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Good News Honors Missionary With New Award, New Publishing Coalition Creates Evangelical Curriculum For UM's


From: Bob Rempfer Bob@goodnewsmag.org
To: jwarrene@surfsouth.com
Sent: Tuesday, August 29, 2000 3:40 PM

August 29, 2000

Dear Good News Friend:

Some three weeks ago I prepared a communication to be sent to all of you. Somewhere, between writing it and getting it e-mailed to you, we lost it. I am sorry for the delay in communicating with you.

First, in the message I lost, I had reported to you about the death of Dr. Paul Morell, a life-time board member of Good News and former chairman of our board. Paul died July 23rd at his home in Huntsville, Texas. He had been a United Methodist pastor for 50 years. He served for 21 years at the Tyler Street UMC in Dallas and following that for 11 years at First UM Church in Carrollton, a suburb of Dallas.

I was privileged to be at the memorial service, along with some 400 or more persons. It was a glorious time of celebration of Paul's life and ministry. I was grateful to be able to share a few words of tribute about Paul from Good News and Mrs. Betty Brown, board chair of the Mission Society for United Methodists, did the same. Paul had been a founding board member of the Mission Society.

It was a moving sight to see how many persons at the service had been touched in some way by Paul's life and ministry. When asked how many couple's present had been united in marriage by Paul, scores of couples stood. When asked how many had answered the call to full-time Christian service through Paul's ministry, at least 50 or more stood. It was an impressive indicator of the impact of Paul's life and ministry. Dr. Ed Robb gave the message at the memorial service at Tyler Street. (A service had been held the day before in Huntsville.)

Continue to pray for Paul's wife, Ann, and their three daughters-Patty, Paula, and Shana. The three daughters shared a beautiful tribute about their father at the service.

At our recent Good News board meeting here in Wilmore, the Good News directors took action to establish the Paul L. Morell Missions Award, to be given annually in recognition of a United Methodist clergy or lay person(s) who have made extraordinary contributions to the work of missions outside the United States. Paul will receive the inaugural award posthumously, at our board meeting in January. Paul said in an interview with Good News a few years ago, "If I had 10 lives, seven of them would be spent on the mission field. The need is everywhere." That reflects the heartbeat of Paul Morell. He was a friend and brother. I will miss him. The current issue of Good News has a tribute to Paul in the "Straight Talk" section.

Here's cause for thanksgiving. The United Methodist Publishing House has joined with Bristol House, Ltd. To provide new curriculum resources to serve evangelical United Methodist local churches. The new "Faith Files" curricula for children and a series of study books for adults are being produced jointly by Bristol House, Ltd. and Cokesbury. Our board commended both publishing units for this new venture, which should receive a warm response. Let me urge you to look at these materials.

Please continue praying for the situation in the California/Nevada Annual Conference. To date, some 12 pastors have left the denomination, some of them taking their entire congregations with them. This has happened because of the sense of oppression evangelicals have felt in that conference. It is a very sad situation. Bishop Melvin Talbert and his cabinet have been vocally and unapologetically pro-gay in their stand, even though General Conference recently reaffirmed the Scriptural position. Bishop Talbert retires August 31st and we need to pray for the beleaguered evangelical pastors and congregations in that conference. I have never seen an annual conference in such disarray as that one is. Pray especially for Bishop Beverly Shamana, who will step into that whole situation. Let's pray that God will use her to bring restoration to the conference and encouragement to the many discouraged pastors there.

The September/October issue of Good News, which is just out, has a lengthy story about this whole situation and about the pastors who have left. They represent a tragic loss to the denomination.

Let's all remember to pray for the new bishops who have been elected. They are in the midst of transition right now to their new appointments. Let's pray the Holy Spirit will anoint them afresh for their new assignment and that they will feel their total dependency upon Him. Let's pray they will be as Paul, who wrote to the Corinthians, "When I came to you, brothers, I did not come with eloquence or superior wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God. For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified." (1st Cor. 2:1,2)

Please be praying for us here at Good News. We thank God for you who are praying partners with us. We need your support in this way. God bless you richly.

Yours in Christ,

James V. Heidinger II President and Publisher

P.S. If you know of persons or churches who would like to receive these e-mail messages and prayer concerns, please have them send us their e-mail addresses and we will see that they get added. Thanks much.

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