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Daily Digest - April 21, 2015

"A salary is a bishop’s basic financial entitlement, which cannot be curtailed save by judicial or administrative fair process." — Judicial Council decision to restore East Africa Area Bishop Daniel Wandabula’s full salary.

Top court: Deleting investigative group ‘unconstitutional’

COLUMBUS, Ohio (UMNS) — Eliminating the committee on investigation for clergy members in an annual conference from the denomination’s law book in 2012 was unconstitutional, The United Methodist Church’s top court has ruled. During its April 15-18 meeting, the Judicial Council also ordered the full restoration — including back pay — of the salary of an African bishop whose income had been reduced. Linda Bloom reports.
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BMCR chairman calls for partnerships to fight racism

ORLANDO, Fla. (UMNS) — The chairman of Black Methodists for Church Renewal challenged members to work alongside others to fight and ultimately eliminate covert and overt racism in The United Methodist Church and the nation. Larry R. Hygh Jr. reports.
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Video series: ‘I, too, am United Methodist’

ATLANTA (UMNS) — The five ethnic caucuses of the United Methodist are releasing a video series called "I, Too, Am United Methodist."  The series was filmed during last year's historic gathering of the denomination’s five U.S.-based ethnic caucuses in St. Louis.
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Churches mourn drowning of migrants in Mediterranean

GENEVA (WCC) — The World Council of Churches, the Churches’ Commission for Migrants in Europe and the Conference of European Churches are jointly calling for preventative action as they grieve the presumed drowning of hundreds of migrants following the April 18 capsizing of their vessel just outside Libyan waters.
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Mission agency sharpens focus on global health

NEW YORK (UMNS) — A new global health unit for the United Methodist Board of Global Ministries will position the denomination for participation in major international health campaigns through the next few decades. Thomas Kemper, the board’s top executive, outlined expectations during his April 16 address to the mission agency’s board of directors.
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Methodist council condemns attacks in South Africa

DURBAN, South Africa (UMNS) — The World Methodist Council has condemned escalating violence against foreign nationals, refugees and asylum seekers in the Republic of South Africa and applauds Methodists who have stood up against these human rights violations.
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Help for rural churches to get broadband

MOBILE, Ala. (UMNS) — “It may seem trivial, but simply offering free Wi-Fi can change the lives of children in a community,” writes the Rev. Jeremy Steele in Interpreter magazine. He highlights the resources available to help churches — especially in rural communities — get connected to broadband.
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History of Hymns: ‘Christ, from Whom All Blessings Flow’

DALLAS (UMNS) — Charles Wesley (1707-1788) was first thought to have written well over 6,500 hymns, but more recent scholarship places the number at more than 8,900 hymns and poems. Kristi Hassell, a student at Southern Methodist University’s Perkins School of Theology, explains the origins of this Wesley hymn.
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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.

Wednesday, April 22

Earth Day in the U.S. — Resources on creation care from Caretakers of God's Creation, a United Methodist group, and the United Methodist Board of Church and Society.

Thursday, April 23
Seminar "Joyful Generosity: Serving God's Vision" — 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. CDT at Central Methodist University, Inman Student and Community Center, in Fayette, Missouri. The Rev. Lovett Weems Jr., author and United Methodist leader, will speak about practical ways to increase giving and fund ministry. The Missouri United Methodist Foundation is sponsoring. Details.

You can see more educational opportunities and other upcoming events in the life of the church here.