National & World News

Denomination’s calendar highlights Africa University

Committee dismisses complaint against lesbian pastor

Plans get under way for Exploration youth event

Women’s rights advocates cheer vote on treaty

Africa trip gives agency team better global perspective

Global event will challenge youth to ‘reach higher’

Hunger relief advocates pursue passion for feeding needy

More UMNS News...

July 31, 2002
Denomination’s calendar highlights Africa University

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) — The United Methodist Church’s communications agency is marking the 10th anniversary of Africa University by featuring the school in the denomination’s 2003 calendar.

The Official Program Calendar of the United Methodist Church, annually produced by United Methodist Communications, provides a variety of resources for church members. It contains Scripture lectionary, liturgical colors, special Sundays, and days and seasons in the life of the church. It also has addresses, telephone numbers and e-mail addresses for the churchwide boards and agencies.

The 2003 calendar features Africa University on the back cover and in a four-page insert highlighting graduates who are making positive changes in Africa and Zimbabwe, where the school is located.

"Africa University is a gift, in this point of history, out of the mind of God," said the Rev. Jerome King del Pino, in a letter to the university’s friends and supporters. Del Pino is top staff executive of the United Methodist Board of Higher Education and Ministry. "It is a gift of love. Africa University is a beacon to say that God is alive in the midst of this world."

The university is a dream born in Africa and a reality that United Methodists worldwide can support with confidence, said Kent McNish, UMCom’s director of marketing. "In the best tradition of John Wesley’s commitment to education and vital piety, United Methodists have joined together through the Africa University Fund apportionment and countless special gifts to build hope for the future of Africa."

Annual conferences can publish customized versions of the calendar to include important dates and information specific to their areas.

The calendar is available in a horizontal format with spiral binding for $7.95; a vertical format for $6.95; a pocket version for $5; a wall version for $4.50; and a reproducible version for $4.50.

It may be ordered from UMCom by calling (888) 862-3242. For more information, contact Jim Brown, coordinator of marketing, at or (615) 742-5775.


July 30, 2002
Committee dismisses complaint against lesbian pastor

By United Methodist News Service

A United Methodist committee has dismissed a complaint against a Seattle area pastor who told her bishop that she is living in a same-gender relationship, an admission that put her in conflict with a church law barring practicing gays from ordained ministry.

The complaint against the Rev. Karen Dammann was dismissed after a two-and-a-half-hour hearing July 24 in Tacoma, Wash., before the Pacific Northwest Annual Conference’s committee on investigation. In a Feb. 14, 2001, letter to Bishop Elias Galvan, Dammann had stated that she was living in a "partnered, covenanted, homosexual relationship." Dammann had been on family leave and had written the letter to inform Galvan that she wanted to return to leading a local congregation.

At the direction of the United Methodist Judicial Council, the denomination’s supreme court, Galvan filed a complaint against Dammann last November, citing "practices declared by the United Methodist Church to be incompatible with Christian teachings." The church’s Book of Discipline holds that "since the practice of homosexuality is incompatible with Christian teaching, self-avowed practicing homosexuals are not to be accepted as candidates, ordained as ministers, or appointed to serve in the United Methodist Church."

The complaint was forwarded to the conference committee on investigation, which was responsible for determining whether grounds existed for sending the case to a church trial. At the hearing, the committee fell short of the five clergy votes needed for a trial. Three of the committee’s clergy members supported such a move, three others opposed it, and one abstained. Church law prevented the panel’s two lay members from voting.

The next day, Galvan said he was reviewing the committee’s decision "to make certain that there were no errors of church law or administration that might warrant an appeal."

Any appeal would have to be made by the counsel for the church and submitted to the Western Jurisdiction’s committee on appeals, according to conference officials.

"This decision confirms the Rev. Dammann’s status as a clergyperson in good standing, with the right to a full-time pastoral appointment," the annual conference said in a statement.

Dammann said the committee’s decision not to send the case to trial left her "in shock" for a while. "I wasn’t expecting it," she told United Methodist News Service.

During the hearing, she presented what she described as "an expanded version of my letter to the bishop." She told the committee that she felt called to the life and work of a pastor, and that her sense of calling did not change after she discovered she was gay in 1995. She described for the panel how she went through the stages of discovering her sexual orientation and then settled down "to living life in the closet."

When her partner had complications while giving birth, Dammann said she found herself lying in order to get more time off to care for the mother and their son. She realized she couldn’t lie again, she said.

