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Daily Digest — August 06, 2015

"It seems that just as I find the words to respond to one act of terror, another one becomes the headline story of the day." — Erin Hawkins, top executive on the United Methodist Commission on Religion and Race, writing about violence against African Americans.

50 years on, churches still fight for equal voting rights

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) — The Voting Rights Act of 1965 turns 50 on Aug. 6, and people of faith had a big hand in that landmark legislation. Just as the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s depended upon groups like the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, today’s civil rights leaders seek allies in the faith community. Mahalia Smith, an intern with United Methodist Communications, reports.
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Graduate theology classes begin in August

MONROVIA, Liberia (UMNS) — More than 20 students begin classes this month at the United Methodist University Graduate School of Theology. The Rev. Yatta R. Young, dean, said the school is starting with a Master of Divinity program with the intention of adding other disciplines, such as human rights and peacebuilding. Julu Swen reports.
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WCC pilgrims remember atom bombs’ deadly destruction

HIROSHIMA, Japan (WCC) — Seventy years after nuclear fireballs exploded over two Japanese cities, an ecumenical group of pilgrims has come to listen to those who survived and renew the struggle against their own countries’ continued reliance on nuclear weapons. United Methodist Bishop Mary Ann Swenson preached about the need for peace during an Aug. 5 ecumenical worship service in the Catholic Memorial Cathedral for World Peace in Hiroshima.
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Agency leader on racial violence: ‘Enough is enough’

WASHINGTON (UMNS) — Erin Hawkins, top executive on the United Methodist Commission on Religion and Race, writes a deeply personal reflection on the past year of highly-publicized incidents of violence against African Americans. “It’s time that we join hands, say ‘enough is enough,’ and take action on that conviction,” she writes.
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Technology aids in telling church’s story

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) — From manual typewriters in the 1940s to today’s sleek hand-held devices, United Methodist Communications has a record of embracing useful technologies and equipping the local church with modern ministry tools. The agency’s strength has been in its willingness to evolve. Laura Buchanan has the story as United Methodist Communications continues its 75th anniversary observance.
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President defends Iran deal at United Methodist school

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama championed the Iran nuclear deal in a speech at United Methodist-related American University — the same venue used by President Kennedy in 1963 to encourage a landmark arms control treaty with the Soviet Union. The Washington Post covered his address.
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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.

Deadline for Do No Harm 2015 Conference: Best Practices for Health, Accountability and Wholeness — “Do No Harm 2015,” on Thursday-Saturday, Oct. 15-17 at the Crown Plaza Hotel, Chicago O'Hare, is a sexual ethics summit addressing the most recent developments and challenges in prevention of and response to abuse, misconduct and harassment of a sexual nature, particularly by people in ministerial roles (both lay and clergy) within The United Methodist Church. The United Methodist Commission on the Status and Role of Women is the sponsor. $525 by Sept. 30. Day rates of $250 based on availability Sept. 1-30. Details

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