From the Worldwide Faith News archives www.wfn.org
Clarification made in Georgia story
08 Jun 1998 13:18:06
June 8, 1998 Contact: Thomas S. McAnally*(615)742-5470*Nashville,
NOTE: This clarification relates to UMNS story #337.
By United Methodist News Service
Misinformation about the assets of churchwide agencies of the United
Methodist Church was attributed to the wrong organization in a story
released June 3 by United Methodist News Service.
The story, by Alice Smith, told of the decision by Mt. Bethel United
Methodist Church of Marietta, Ga., deciding to reverse an earlier
decision to withhold apportionments, which are the funds asked of each
church in the denomination for mission and ministry in the state and
around the world. That decision was based partly on an investigation
that showed that agencies of the church "can be trusted," according to
pastor Randy Mickler. Smith is executive director of the Georgia United
Methodist Communications Council.
Mickler said UMAction, a Washington-based group related to the Institute
on Religion and Democracy, had disseminated incorrect information in
which the liquid assets had not been separated from the fixed assets.
After objections from UMAction director Mark Tooley, Mickler
acknowledged that it was another group - Concerned Methodists - that had
distributed the misinformation. The Rev. Allen Morris, director of the
Fayetteville N.C., group, said his organization did not separate the
liquid and fixed assets "but we are comfortable with the fact that a
significant percentage (of agency holdings) are in liquid investments."
While there may have been some confusion about which group did what,
Mickler said he has found information from both groups to be misleading.
"The bottom line is their facts don't hold up," he said. "They (raise)
serious questions (about the agencies) that need to be addressed, but
the people doing the attacking are just as misleading as (what they )
accuse others of doing."
While Tooley protested the reference to his organization in the UMNS
article, he said UMAction plans to address critically the financial
situation of general church agencies in a future newsletter. However,
he said, "there will be some differentiation between unrestricted and
# # #
NOTE: Information for the clarification was provided by Alice Smith.
United Methodist News Service
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