News Briefs 7/16/2008

7/15/2008

By United Methodist News Service

Eastern Pennsylvania man chosen for top GCFA post
The agency overseeing the finances of The United Methodist Church has elected a church treasurer from Eastern Pennsylvania as its new chief executive.

Moses Kumar, 54, of Jeffersonville, Pa., was elected as the sixth general secretary of the General Council on Finance and Administration on July 8 during a special session of its board. He officially begins his tenure on Sept. 1. He will be responsible for overseeing the Nashville-based agency that coordinates and administers finances for the 11.5 million-member worldwide denomination, as well as safeguarding its legal interests and rights.

Kumar replaces Sandra Lackore, who retired at the close of 2007 after heading the council for 12 years.

With more than 32 years of ministry experience, Kumar has served the past eight years as treasurer and executive director of administrative ministries for the Eastern Pennsylvania Annual Conference. He previously worked at Palmer Theological Seminary in Wynnewood, Pa., where he was vice president for finance and operations.

“I firmly believe that God has called me and provided me with a path to this time and place of global ministry,” Kumar said in a prepared statement. “As general secretary of GCFA, I will fully engage my leadership talents to guide the council in fulfilling its ministry of administration.

“I firmly believe that God has called me and provided me with a path to this time and place of global ministry.”

UM agencies express their ‘disappointment’ with ruling
Two United Methodist agencies, disappointed with a U.S. Supreme Court decision on handgun ownership, are urging church members to advocate for legislation that would tighten federal laws on gun control. In a joint statement July 1, the United Methodist Board of Church and Society and the Commission on Religion and Race said they were “deeply disappointed by the U.S. Supreme Court decision to strip local municipalities of the right to enact sensible and necessary gun restriction laws.” A week earlier, the Supreme Court voted 5-4 that a Washington, D.C., ban on handgun ownership was unconstitutional. “The Supreme Court’s decision stands in direct contrast to the stance of our denomination,” the church agencies said. The denomination’s top legislative assembly, the 2008 General Conference, condemned gun violence last spring.

UMCOR seeks flood buckets financial help for Midwest
United Methodists are urged to help in the response to the recent Midwest floods by sending flood buckets, bulk materials or a contribution to purchase supplies to UMCOR. To donate, drop checks in church offering plates or mail them to UMCOR, P.O. Box 9068, New York, NY 10087. Write Advance #901670 Domestic Disaster Response, Midwest Floods, on the memo line. Credit-card donations can be made by calling (800) 554-8583 or at www.givetomission.org.