She told the committee about the conflict she had felt. "I addressed the underlying problems of being an effective pastor when you’re in the closet," she said. "For me, I was not an effective pastor. ... I was not the pastor I could be and am called to be. We tell one another that the truth will set us free, and … I was not allowing the truth to set me free."

She and her partner don’t feel ashamed of their sexuality, she said. She still feels called as an elder, and she believes the church is wrong for not acknowledging that God has called and will continue to call gay people to ordained ministry, she said.

The July 24 hearing was closed and the proceedings were confidential. In a statement afterward, the committee said: "The hearing and subsequent deliberations included consideration of scriptural and theological issues as well as church law. "

The committee looked at the "broader context" of the case, beyond the question posed by the complaint, said the Rev. Patricia Simpson of Seattle, chairwoman of the panel. The members were guided by The Book of Discipline, which states, "The judicial process shall have as its purpose a just resolution of judicial complaints, in the hope that God’s work of justice, reconciliation and healing may be realized in the body of Jesus Christ."

In addition to Dammann’s letter to Galvan and a Judicial Council decision related to the case, the committee considered other materials, Simpson told UMNS. "Rev. Dammann provided a much more detailed explanation. … We also interviewed other witnesses who provided further insight. We did ask all the committee’s witnesses during the investigation hearing to give us their biblical and theological insights on the questions at hand as well as church law and the facts of the case."

In a prepared statement, Simpson said the committee members "conducted the investigation and made our decision in good faith according to the procedures laid out in the Discipline. Though the details of our deliberations are confidential, I can say with complete confidence that each member’s vote was cast with integrity, after full and prayerful consideration."

Simpson abstained from voting, explaining later that she believes The Book of Discipline is wrong on the issue. "After hearing Karen Dammann’s response and the other witnesses at the hearing, and after long discussion in the committee afterwards, I was unable to vote either yes or no," she said.

"I have deep respect for the rule of law in society, and for the role of the Discipline in our church," she said. In this case, her legal reasoning based on the church’s rules "would have led me to vote for a trial," she said. "My moral reasoning would not allow that vote. I pray each day as Jesus taught us, ‘your will be done.’ I am convinced that it’s God’s will to keep Karen Dammann -- a pastor of proven effectiveness and moral courage -- in ordained ministry in our church. My decision to abstain honestly reflected this impasse."

Another committee member, the Rev. Sanford Brown of Everett, Wash., said the panel had "the unattainable task of trying to uphold two contradictory passages" in The Book of Discipline. One passage bars "self-avowed practicing homosexuals" from ordained ministry, while the other requires the committee on investigation to work "‘in the hope that God’s work of justice, reconciliation and healing may be realized in the body of Jesus Christ,’" he said in a statement. "I voted against forwarding the relevant charges to trial because I could envision no other decision that would lead to God’s work of justice being done in this and similar cases," he said.

"During the hearing, it became clear to me that The Book of Discipline sets our church up for painful conflicts within and among good people when it effectively tolerates the presence of gay and lesbian ministers, but forces them to deceive the church about their sexual identity," Brown said. The denomination’s top legislative body, the General Conference, must remove the "internal inconsistencies from our church’s policies that force members like me to weigh some portions of our covenant against others," he said.

Ordained in 1994, Dammann had served Pacific Northwest churches from 1992 until going on family leave in 1999. Her request for an appointment last year was put on hold while the annual conference awaited a Judicial Council ruling related to her case. After the court ruled that the bishop couldn’t deny appointment to a clergy member without due process, Dammann was appointed to Wallingford United Methodist Church in Seattle and worked on a research project for the conference from her home in Amherst, Mass. Since the committee’s action, Seattle District Superintendent Robert Hoshibata has been in consultation with her about an appointment.

Dammann said that she and her partner are exploring their options. "I do feel like God’s hand has been in it throughout this whole process, and things will become obvious about what we should do and how we should do it and when."


Aug. 2, 2002
Plans get under way for Exploration youth event

By United Methodist News Service

Exploration 2002, a weekend of worship and workshops designed to help young people discern God’s call, will be held Nov. 15-17 in Chicago.

"Is God Calling You?" will be the theme for the 2002 biennial gathering, which will be at the O’Hare Regency Hotel at O’Hare International Airport. Exploration events, sponsored by the United Methodist Board of Higher Education and Ministry, invite participants to learn the steps to ordained ministry in the United Methodist Church and consider the variety of ways they can live out their call.

