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United Methodists Use Full-Page USA Today Ad to Help Quake, Tsunami Victims

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
Web site:
www.umc.og

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Dec. 30, 2004

Contact: Stephen Drachler
(615) 456-4710 cell

United Methodists Use Full-Page USA Today Ad to Help Quake,
Tsunami Victims;Church Urges Prayer, Financial
Contributions to Assist Families, Communities

NASHVILLE - The United Methodist Church is engaged in an intensive effort to assist victims of the Dec. 26 earthquake and resulting tidal waves, Bishop Peter D. Weaver, president of the denomination's Council of Bishops said today.

A major element of the effort will be a full-page advertisement in the national and international editions of USA Today on Monday, Jan. 3., Weaver said.

"We are called to respond to a loss of life and human suffering that is nearly beyond our ability to comprehend," Weaver said. "The United Methodist Church has a long history of responding to those in need. For more than 60 years the United Methodist Committee on Relief has offered long-term assistance to victims of disaster around the globe."

Weaver said the full-page advertisement is scheduled to appear in USA Today's Jan. 3 edition in the United States and in its international editions on Tuesday, Jan. 4. The ad focuses on weathered hands folded in prayer, and asks persons to join in giving "to those who have lost so much&ellipsis;. Through whatever means that comfort you, let your prayers and generosity be felt across the world."

The ad is being sponsored by United Methodist Communications, the denomination's communications agency. UMCom is responsible for the denomination's acclaimed advertising campaign, "Open hearts. Open minds. Open doors. The People of The United Methodist Church."

"The struggle of those affected by this disaster is our struggle as well. As we keep those persons in our prayers, we are getting to work to help them for as long as it takes to rebuild lives and communities," Weaver said.

Description of the ad:

HEADLINE:
In eleven countries, hands folded in prayer are already at work.

VISUAL:
Hands folded in prayer.

COPY:
Today, the world is feeling a loss as big as any in history. Generations erased. Entire communities swept away. The destruction the people from South Asia to East Africa are enduring is almost beyond belief and understanding. And as the families of those affected by the recent tsunami remain in our heartfelt prayers, the people of The United Methodist Church are already putting those hands of prayer to work.

Because this disaster is not just this week's news story or a headline soon to be forgotten. It is about people struggling to put lives, families and communities back together. Finding hope that comes from knowing that, with God, they are not alone. Knowing that prayer, money and skilled hands will be there for as long as it takes to stop the pain and ease the memories.

We ask that you join us, and millions around the world, to give to those who have lost so much. Through your local church, synagogue or mosque. Through our international partner organizations. Through the United Methodist Committee on Relief at MethodistRelief.org. Through whatever means that comfort you, let your prayers and generosity be felt across the world.

LOGO/TAG:
Open Hearts. Open Minds. Open Doors.
The people of The United Methodist Church

WEB:
Put your prayers to work at MethodistRelief.org

TAG:
This message of hope brought to you through contributions from the people
of The United Methodist Church.

LEGAL:
Copyright 2005 United Methodist Communications


(Note to Editors: A pdf of the ad is available at
www.ignitingministry.org)

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