Alabama Clergy Apologize For Kerry Sign Thefts

Officials at a Methodist church in Alabama issued apologies to the local\n Democratic Party for instructing youngsters to collect Kerry-for-president\n signs, which they later destroyed.

The Rev. Jeff Ponder-Twardy and youth minister B.J. Storey of Owens Crossroads\n United Methodist Church apologized in late October to their congregation and\n Doug Dermody, head of the Madison County Democratic Executive Committee, for\n sending youngsters out on a “scavenger hunt.” According to the\n Religion News Service, Kerry-Edwards signs were among items on the list. Eight\n signs were reportedly taken from area yards and brought back to the church\n where they were burned.

Ponder-Twardy and Storey issued a written apology to Dermody in which they\n maintained the scavenger hunt was not meant as a political statement. The church\n officials also sent a written statement to the Huntsville district superintendent\n of the United Methodist Church apologizing for instructing students to remove\n signs from private property, which is a misdemeanor.

“I truly regret the actions of my staff and myself regarding the taking\n and destroying of these signs,” Ponder-Twardy said in the letter to the\n Methodist superintendent. “It was a gross error in judgment. We believe\n lessons have been learned, and we believe similar actions will never happen\n again.”