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United Methodist Holiday Television Advertising Campaign Starts Today

United Methodist Communications
Stephen Drachler, Executive Director of Public Information
810 12th Ave. S.
Nashville, TN 37203
(615) 742-5411 office (615) 456-4710 cell
E-mail:
sdrachler@umcom.org

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Dec. 5, 2005

Contact: Stephen Drachler
(615) 742-5411 office
(615) 456-4710 cell

United Methodist Holiday Television Advertising Campaign Starts Today

NASHVILLE - The United Methodist Church begins its holiday advertising campaign today on national cable television. The three-week advertising blitz will be the longest the denomination has undertaken during the Christmas season.

The $1.8 million venture includes two commercials, entitled "The Gift," and "I Believe."

Research indicates that people are especially receptive to messages about the Christian faith at this time of year, said the Rev. Larry Hollon, chief executive at United Methodist Communications.

"To many people, Christmas is the most important time of the year-a time when people who are seeking spiritual focus in their lives look to the church," Hollon said.

"We want viewers to focus on the real reason for the season, which is not about material things and runaway consumption-but about important matters of spirit and heart, the birth of the baby Jesus." he said.

The overall theme of "The Gift" is that giving has its own rewards. The commercial shows a young woman in multiple settings delivering gift boxes to other people from all walks of life. As she returns home from her day of good work, she finds a large gift box on her own doorstep. The commercial underscores the importance of sharing our gifts with others.

"I Believe" encourages viewers to bring their spiritual searching to The United Methodist Church to begin a dialogue with others who welcome those seeking to understand-and believe in-God and each other. "We may not all believe exactly the same thing, but the people of The United Methodist Church believe in God and each other. If you're searching for something to believe in, our hearts, our minds and our doors are always open," the ad proclaims.

The commercials will air December 5 through 24 on the following networks: A & E, ABC Family, Animal Channel, BET, Discovery, Hallmark, HGTV, History, Lifetime Movie, TBS, TNT, TV ONE, USA, WGN, CNN, HDLN, Fox News, and the Weather Channel.

The ads are part of The United Methodist Church's "The People of The United Methodist Church: Open hearts. Open doors. Open minds." media campaign, now in its fifth year.