United Methodists Unite to Change the World

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

January19, 2010

United Methodists Unite to Change the World
Impact Your Community on April 24-25

Nashville: United Methodists everywhere are encouraged to begin planning now to join in Change the World, a church-wide event on April 24-25 that prompts members to join with others in the community to make a difference locally and globally.

During that weekend, United Methodist churches are encouraged to create and participate in a service or fundraising event that helps effect positive and long-lasting change, whether it's revitalizing a food-pantry program, creating a new ministry to help the homeless, or increasing awareness of global health issues like malaria. Churches can utilize existing ministries or initiate a new outreach event.

"Change the World challenges the people of The United Methodist Church to see the world holistically by giving and serving beyond the four walls of sanctuaries and Sunday school classrooms," said the Rev. Larry Hollon, chief executive of United Methodist Communications. "Our hope is that not only will church members participate, they will invite neighbors in the community to work side-by-side with them to make a sustainable difference in diverse ways."

On April 25, World Malaria Day, The United Methodist Church will formally launch a $75 million campaign calledImagine No Malaria to eradicate deaths caused by malaria. Churches are being asked to host events such as camp-outs to experience sleeping under bed nets like families in Africa who rely on mosquito netting for protection against malaria. These events will help raise awareness and funds that support Imagine No Malaria.

The April Change the World event was created as part of the Rethink Church campaign in partnership with the United Methodist Publishing House and Imagine No Malaria. The concept for Change the World originated with the Rev. Mike Slaughter, lead pastor at Ginghamsburg Church in Tipp City, Ohio, named one of the top 50 churches in the U.S. by Church Report. Last October, Slaughter hosted the Change the World conference and authoreda book by the same name that aligns with the vision of Rethink Church.

"The way we love is by serving people especially the poor and marginalized," said Rev. Slaughter. "The church in the world needs the reputation of being a community that helps people . . . a community of people that gives hope and that functions as salt and light in its neighborhood."

The Rethink Church campaign is seeking to utilize outreach events that embrace the concept of outward bound church to make a positive difference in the world beyond the church doors. Rethink Church advertising will complement the April events, giving churches an opportunity to take advantage of the buzz generated by the ads.

For more information about Change the World or to learn how you can create an event for your church, go to www.rethinkchurch.org/changetheworld.


About Rethink Church
Rethink Church is the latest evolution of The United Methodist Church's "Open hearts" welcoming and advertising campaign. It highlights opportunities available through the church to engage with the world from literacy programs to feeding the poor. Targeting an 18- to 34-year-old audience, advertisements in traditional and new media direct viewers towww.10thousanddoors.org where visitors may learn more about the church and how to get involved.

About Imagine No Malaria
Imagine No Malaria is an extraordinary ministry of the people of The United Methodist Church to eliminate death and suffering from malaria in Africa by 2015. With a goal of raising $75 million to improve health infrastructure and empower a sustainable victory over the disease, Imagine No Malaria is our opportunity to rethink how we reach beyond our church, opening doors to those who need it most. For more information, please visit us online at www.ImagineNoMalaria.org.

Media Contact: Diane Degnan
(615) 742-5406 (office)
(615) 483-1765 (cell) [email protected]

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