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Daily Digest: April 17, 2014

"God is the God who achieves what God wants through suffering, self-sacrificial love (the cross)". – Retired Bishop Will Willimon, now a professor at Duke Divinity School.

Bishops address Ukraine crisis
MOSCOW AND COPENHAGEN (UMNS) Bishop Eduard Khegay of the Eurasia Area and Bishop Christian Alsted of the Nordic and Baltic Area have issued an Easter pastoral letter, touching on the political crisis in Ukraine. “While the political winds are shifting, the church is called to be a fellowship not of this world and yet sent into this world to reflect the self-sacrificing life of Christ,” the letter says.

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Why did Jesus have to die?
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) — As every Christian knows, Jesus freely died for our sins. But was there a less brutal way for God and humanity to be reconciled? Theologians answer that question in a variety of ways.

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United Methodists prepare for annual conferences
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) — For the first time, some annual (regional) conferences will elect lay and clergy delegates to General Conference two years prior to the meeting of the top legislative body of the denomination.

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Cultural traditions enhance Easter
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) — United Methodists around the world celebrate Christ’s Resurrection in many ways. Interpreter OnLine takes readers on a tour of several traditions in Africa, Europe and Asia.

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Internet upgrade strengthens Malawi Conference
BLANTYRE, Malawi (UMNS) — Work at The United Methodist Church’s Malawi Provisional Conference should become simpler following an upgrade in connectivity, enabling the staff to have Internet access throughout the campus. The project represented a partnership of United Methodist Church of the Resurrection, United Methodist Communications, Inveneo and Malawian Internet company Ultinet.

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Missionary salary increase approved
NEW YORK (UMNS) — A new compensation package, approved by directors of the United Methodist Board of Global Ministries, will increase the base salary of many active United Methodist missionaries, the agency said.

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Chuck Knows Church: Maundy Thursday
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) — Maundy Thursday is also known as Holy Thursday, Covenant Thursday, Great and Holy Thursday, Sheer Thursday and Thursday of Mysteries! But what exactly is this important day. The United Methodist Board of Discipleship series “Chuck Knows Church” explains.

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Church honors Lent with carving, painting, sewing
MILLINGTON, Tenn. (UMNS) — Last year, Millington First United Methodist Church transformed its parsonage into an art center called Restoration House. During the season of Lent, the church has opened Restoration House each Wednesday night so people can explore Lent through art. Casey Northcutt Watson of the Memphis Annual (regional) Conference shares how the ministry works.

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Next digest on April 21
There will be no daily digest for April 18, Good Friday. UMNS wishes all a joyous Easter.