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Daily Digest - April 24, 2015

"The church always supports efforts to resolve differences by diplomacy and negotiations rather than conflict." — Thomas Kemper, top executive of United Methodist Global Ministries, says of efforts to thaw U.S. relations with Cuba.

Glorious worship in Côte d’Ivoire

ABIDJAN, Côte d’Ivoire (UMNS) — Worship in United Methodist churches here could start with a brass band circling the community. Inside might be two or three choirs wearing robes and mortarboards held on by sparkling hair pins. Or it could be three or four young people with a drum fashioned out of a piece of wood and shakers made of rusty biscuit tins. God is present. God is worshipped. Read, see and hear the story by Kathy L. Gilbert and Mike DuBose.
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Global Ministries applauds Obama on Cuba

NEW YORK (UMNS) — Directors of the United Methodist Board of Global Ministries applauded steps taken by President Obama to thaw relations between the United States and Cuba. Meeting April 16-18, the directors also called for an end to the 50-year-old U.S. embargo of Cuba.
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Emory to establish John Lewis Chair

ATLANTA (UMNS) — United Methodist-related Emory University has received a $1.5 million donation to establish a John Lewis Chair in Civil Rights and Social Justice in the university’s School of Law. U.S. Rep. Lewis has dedicated his life to protecting human rights and securing civil liberties. In 1965, he was beaten as he led protestors trying to cross the Edmund Pettus Bridge in a voting rights march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama.
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Newest episode of North Carolina show explores literacy

GARNER, N. C. (UMNS) — The April 26 episode of Every Day Grace TV explores literacy with people involved in the Fayetteville Urban Ministry and Read and Feed. EDGTV is a new television show produced by the North Carolina Conference of The United Methodist Church. It airs the last Sunday of each month at 11:30 a.m. EDT, on WNCN Channel 17, an NBC affiliate in Raleigh.
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Learning Spanish as church hospitality

CHICAGO (UMNS) — Nearly 545 students participated in 48 classes held in 42 churches across the Northern Illinois Conference in the last two years to learn some Spanish and explore ¿Quién es mi vecino? (Who is my neighbor?). The classes grew out of Bishop Sally Dyck’s 2013 vision of offering 100 Spanish-as-a-second language classes in the conference so United Methodist churches could be more welcoming to Hispanic/Latino neighbors. Anne Marie Gerhardt reports for the Northern Illinois Conference.
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Hays to step down as Duke dean in 2016

DURHAM, N.C. (UMNS) — The Rev. Richard Hays will end his tenure as Duke Divinity School dean in June 2016. Hays, who has led the school for five years, said he’s eager to return to writing and classroom teaching at Duke as a New Testament professor. The United Methodist seminary has launched three new degree programs under his leadership.
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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.

Friday-Saturday, April 24-25
"Church for All People" Conference — 2-9 p.m. PDT April 24 and 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. PDT April 25 at Seattle First United Methodist Church, 180 Denny Way. The Pacific Northwest Conference's Tuell Center and the United Methodist Board of Global Ministries will sponsor a conference on lessons learned from United Methodist Church of All People in Columbus, Ohio, which is a multiracial and cross-class congregation that has transformed its neighborhood. $75 per person. Details.

National UMC Caring for Creation Conference — The theme for this year's national United Methodist conference is "Environmental Resurrection: Let Justice Roll Down Like Waters." It will be at the campus of Decatur First United Methodist Church, Decatur, Georgia (near Atlanta). The Youth Climate Convergence will be held concurrently. Details.

Saturday, April 25
World Malaria Day — For United Methodists, World Malaria Day is an opportunity to engage our communities in support of Imagine No Malaria, the denomination's effort to end death and suffering from malaria in Africa. Resources are available from Imagine No Malaria.

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