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Daily Digest: April 21, 2014

“We have mission work that still needs to be done, here in our own backyard.” – George Battle III, a staff member of the Dallas Bethlehem Center.

Dallas center experiences a resurrection
DALLAS (UMNS) — “Comeback” would be one term for what's happened with Dallas Bethlehem Center. But there's an Easter way of describing things too.

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UMCOR board approves $5 million-plus in grants
NEW YORK (UMNS) — More than $5 million in grants in support of relief and development work in the Philippines, Haiti and the United States were approved recently by the board of directors of the United Methodist Committee on Relief.

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Rehabilitating Mary Magdalene
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) — In the Bible, she is among the first to bear witness to Christ's resurrection. But she still has a reputation as the Gospels' bad girl. Read about efforts to restore her place in Christian history.

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Swiss churches to recognize baptisms
GENEVA (UMNS) — On the day after Easter, Swiss churches — Roman Catholic, Reformed, United Methodist, Old Catholic, Anglican and Lutheran — will sign an agreement on the mutual recognition of baptism, the World Council of Churches reports. Earlier this year, several Portuguese churches, including the Methodist Church, entered a similar pact.

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Liberian clergywomen urged to increase numbers
UPPER CALDWELL, Liberia (UMNS) — During an installation service of officers of the Liberia UMC Association of Clergywomen, Liberia Area Bishop John G. Innis urged the clergywomen to increase the number of women in the preaching ministry. West African Writers have the story:

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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 newsdesk@umcom.org and put Digest in the subject line.


Deadline to register for 2014 Large Church Initiative, Monday, April 21— Gathering on Monday-Wednesday, April 28-30 at Mount Pisgah United Methodist Church in Johns Creek, Ga., for United Methodist churches with 1,000 or more members and/or with an average attendance of 350 or more in worship. Details.


Free webinar “Pastors: Making a Good Move,” Tuesday, April 226:30 p.m. CT, Designed for pastors who are moving to a new appointment, this event will include ways to say good-bye to the current congregation and say hello to a new place and new people. To register.


Free webinar “SPRC: Your Role When the Pastor Changes,” Thursday, April 246:30 p.m. CT, Training for staff-parish relations committees and other laity on handling a transition in pastors. To register.


World Malaria Day, Sunday, April 25 — Imagine No Malaria is encouraging supporters to #CoverTheNet to raise awareness on Facebook and Twitter about a killer disease that claims the life of a child every 60 seconds. Details.


“Turn Your Radio On” singles ministry weekend, Friday-Sunday, April 25-27 — A study of four of Jesus’ parables through “old-time” radio episodes at Lakeshore Camp and Retreat Center, Eva, Tenn. Sponsored by the Memphis Conference’s Single Adult Ministry. Details.


“How to Reach New People” workshop, Friday-Saturday, April 25-26 — Jim Griffith, a church planter and coach, will lead the workshop at First United Methodist Church in Independence, Mo. $25 per person or $75 for a team of up to five people. Details.


Small Membership Church Seminar, Saturday, April 269 a.m. to 3 p.m. ET at Union United Methodist Church, 2 N Laws St. in Bridgeville, Del. Lew Parks, professor of theology, ministry and congregational development at Wesley Theological Seminary, will speak. Registration is $25 per team. Details.


“Jazzin for Christ” luncheon, Saturday, April 26Noon to 3:30 p.m. CT, Masque performance, sponsored by Wesley United Methodist Church in Chicago at Georgios of Orland Park, 8800 W. 159th St., Orland Park, Ill. $60. Details.


Jubilation 2014, Sunday-Tuesday, April 27-29 — Worship and workshops at MeadowView Resort and Conference Center,1901 Meadowview Pkwy., Kingsport, Tenn., sponsored by the Holston Annual (regional) Conference Older Adult Ministries. Missy Buchanan, an expert on older adult ministries, will be the keynote speaker. Details.


Free webinar “Children’s Ministry: Choosing Curriculum,” Tuesday, April 29 — 10 a.m. CT, This interactive webinar will focus on some of the aspects to consider when selecting curriculum, including the theological perspective, the teaching perspective and the needs of the students. To register.


Free webinar “Claiming a Missionary Mindset!” Tuesday, April 29 — 6:30 p.m. CT, A look at what it takes to be a missionary to your community. To register.


Early-bird registration deadline for Game Changers Summit, Wednesday, April 30 United Methodist Communications

invites local churches to attend a conference Wednesday-Friday, Sept. 3-5 at Gaylord Opryland Hotel in Nashville, Tenn. The event will focus on how congregations can use technology to strengthen international development. $215. Details.


Free webinar “Ordinary Time Doesn’t Have to Be Ordinary,” Thursday, May 1 — 7-8 p.m. ET, With no holiday on which to focus, here are ways to do something different in Sunday school. Details.


Free webinar “Change Requires Something of Us!” Thursday, May 1 — 6:30 p.m. CT, How churches must address change to move from death to resurrection. To register.


Beyond These Walls Mission Conference, Thursday-Saturday, May 1-3 — The event at McEachern Memorial United Methodist Church in Powder Springs, Ga., focuses on churches interested in or doing mission work. The Rev. Jorge Acevedo, pastor of Grace United Methodist Church in Fort Myers, Fla., and Brian Fikkert of the Chalmers Center will be keynote speakers. Details.


Native American Ministries Sunday, May 4 — Offering on this Special Sunday benefits annual conference Native American ministries and Native American seminary students. Details.


Deadline to register for United Theological Seminary’s “Light the Fire!” Church Renewal Conference, Monday, May 5 — Event Thursday-Friday, May 8-9 at Ginghamsburg Church, 6759 S. County Road 25A, Tipp City, Ohio. $149, Details.


Where Grace Meets Power — Standing for Each Others’ Greatness, Monday through Wednesday, May 5-7 — A United Methodist Clergywomen’s seminar, sponsored by the United Methodist Board of Higher Education and Ministry, Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. Details.


“Elevation” continuing education and spiritual renewal retreat for worship leaders, Monday-Friday, May 5-9 — Lake Tahoe, with Marcia McFee, director of worship at two General Conferences. Details.


Albertson Lectures at Wenatchee (Wash.) First United Methodist Church, Friday, May 9 through Sunday, May 11 — Jerry D. Campbell, President of Claremont Lincoln Univ. will speak to the topic “New in the World and Long Overdue.Details. and lecture times

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Free webinar “Binders Full of Women: How to Create, Maintain and Utilize a Talent Bank,” Tuesday, May 137:30 p.m. ET, part of a series of leadership webinars offered by the United Methodist Commission on the Status and Role of Women. To see schedule and register


A Gathering of the Aldersgate Covenant, Friday-Saturday, May 16-17 — A 20-hour prayer for revival with guest speakers from across the United States at United Methodist Church of the Resurrection, Leawood, Kan. Details.