Score big for kids


Insecticide-treated bed nets can save children in Africa who now are dying of malaria at the rate of 1 million each year.


Rick Reilly, a Sports Illustrated columnist, had the idea for Nothing But Nets, encouraging readers to give money to the United Nations Foundation after he learned of the malaria death toll. In his column, he wrote, “send 10 bucks and maybe you could save a life." In a few months, more than 17,000 people sent $1.2 million. 


Because of the established effectiveness of The United Methodist Church in community-based health initiatives, we were invited to the emerging partnership. Partners now include Sports Illustrated, The United Methodist Church, the UN Foundation, the National Basketball Association, Millennium Promise and Measles Initiative. The collaboration is expanding, with enthusiasm growing, particularly in relationship to youth ministry involvement across our church.


Nothing But Nets is an example of the intersection of giftedness and concern and compassion and faith with the stark needs of our world. It is the United Methodist way to respect one another and to honor differences while living in unity and working together purposefully, faithfully and effectively.


The Council of Bishops, meeting in Mozambique Oct. 30-Nov. 6, issued a call to action to 8 million United Methodist people around the globe to unite in the effort to eradicate the killer diseases of poverty – malaria and HIV/AIDS.


Along with Reilly, we offer the invitation: “if you have ever gotten a thrill by throwing, kicking, knocking, dunking, slamming, putting up, cutting down or jumping over a net,” go to the United Methodist Church section of to become involved, to make a donation, to save a life. 


There is amazing intersection emerging around nets, simple nets. Let us watch for other intersections. All around us, as we are alert, we see at the intersections surprising opportunities to love God faithfully and to love God’s people well.