-homosexual policies, and specifically renounce the consecration of the openly homosexual Bishop V. Gene Robinson in New Hampshire, or face expulsion from the Anglican Communion. The archbishops are also calling on dioceses in Vancouver, British Columbia, to stop permitting church-sanctioned same-sex unions or expect to face disciplinary action. While the struggle may eventually lead to a split in the Communion, some pro-family advocates are encouraged to see a contingent of church leaders not only taking a stand on the cultural and moral issues of the day, but doing so despite the financial fallout their stand risks. According to Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council, "One positive outcome of the debate over same-sex marriage' is that it's becoming clearer and clearer which churches are willing to stand up for God's truth, and which ones are simply following politically correct agendas."                                                        - AgapePress, May 25, 2004.


Iraq.  A British foreign policy analyst says the United States and Great Britain, the two powers driving the war against terror, must remain dedicated to accomplishing their mission in Iraq -- and that failure would have would have a catastrophic effect on winning the war on terrorism. Dr. Nile Gardiner is the visiting fellow for Anglo-American security policy at the Heritage Foundation. The former advisor to Lady Margaret Thatcher recognizes that many in the U.S. and across the world are hesitant about using the necessary force to defeat terrorism. But Gardiner says failure is not an option. "If the efforts by the coalition in Iraq fail [and] if we see Iraq turning once again into a terrorist-supporting dictatorship, this would have a catastrophic effect for the wider war against terror," Gardiner says. "There's a huge amount at stake in Iraq. Iraq is really the central front of the war against international terrorism. And that's why we have to remain committed to winning the war on the ground." Gardiner says the reality of the situation is that the U.S. will have to maintain forces in Iraq for many years to come.                                                         - AgapePress, May 25, 2004.


Lithuania.  Three Lithuanian natives were appointed pastors by Bishop Oystein Olsen during the April 2004 district conference in Kaunas, Lithuania. "It is more than 70 years," according to Chet Cataldo, superintendent of the Lithuania District, "that a Lithuanian pastor was appointed to serve a United Methodist Church in this Baltic state." Reconstituted as a church within the denomination in August 1995, there are currently 12 UMCs in Lithuania. The church in Lithuania is one of the 11 mission initiatives of the General Board of Global Ministries and is served by five GBGM missionaries, including Cataldo.                                                                               - William K. Quick. Newscope; May 28, 2004.


The World Council of Churches.  The World Council of Churches is in the midst of its Decade to Overcome Violence, which calls churches, ecumenical organizations and people of good will to embrace creative approaches to peace building; collaborate with local communities to cultivate a culture of peace; and walk with people systematically oppressed by violence. The United Methodist Church is an active member of the council. In 2004, the focus for the Decade to Overcome Violence is on the United States - in part, because of the nation's historical struggle with violence and history of nonviolent movements, its enormous global influence and the role that its churches play in promoting social change.                                                                      - Linda Bloom; UMNS; New York {04205}; May. 17, 2004.

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Many open minds should be closed for repairs.As quoted in LoveLights newsletter, November 2001.