Exploration is designed for young people ages 16 to 24. The registration deadline is Sept. 30. Registration materials and other information about the event are available at or by calling (615) 340-7397. The board provides rooms, food and program. Participants are responsible for their travel expenses and a $65 registration fee.

Worship leaders will be:

The Rev. Aida Irizarry-Fernandez, superintendent of the Metropolitan Boston North District in Massachusetts. She was ordained as an elder in the Southern New England Annual Conference in 1991 and was previously the associate council director in the Northern New Jersey Conference.

Bishop Sharon Zimmerman Rader, leader of the United Methodist Church’s Wisconsin Area. She served as superintendent of the West Michigan Conference before being elected to the episcopacy in 1992.

The Rev. Nick Harvey, senior pastor of Wesley Chapel United Methodist Church in Decatur, Ga. He also serves as a member of the teaching faculty at Emory University’s Candler School of Theology in Atlanta.

The Rev. Grant Hagiya, Los Angeles District superintendent of the California-Pacific Annual Conference. He is an adjunct faculty member at Claremont (Calif.) School of Theology, teaching United Methodist polity and field education. He currently serves as a member of the General Conference’s Committee on Plan of Organization and Rules.

The Rev. L. Gregory Jones, dean and professor of theology at Duke Divinity School. A noted scholar, he is the author of several books, including Embodying Forgiveness. He is editor at large and writer of the "Faith Matters" column for Christian Century magazine. He is on the board of trustees of the Center of Theological Inquiry.

The Rev. Susan Pendleton Jones, director of special programs at Duke Divinity School. An elder in the Western North Carolina Conference, she has served pastorates in North Carolina and Maryland. She is the former senior pastor of Arbutus United Methodist Church, a 1,000-member church in Baltimore, and is the immediate past campus minister of the United Methodist Wesley Fellowship at Duke University. She is the author of United Methodist curriculum resources and a contributing writer to Christian Century.

Bishop Gregory Vaughn Palmer, leader of the church’s Iowa Area. He comes to the Iowa Conference after serving as senior pastor of the United Methodist Church of Berea, Ohio, for seven years. Before that, he was a district superintendent and served churches in both Ohio and North Carolina.

The Rev. Cynthia A. Wilson-Hollins, pastor of music, worship and communication at Ben Hill United Methodist Church in Atlanta. Before serving at Ben Hill, she was the minister of music for six years at Hamilton Park United Methodist Church in Dallas, where she was also an adjunct professor at Southern Methodist University. She is a graduate of the Southern Methodist University Perkins School of Theology. She was the 1999 recipient of the "Best Female Vocalist Award" at the Gospel Choice Awards.

Ray Buckley, director of the Office of Native American Communications for United Methodist Communications. He spent the early part of his life on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota, and is fluent in the Tlingit and Lakota languages.

The Rev. Patricia Alice Rogers, senior pastor of Aldersgate United Methodist Church in Augusta, Ga. She was ordained deacon in the North Georgia Conference in 1985 and ordained elder in 1988.


    Aug. 1, 2002
    Women’s rights advocates cheer vote on treaty

    By Kelly Martini

    NEW YORK (UMNS) -- In 1998, at the United Methodist Women’s Assembly in Orlando, almost 10,000 women wrote personal letters to Congressional leaders asking them to ratify an international bill of rights for women.

    On July 30, more than four years after the letter-writing campaign, the first victory occurred for United Methodist Women and other advocates of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women.

    After hearings and delays, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee voted 12-9 to allow the United Nations convention to go before the whole Senate for a vote this fall.

    Jim Winkler, chief executive of the United Methodist Board of Church and Society, also applauded the committee’s action and noted that the denomination had supported the treaty since its inception. "Ratification of this vital United Nations document is long overdue, and we urge speedy action by the full Senate," he said.

    The 1979 convention requires nations to give equal rights to women for housing, employment, politics and health care.

    President Carter signed the treaty as he was leaving office in 1980, but the Senate did not ratify it. In 1994, President Clinton recommended that the treaty be brought to the Senate for a full vote, but that never happened. During the past two decades, 170 countries have ratified the document. The United States has been the only country in the Western Hemisphere that has refused to ratify it.

    This year, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee held hearings about the convention. Proponents say that heightened media attention to women’s issues – oppression under Afghanistan’s Taliban party, female genital mutilation, vulnerability to AIDS in Africa – gave the treaty publicity.

    During the June 13 Senate hearings, U.S. Rep. Lynn Woolsey (D-Calif.) publicly gave credit to United Methodist Women as she talked about the ongoing grass-roots support for the treaty, often referred to as CEDAW.

