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Photo illustration by Laurens Glass, United Methodist Communications

‘Ask the UMC’ is new answer site

 

January-February 2017

IdeaMart

Do you ever have questions about The United Methodist Church?

Answers to many church-related questions are on UMC.org, the denomination's official website, under the "What We Believe" tab on the FAQ page. There you can find answers to questions regarding United Methodist beliefs, structure, service and resources.

A new page, "Ask the UMC", is now available on the FAQ page. It answers questions that are more general in nature, or as Vicki Wallace says, "Topics that may be more interesting than the more commonly asked questions." Wallace is director of InfoServ, the information service at United Methodist Communications.

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Wallace and her team personally answer questions that go to the UMC.org's Resources InfoServ page. In 2016, they responded to more than 12,000 queries. The answers to many of the questions they receive are posted in the FAQ section, but some questions go beyond the typical.

"We wanted to post these questions where they would be available to a broader audience," Wallace said. "'Ask the UMC' was set up for that. You will find a diverse set of questions and answers."

Tim Tanton, executive director of Global Voices, News and Information for United Methodist Communications, said the roll out of the "Ask the UMC" page is in English only, but eventually the page will be tailored for the church's other official language channels of Spanish, French and Korean, and possibly more.

"We will look at the questions and answers and do some direct translations," Tanton said. "But we will also be aware of cultural sensitivities to the translations. It's possible that some of the questions we post may be unique to one of the languages other than English."

Questions currently posted include "Does The United Methodist Church have a position on Halloween?" "Does the church have an official Bible?" and "Do United Methodists believe in saints?"

"We expect the ‘Ask the UMC' site to continue to grow," Tanton said.

Polly House, editorial assistant, Interpreter and Interpreter OnLine