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Statement on the death of Nelson Mandela

Council of Bishops of The United Methodist Church
100 Maryland Ave. NE
Washington, D.C. 20002

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 5, 2013

Bishop Rosemarie Wenner, president of the United Methodist Council of Bishops, said:

"The bishops of The United Methodist Church were honored with a visit by Nelson Mandela and Graça Machel when the Council met in Mozambique in 2006. What a moment! We committed ourselves to follow the example of this fellow Christian, even though none of us dared compare our struggles with the lifelong fight for justice and the reconciling ministry of this great Methodist.

Nelson Mandela brought faith into action. Even 27 years in prison could not hinder him in staying firm in believing that all God's people are called to live with one another in peace and dignity, no matter the color of their skin. We grieve with Nelson Mandela's family, especially with his wife Graça Machel, who is a Mozambican United Methodist and with the whole nation of South Africa. And we give thanks to God for the life of a faithful Christian, a hero of hope and a great leader who built up the rainbow nation. Let us pray that the work of Nelson Mandela will be multiplied by the service of all who admire him in his home country and throughout the world."

About the Council of Bishops
The Council of Bishops provides leadership and helps set the direction of the 12 million-member church and its mission throughout the world. The bishops are the top clergy leaders of The United Methodist Church, the second largest Protestant denomination in the U.S.

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Media contact:
Diane Degnan
ddegnan@umcom.org
615-742-5406 (office)
615-483-1765 (cell)