    "CEDAW supporters, including Church Women United and United Methodist Women, delivered more than 10,000 individually hand-written letters to Senators urging ratification of the treaty," she said. "That’s 10,000! Needless to say, this has been a long battle for CEDAW supporters."

    Besides the letter-writing campaign, United Methodist Women also has sponsored women from around the world to go to the United Nations and observe their nation’s reporting on the implementation of the treaty. After hearing their country’s report, these grass-roots women write "shadow reports" that may give other realities and viewpoints. Then, they develop plans to pressure the government to continue implementing all parts of the convention.

    The work of United Methodist Women is based on a resolution from the 1988 United Methodist General Conference, the denomination’s top legislative body, that urges church members to encourage their governments not only to ratify but to implement the convention.

    Martini is executive secretary for communications of the Women’s Division of the United Methodist Board of Global Ministries.


    Aug. 8, 2002
    Africa trip gives agency team better global perspective

    By United Methodist News Service

    Members of the United Methodist General Council on Ministries’ executive team have a better understanding of the church’s global work after visiting three African countries this summer.

    The council’s servant leadership team visited church ministries and leaders in Angola, Mozambique and Zimbabwe before meeting July 22-26 in Harare, Zimbabwe’s capital. The team serves as the executive committee of the council, which coordinates the work of the United Methodist Church’s program agencies.

    "It was a bold step for you to be in Zimbabwe at such a challenging time," Bishop Christopher Jokomo, leader of the church’s Zimbabwe Area, told the team. The country is struggling with the AIDS pandemic and famine, as well as tensions over land redistribution, among other problems.

    The team’s July 16-27 trip to Africa was a response to invitations from the local bishops as well as to the 2000 General Conference mandate to "strengthen our global connection and ecumenical relationships." The General Council on Ministries wanted to be sure it is addressing the needs of the full church as it explores issues for the future.

    Council members from Africa had been encouraging such a trip for some time. "We had not held an executive committee or full council meeting on the continent of Africa ever," said Don Hayashi, a staff executive with the council in Dayton, Ohio. "The feeling was if we were really taking seriously the global relationships, we needed to listen to our central conference members, who said, ‘You cannot comprehend the ministries that we are engaged in unless you come and see for yourself.’"

    Upon arriving on the continent, the 22-member group – consisting of 11 team members plus staff and spouses – divided into three smaller groups, which visited different countries. Afterward, the full group reconvened in Harare for their business meeting. They discussed their experiences and how the council can help represent the global nature and needs of the church. They also visited United Methodist-related Africa University, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary.

    The team’s visits and meeting in Africa represented "a profound affirmation of the church in each location," said Bishop Edward Paup, president of the council and leader of the church’s Portland (Ore.) Area. "We had not anticipated how meaningful the council’s presence would be. The church in these three countries is more confident and secure about its value in the whole church of Jesus Christ because GCOM took them seriously enough to hold a meeting outside the United States."

    Jokomo’s assistant, the Rev. Gladman Kapfumvuti, urged council members to "go and tell the story of what you have seen here. Tell others that the church in Africa is alive and that Jesus Christ lives."

    By visiting church ministries in the three African countries, the visitors saw how United Methodists are addressing such concerns as AIDS, land mines, poverty, infant mortality and the plight of orphans, as well as promoting education and developing leaders.

    The team members met with bishops and leaders in each conference, including Jokomo in Zimbabwe, Bishop Joao Somane Machado in Mozambique and Bishop Gaspar Joao Domingos in the church’s West Angola Area. Each bishop urged the team members to tell the story about the church’s work in Africa and in their conferences.

    The context for ministry in Africa is totally different from that of the United States, Hayashi said. He cited the poverty, lack of basic resources – such as plumbing, electricity, medical supplies, public transportation – and other large-scale problems that the team observed. For example, the administrator of Chicuque Rural Hospital in Mozambique told council members that 36 percent of his admissions are active AIDS-carrying patients, and Jokomo reported that one in five adult males in Zimbabwe is HIV-positive.

    In the face of such hardships, the church’s ministries are growing, and the council members found strong faith among the people, Hayashi said. In Maputo, Mozambique, 43 people – most of them adults – attend a Bible school five nights a week for two hours a night, to learn about Scriptures and how to be good church leaders, teachers and preachers. The group is in a three-year program to become certified church workers, joining 110 others who have already graduated. Without public transportation or streetlights, the students arrive for class on foot and carrying flashlights, Hayashi said.

