From the Worldwide Faith News archives

United Methodist churches will remember Sept. 11 in services

From NewsDesk <NewsDesk@UMCOM.ORG>
Date Tue, 18 Jun 2002 14:03:31 -0500

June 18, 2002	News media contact: Linda Green7(615)742-54707Nashville,
Tenn.     10-71BP{261}

NOTE: Photographs are available with this story. In addition, a
head-and-shoulders photograph of the Rev. Steve Horswill-Johnston can be
found at

By Nancye Willis*

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) - As the first anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist
attacks nears, United Methodist churches across the country are preparing to
hold "Remembering 9/11" services Sept. 8, the Sunday nearest the

During annual conferences this summer, many United Methodist bishops are
encouraging congregations to set aside Sept. 8 in conjunction with
proclaiming September "United Methodist Open House Month." The request for
the bishops' actions came from Igniting Ministry staff at United Methodist
Communications, which established Open House Month in 2001, as part of the
debut of the denomination's TV advertising effort.

"Open House Month, and especially 'Remembering 9/11,' allows United
Methodist churches to live out the promise of 'open hearts, open minds, open
doors' made by the television messages," said the Rev. Steve
Horswill-Johnston, executive director of Igniting Ministry and a UMCom staff
executive. "Their 'Remembering 9/11' services provide their communities a
place to gather to remember the events and those affected by them, and to
pray for wisdom, comfort, healing, peace and recovery."

A number of resources for planning "Remembering 9/11" services are available
from UMCom. A brochure suggesting how to prepare for Open House Month and
encouraging "Remembering 9/11" services is being provided to each annual
conference delegate, along with a sample door hanger.   

In the next few weeks, the denomination's Web site will feature
a "Remembering 9/11" page with available resources, including a free sermon
outline and worship liturgies from the back-to-school edition of Igniting
Ministry's ToolKit 1-2-3, targeted for shipment in July. The timing of Open
House Month and the "Remembering 9/11" effort coincides with Igniting
Ministry's back-to-school flight of TV, newspaper and outdoor ads. 

Igniting Ministry's national cable TV ads premiered just one week before the
tragedy of Sept. 11. As the disaster unfolded, the Igniting Ministry team
translated the Council of Bishops' pastoral message of healing and call for
prayer into a new television spot, completed that same day and transmitted
via satellite to 13 cable networks. 

Igniting Ministry also erected an outdoor billboard with the theme, "Fear is
not the only force at work in the world today," one block from Ground Zero
in New York. It remains in place. Companion print, outdoor, direct mail,
radio and TV resources were made available to local churches within weeks.

"Amen," a second new TV commercial, aired exclusively in October and
November during "Breaking News on CNN," extending the promise, "No matter
how you pray, or where, the people of the United Methodist Church are
praying with you." 

More information on "Remembering 9/11" is available from the Igniting
Ministry Web site or by calling, toll free, (877)
# # #
*Willis is a writer and editor at United Methodist Communications in
Nashville, Tenn.

United Methodist News Service
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