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National Council of Churches, United Methodists Offer Messages On Tunnel Billboard To Commuters in New York City

August 23, 2002, NEW YORKCITY -  The National Council of Churches and United Methodist Communications will join forces to present a special series of 15-second messages of hope and encouragement throughout September to commuters traveling to and from New York City through the Holland Tunnel.

The 9-lane, 1.6-mile-long tunnel under the Hudson River emerges in lower Manhattan near the World Trade Center site.

Photo of JumbotronA total of more than 5,700 of the spiritual messages will be projected from a state-of-the-art electronic billboard -- a "Jumbotron" screen similar to those in Times Square -- positioned at the Manhattan entrance to the tunnel, where traffic is frequently slowed, waiting to enter. The sign, on Canal Street near its intersection with Hudson Street, is normally used for commercial advertising.

The NCC/UMC spots will feature messages appropriate to the anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the city. Themes will include: "Fear is not the only force at work in the world today," and "For all the days that end in 'why'."

Eight 15-second spots will run on the Holland Tunnel sign each hour, 24 hours a day, every day in September.  Six will carry a United Methodist tag line, and two will have the NCC tag line.

The special visual messages, which will have no sound track, were adapted from the United Methodist "Igniting Ministry" program of church outreach, which presents advertising on national and local television throughout the year. The United Methodist Church is one of the 36 Protestant and Orthodox member denominations of the NCC.

The Holland Tunnel, an engineering marvel when it was built in 1927, carries 1.2 million vehicles a month between New York and New Jersey.   During weekday business hours, trucks are banned and only cars with two or more occupants are allowed, so actual passenger traffic easily exceeds one million per month, in each direction.

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To view a 15-second sample of the NCC Jumbotron message, click here
(requires QuickTime viewer; if your computer doesn't already have it, download it free here)


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