    While visiting each country, the council members observed the work of Africa University graduates, who are dealing with many of the critical problems their people face. During a visit to the school itself, team members spoke with current students, faculty and staff.

    "After our visit to Africa University and all we saw firsthand of what God has and is doing, we became the shaken and the moved," said Bishop Rhymes Moncure of the denomination’s Nebraska Area. "GCOM has gone on record. We will make personal as well as corporate commitments to tell the story to the church about Africa University."

    Paup expressed thanks to God for the school’s ministry in Africa. "Surely by God’s grace, the 880 graduates and student body from 23 countries are making a difference."

    Paup and Moncure team-preached in the campus’ Kwang Lim Chapel. Side by side in the pulpit, both bishops recalled how the denomination’s top lawmaking body, General Conference, voted in 1988 to establish Africa University.

    "This was one of those times we United Methodists got it right," Moncure said. "The impact this is and will continue to have on the church is one of lasting profundity. It demonstrates what we can do by dreaming together and working to make it happen."

    "We are definitely educating future leaders for the continent of Africa, and the GCOM members were able to see that for themselves," said James Salley, the university’s associate vice chancellor for institutional advancement. "The agency now has a clear picture of how Africa University fits into the whole global scheme of the United Methodist Church."

    When the full General Council on Ministries meets in October, the servant leadership team will ask it to issue a proclamation of celebration and thanksgiving for the 10th anniversary and all that Africa University has done. The school will hold its official celebrations Nov. 15-17, and United Methodists throughout the connection are being encouraged to celebrate with their own events. More information is available at

    During its business meeting, the team affirmed a committee proposal that one joint training event be held for annual conference leaders in the 2005-08 quadrennium. Historically, the church has had five such events – one in each U.S. jurisdiction. The committee will proceed with planning for one event.

    The team also approved allocating $5.5 million in ethnic local church concerns funds to the four program agencies – the Board of Discipleship, Board of Church and Society, Board of Global Ministries and Board of Higher Education and Ministry – for distribution in the form of grants in 2005-08. The money will be allocated to each agency by a set formula, and the overall amount is the same as that for the 2001-04 period. The agencies will include the allocations in their proposed budgets to General Conference.

    *Information for this story was contributed by Andra Stevens, the 10th anniversary celebrations coordinator for Africa University; David Manyonga, program assistant in the Africa University Information Office; and Cecelia Long, a staff executive with the General Council on Ministries.


    Aug. 7, 2002
    Global event will challenge youth to ‘reach higher’

    By United Methodist News Service

    Youth are invited to "Reach Higher, Deeper, Further" in their spiritual lives at Youth2003, an event set for next summer for United Methodists from around the globe.

    The gathering, sponsored every four years by the United Methodist Board of Discipleship, will be held July 23-27 at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville.

    The event is designed for youth ages 12-18 and their adult leaders. Youth of all ages from the United Methodist Church’s central conferences – regional units outside the United States – are invited.

    Each day, Bishop Violet Fisher of the New York West Area and Bishop Mary Ann Swenson of the Los Angeles Area will partner with youth in Bible study.

    Stephen Handy, director of sales at the United Methodist Publishing House, will be the opening speaker. Others will include Duffy Robbins, chair of the Youth Ministry Program at Eastern College in St. David’s, Pa.; and Jay Williams, a junior at Harvard University, co-leader of the United Methodist Shared Mission Focus on Young People, and board member of the General Council on Ministries. The Rev. Grace Imathiu, a Kenyan-born pastor and international speaker, will conclude the event.

    The registration fee before Jan. 31 is $335; it goes up to $360 between Feb. 1 and May 30, and $375 after May 31. The fee covers four nights’ housing, 11 meals and transportation from the Knoxville airport. It also covers the Youth2003 program, which includes concerts, Bible studies, workshops, service learning options and recreational activities.

    For more information, go to; call Lori Whitehurst at (615) 340-7176 or (877) 899-2780, Ext. 7176; or send an e-mail message to


    Aug. 5, 2002
    Hunger relief advocates pursue passion for feeding needy

    A UMNS Feature
    By Kathy L. Gilbert

    If Del Ketcham had his way, the lush green "meadow" outside his office would be a community garden full of vegetables to feed the hungry in the neighborhood.

    Ketcham is the national hunger relief advocate working in the Nashville, Tenn., office of the Commission on United Methodist Men. His building is also home to the United Methodist Church’s Board of Higher Education and Ministry and the Board of Discipleship.

