Rethink Church launch events set for NYC, DC

United Methodist Communications
Office of Public Information
810 12th Avenue S.
Nashville, TN 37203

April 17, 2009

Rethink Church launch events set for NYC, DC

Conferences, churches urged to participate locally

Nashville: May 5 and 6 marks the kickoff of Rethink Church, the next evolution of The United Methodist Church's "Open hearts" welcoming campaign. Major events will take place in New York City and Washington, D.C., and local churches and annual conferences are encouraged to put on events to benefit their communities, too.

"If we are to Rethink Church, we must rethink what it means be a servant community," said the Rev. Larry Hollon, chief executive of United Methodist Communications.

Many United Methodist bishops from around the world will mark the launch on May 5 when they visit day laborers at three sites in and around Washington, D.C., in conjunction with the Council of Bishops meeting. The bishops will serve breakfast to the laborers, and will offer conversation and prayer.

On May 6, more than 100 United Methodists will take to the streets of New York City to perform random acts of kindness. That includes hailing cabs, opening doors, and more. Those street teams will also give away iTune cards good for one song download that promote, a new Web site to which The United Methodist Church is directing persons unaffiliated with the denomination, via Rethink Church advertising.

Local churches and annual conferences can participate in launch events, as well. Already, the North Texas Annual Conference has aligned a housing renovation project with the Rethink Church launch. More events are being added daily.

Resources for conferences and churches are available at, a Web site that offers tools and resources to United Methodists for the Rethink Church launch. Just added to the site's "Getting Started" area is new information on how congregations can get involved, including tips for launch-date activities. Also included is a conference- and church-level strategy for staging random acts of kindness events, similar to the event scheduled for New York City. Ideas range from cleaning up graffiti to bagging groceries.

Rethink Church launch events seek to make tangible the messaging found within The United Methodist Church's Rethink Church advertising, which begins on April 20, and officially kicks off on May 5. United Methodist Communications (UMCom), the communications agency of the denomination, oversees the Rethink Church advertising and welcoming program, and provides Rethink Church training, media, and public relations support services to United Methodist congregations and conferences worldwide.

Media Contact: Diane Degnan
(615) 742-5406 (office)
(615) 483-1765 (cell)

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