United Methodist News
By United Methodist News Service
Newspaper ad calls for more humane treatment by U.S.
An ad calling for the elimination of torture and cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment as part of U.S. policy ran in the New York Times June 13. Sponsored by the National Religious Campaign Against Torture, the ad is signed by 27 religious leaders, including former President Jimmy Carter and United Methodist Rev. Joseph Lowery, co-founder of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. The ad states: “Torture violates the basic dignity of the human person that all religions, in their highest ideals, hold dear. It degrades everyone involved — policy makers, perpetrators and victims. It contradicts our nation’s most cherished ideals. Any policies that permit torture and inhumane treatment are shocking and morally intolerable.”
Indiana conferences move closer toward merger with June 10 vote
The North Indiana and South Indiana United Methodist annual conferences are a step closer to uniting into one conference following an affirmative vote tallied from both annual conferences, and announced June 10. Indiana Area Bishop Michael Coyner will appoint a task force to develop a plan for uniting the two conferences for a recommendation to the 2007 Indiana annual gatherings.
Liberia’s Ganta Mission Station seeks help keeping doors open
The United Methodist-related Ganta Mission Station, including Ganta Hospital, in northeastern Liberia needs funding assistance for its general operations. Funds are particularly needed for fuel to operate the generators; building supplies to continue the renovation of the residential areas and institutions; tools and equipment for use in the shops; and spare parts to maintain the mission. Contributions can be made to the United Methodist Board of Global Ministries Advance Special Program, Ganta United Methodist Mission Station, #14369T. Donations can be dropped in church collection plates or mailed to Advance GCFA, P.O. Box 9068, GPO New York, NY 10087-9068. Credit-card donations can be made online through the Advance at http://www.umcmission.org/Give-to-Mission/The-Advance or by calling toll-free (888) 252-6174.
National church choir contest seeks to find ‘Voices of Joy’
A contest is under way to find the most exciting church choir in America. The competition, called “Voices of Joy,” is being held through regional competitions in 12 cities through September: New York, Boston, Detroit, Chicago, Miami, Atlanta, Dallas, Houston, Philadelphia, Washington, Los Angeles and Seattle. The winning choir from each city will compete in a multi-episode television series and will win $25,000 in educational scholarships for that choir’s church. The ultimate winner will receive a $500,000 scholarship for that choir’s church. The contest was created and funded by Mike Ilitch, founder of Little Caesar’s Pizza and owner of the Detroit Red Wings in Detroit.