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Daily Digest - April 14, 2016

“We are at a crossroad. Are we going to live and thrive or are we going to just wither away?” — The Rev. Wayne Wiatt of the Florida Conference on the need for churches to create a “culture of call.”


How a church creates culture of call

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (UMNS) — Mandarin United Methodist Church in Jacksonville could teach other churches how to help young people discern God’s call to ministry. The church has successfully applied simple steps to boost the culture of call among its 1,000 attendees. In less than a year, the church has seen 23 children and teens profess a call to ministry. Julia Boyd Cole writes for the Florida Conference about how the church did it.
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Mississippi church exemplifies gay rights debate

JACKSON, Miss. — St. Mark’s United Methodist Church offers a window into the national gay rights debate. Members include Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant, a conservative on the issue, and a lesbian couple with a child. “I believe that God always comes down on the side of grace,” says the Rev. Warren Coile, St. Mark’s pastor. “I hope that people here in our church do, too.” David Brandt reports for The Associated Press.
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#CTTalks series on strategic directions

CHICAGO (UMNS) — The Connectional Table began a new series of #CTTalks this week, highlighting the work done to develop strategic directions in each of the Four Areas of Focus. The online forum features a series of videos and social media conversations around key topics related to General Conference 2016.
Read press release
Watch videos


E-Reader Project expands to Asia

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) — The United Methodist e-reader initiative, which provides digital libraries to students attending theological schools in remote areas, is expanding to include Wesley Theological College in Vietnam and Huree University in Mongolia. The two schools are collaborating with the United Methodist Board of Higher Education and Ministry and Discipleship Ministries.
Read press release


Bias named district superintendent

WORTHINGTON, Ohio (UMNS) — The Rev. Timothy L. Bias, former top executive of United Methodist Discipleship Ministries, has received an appointment to be a district superintendent in the West Ohio Conference. He will begin that new role July 1. Bias left Discipleship Ministries on Dec. 31.
Read West Ohio Conference announcement
Read UMNS story on Bias’ departure

Read UMNS story on next top executive


7 college outreach ideas

MOBILE, Ala. (UMCom) — Reaching college students doesn’t have to mean adding a new worship service or planning a big mission trip. The Rev. Jeremy Steele offers seven free or inexpensive ways churches can make college students feel welcome and nurture discipleship.
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Looking ahead

Here are some of the activities ahead for United Methodists across the connection. If you have an item to share, email and put Digest in the subject line.


Saturday, April 23

Drive-through prayer station — The Revs. Tenny Rupnick from Ebenezer United Methodist Church and Ernest Frierson from Jeremiah and Mount Seal United Methodist churches, along with the congregations, will host a series of drive-through prayer stations. The location is the parking lot of the old Don Fenters Chevrolet lot across from Wellman Golf Course in Johnsonville, South Carolina. The stations will be held on April 23 from 10 a.m. to noon. Those needing prayer may drive through and stay in their cars as others minister to them. Contact: 843-558-3835 or


Monday, April 25

World Malaria Day — Imagine No Malaria is The United Methodist Church's campaign to fight this disease in Africa. The church's efforts include providing insecticide-treated bed nets and funding for United Methodist hospitals, clinics and health boards across Africa that work to prevent and treat the disease. To learn more about Imagine No Malaria 


More upcoming United Methodist events