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Daily Digest: April 29, 2014

“The General Council on Finance and Administration has the authority to determine whether or not the use of general agency funds violates the prohibition against using church funds ‘to promote the acceptance of homosexuality.’” – Judicial Council Decision 1264.

Finance agency can grant same-gender benefits, court says
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (UMNS) — By virtue of its own authority, the finance agency of The United Methodist Church can provide benefits for same-gender spouses of general agency employees, the Judicial Council ruled during its April 23-26 spring session. The denomination’s top court also upheld a bishop’s decision that a certified clergy candidate should be allowed the opportunity for an interview regardless of sexual orientation and modified another bishop’s decision regarding a marriage-equality resolution from the Desert Southwest Annual (regional) Conference.

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United Methodists respond after deadly tornadoes
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (UMNS) — Deadly tornadoes that swept through the upper South and Midwest Sunday evening had United Methodists, among others, assessing damage and preparing to offer relief. Rescue workers were still searching for survivors in Vilonia, Ark., where many homes and buildings were destroyed, including a $14 million public school set to open this fall. Vilonia United Methodist Church suffered extensive damage

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Imagine No Malaria to distribute nets in Sierra Leone
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) — Imagine No Malaria plans to distribute nearly 400,000 life-saving insecticide-treated bed nets in the Bo District of Sierra Leone on June 5. Trained volunteers will be distributing nets door-to-door, as well as educating people how to use and maintain them properly.

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History of Hymns: ‘Now the Green Blade Riseth’
DALLAS (UMNS) — For those in the northern hemisphere who live in areas where springtime usually coincides with Easter, the image of growing plants and vegetation in this hymn speaks clearly. The connection of the Easter event — the rising of Jesus — is unmistakable. The simple phrase “Now the green blade riseth” reminds us that Jesus is risen today just as he rose on that first Easter morning, writes C. Michael Hawn of Southern Methodist University’s Perkins School of Theology.

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Church holds Run to the Cross 5K
MOUNT AIRY, Md. (UMNS) — Eighty runners gathered at South Carroll High School for a Saturday-before-Easter “Run to the Cross 5K.”The event took runners from the high school to Taylorsville United Methodist Church where they were greeted by a praise band, food, drink and a worship service.

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Men give devotional books to 200 responders to Washington mudslide
ARLINGTON, Wash. (UMNS) — Arlington United Church’s Men’s group distributed 200 Strength for Service to God and Community daily devotional books to first responders involved with the Oso, Wash., mudslide. The responders were involved in recovering victims of a March 22 landslide that broke off a steep hill, roared across the North Fork of the Stillaguamish River and buried a community at Oso, about 55 miles north of Seattle.

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