National News Briefs


Compiled by United Methodist News Service

Pastor wins peace award
An Irish Methodist pastor who spent years working to end sectarian violence in Northern Ireland will receive the 2007 World Methodist Peace Award. The Rev. Harold Good, 70, will receive the award during a Dec. 8 ceremony at Knock Methodist Church in Belfast. The award is given by the World Methodist Council to individuals or groups who have made significant contributions to peace, justice and reconciliation. A former president of the Methodist Church in Ireland, Good is being honored for his role in working for stability and peace in Northern Ireland, according to the Rev. George Freeman, the council’s executive director. Good was one of two witnesses, along with Catholic Priest Alec Reid, to the de-commissioning of the Irish Republican Army’s arsenal of weapons. On Sept. 26, 2005, they verified the conclusion of John de Chastelain, a retired Canadian general, that the IRA’s weapons had been destroyed.


Outreach holds celebration
More than 400 supporters of a United Methodist mission outreach to West Africa packed a suburban Indianapolis banquet hall Oct. 28 to celebrate 20 years of educational and medical ministries in two countries torn by civil war. Operation Classroom was designed originally as a partnership linking the United Methodist Board of Global Ministries and the church’s Liberia and Sierra Leone annual conferences with the two Indiana annual conferences to upgrade secondary education in the West African countries. Today, Indiana’s Operation Classroom works with 15 elementary and secondary schools, one college and two United Methodist-related hospitals in Liberia and Sierra Leone.


Planting seeds for GC 2008
To Marcia McFee (right), nothing exemplifies the Holy Spirit blossoming better than seeds. In fact, United Methodists throughout Fort Worth and Dallas are planting McFee’s seeds – literally – to prepare for the denomination’s 2008 General Conference April 23-May 2 at the Fort Worth Convention Center. As co-music director of the event along with Mark Miller, McFee is distributing hundreds of seed packets to the Central Texas and North Texas annual conferences. She hopes congregants will plant the seeds and bring the seedlings to General Conference as symbols of a unifying force in the global denomination.


Bishop receives Nets gift
At the close of its 2007 annual meeting, the National Association of United Methodist Foundations presented Bishop W. Edward Paup with a $3,500 gift for the Nothing But Nets campaign to combat malaria. More than 80 representatives of the association’s 63 member foundations attended the two-day conference in Seattle. NAUMF member organizations provide a variety of stewardship, planned giving and investment ministries to local congregations, conferences and areas, general boards and agencies and a wide variety of United Methodist institutions and ministries.