    "Within a mile radius of this building, 20 percent of the people are marginally hungry," he says. "And that area includes Vanderbilt University, the United Methodist Church offices, Scarritt-Bennett Center, University School of Nashville and Music Row."

    It is not unusual for Ketcham to look at unused grassy fields and imagine rows of tomatoes and other vegetables. He has a passion for feeding the hungry. He plans to meet with staff executives of the discipleship and higher education agencies this fall to propose his idea for a community garden.

    Ketcham and 13 people whom he describes as "highly motivated Christians" across the United States are serving as hunger relief advocates in partnership with United Methodist Men and the Society of St. Andrew, a hunger relief ministry based in Big Island, Va.

    Hunger relief advocates work for $500 a month and have a budget of about $600 a month. "That’s why I say it takes a dedicated volunteer to take the job," Ketcham says, laughing.

    Advocates act as educators and activists for hunger relief, develop gleaning networks in their communities, and raise money for Meals for Millions, the fund that supports the hunger relief advocate program and provides food for hunger relief.

    Krista Michael is one of those "highly motivated Christians." In 1999, she became the first hunger relief advocate hired at the annual conference level, assigned to the denomination’s New Mexico Annual Conference.

    "I feel very blessed to be in a conference that recognizes the need for this work," she says. In the southern region of New Mexico where she works, onions are available for gleaning from May to July. She was able to salvage more than 32,000 pounds of onions this year.

    "I have some people who come from churches that have to drive two hours each way to participate in a gleaning on a Saturday," she says. "I think that shows dedication." She stresses that gleaning is not the only way churches can become involved in the hunger relief program. Anything churches can do, such as collecting baskets of food at Christmas or donating to projects to feed the hungry, is welcome, she says.

    In 2001, United Methodist Men organizations raised a total of $252,000 for Meals for Millions. So far this year, $111,712 has been raised nationwide, including $54,107 in the conferences where advocates are working.

    The goal is to have a hunger relief advocate in every annual conference. Ketcham hopes to add another 10 advocates in 2003.

    "January through June 2002, hunger relief advocates coordinated 135 gleaning events, with 3,066 volunteers, salvaging 1.3 million pounds of food to feed the hungry of their conferences," says Ken Bradford, the church development director for the Society of St. Andrew. "Every bit of this food would have gone to waste but for the efforts of our advocates."

    This summer, more than 1,200 volunteers at annual conferences across the United Methodist connection helped distribute more than 260,000 pounds of white and sweet potatoes to feed the hungry. All of the "potato drops" were sponsored by the Society of St. Andrew, and five of the six events were co-sponsored by local United Methodist Men organizations. Those potatoes provided 780,000 servings of food to hungry people.

    Anywhere that a farmer grows produce is a potential gleaning site. In Tennessee, Ketcham also works with local farmers’ markets to obtain any leftover produce for local hunger ministries.

    United Methodist Men and the Society of St. Andrew began their partnership in 1999. The United Methodist Committee on Relief granted $300,000 over a three-year period to help launch the hunger relief advocate initiative. United Methodist Men and the Society of St. Andrew were to match that amount by the end of 2002. The matching amount has been met a full year early, Bradford says.

    Besides having hunger relief advocates in every conference, the organization also wants to involve every United Methodist man in the fight against hunger.

    "Men have to be shown," Ketcham says. "They really have to get out into the trenches before they are convinced to become involved. If you can get a man out in the field gleaning the food and then get them to deliver that food to someone who is hungry, then they are hooked."

    At last year’s 8th International UMMen Congress, held at Purdue University, men heard the challenge to make a difference in the fight against hunger. As a result of that challenge, they pledged $50,000.

    "Half of that money has actually come in, and we are following up with those who have not yet remitted," Bradford says.

    Annual conferences that have hunger relief advocates are:

    Alabama West Florida: Chuck Christian;
    Detroit: Bud Curtis;
    Missouri East and West: Joe Bartelmeyer;
    New England: Jim Webster;
    New Mexico: Krista Michael;
    North Alabama: Rachel Gonia;
    North Arkansas: Terry L. Sager;
    North Georgia: Tony Largin;
    Northern Illinois: Joe Royston;
    North Indiana: David McCleary;
    Northwest Texas: Robert and Frances Duke;
    Tennessee: Del Ketcham; and
    West Ohio: George Jensen.

    More information on hunger relief advocates is available by contacting Ketcham at For more information on the Society of St. Andrew, visit online.

    Gilbert is a news writer in the Nashville, Tenn., office of United Methodist News Service.

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