UMNS Briefs

September 23, 2010

United Methodist Churches Make Top 100 Lists
VISTA, Calif. (UMNS)Outreach Magazine this week released its annual lists of the 100 largest and 100 fast-growing Protestant churches in the United States. Among the largest were two United Methodist congregations: Church of the Resurrection in Leawood, Kansas, ranked 62 with an attendance of 7,702; and Highland Park United Methodist Church in Dallas, ranked 93 with an attendance of 5,737. Three United Methodist churches were included among the fastest growing: Morning Star Church in O'Fallon, Missouri, ranked 61; Harvest Church in Byron, Georgia, ranked 76; and again Highland Park Church in Dallas, ranked 83.

The 2010 "Largest" list includes churches with an attendance of more than 5,500. The largest church, according to the magazine, is Lakewood Church, a non-denominational congregation in Houston with an attendance of 43,500. The "Fastest-Growing" list includes churches with attendance greater than 1,000, a numerical gain of 250 or more, and a percentage gain of at least 3 percent. More information, including how to order the complete list, is available at
Lake Junaluska Plans Multicultural Conference
LAKE JUNALUSKA, N.C. (UMNS)A December 2-4 multicultural conference at Lake Junaluska will feature Tim Tyson, award-winning author of Blood Done Sign My Name; Anne Marshall, a United Methodist activist on indigenous and racism issues; and the Rev. Mary John Dye, who began her ministry as the first cross-racial appointment in the Mississippi Annual (regional) Conference.
"Persons will come together in a safe, life-affirming, and life-transforming environment to explore the common bond of God's love for all," said the Rev. Jimmy Carr, executive director of Lake Junaluska. Early registration ends Oct. 16. More information is available here.
Choral Gathering Slated
LAKE JUNALUSKA, N.C. (UMNS)Choir Music Weekend will bring together choral training, handbell practice, workshops, and worship on Oct. 22-24 at Lake Junaluska Retreat Center. During the gathering, participants will prepare eight anthems. The gathering costs $50. Lodging and meals are extra. More information is available here.
Bärbel Bohley, Methodist Peace Prize Winner, Dies
FRANKFURT, Germany (UMNS)German civil rights activist Bärbel Bohley died of lung cancer September 11, at the age of 65.
In 1991 she received the World Methodist Peace Prize, an annual award begun in 1977 by the World Methodist Council. Previous recipients include President Jimmy Carter, Mikhail Gorbachev, Nelson Mandela, and Sister Helen Prejean.
Since the mid-1980s, Bohley had been a visible and unrelenting voice and advocate for human and civil rights. In 1985 she was one of the co-founders of the Initiative for Peace and Human Rights, and also helped found New Forum, a political movement in East Germany formed in the months leading up to the collapse of the East German state. Even after German unification, she raised her voice and continued to call for justice and human dignity to become a reality for all.