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Daily Digest: August 12, 2014

“I believe I am in God’s hands as experienced throughout 86 years of amazing grace surrounding my life in countless ways, not the least through Fran’s superb loving care.” – The Rev. William McElvaney, retired pastor and seminary president, wrote of entering hospice care.

5 UM members in Weala dead of Ebola
WEALA, Liberia (UMNS) - Five United Methodist Church members in the Weala area of Liberia have died of Ebola, and the Rev. Paye Cooper Mondolo is unsure how many members in his district are afflicted. The Weala United Methodist Health Center is the only health facility in the area that is taking patients who have not visited the center prior to the outbreak. Julu Swen has the report.

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Free flow of information is critical in crisis
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) – “Fear has gripped the nation.” With those words, the Rev. George Wilson of Liberia summed up the state of his country and described the cost of not allowing information to flow freely in a time of crisis, writes the Rev. Larry Hollon, top staff executive of United Methodist Communications, in a blog post.

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McElvaney under hospice care
DALLAS (UMNS) - The Rev. William McElvaney, a retired United Methodist pastor and seminary president who faces a complaint for officiating at a same-sex wedding, is undergoing hospice care. McElvaney recently wrote members of Dallas' Northaven United Methodist Church, where he is pastor emeritus, that his liver cancer has spread and no good treatment options are left to him. The pastor also wrote of the "amazing grace" he has received in his 86 years, including from his wife, Fran.

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Former BCF Ambassador shadows college presidents
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (UMNS) - In the months Joseph L. Jones shadowed college and university presidents, the Philander Smith College and Clark Atlanta University graduate found the job had much in common with the work he had done as an ambassador for The United Methodist Church's Black College Fund. The United Methodist Board of Higher Education's Nicole Burdakin has the story.

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Fire claims church rebuilt after tornado
CARL JUNCTION, Mo. (UMNS) – The altar and Bible that emerged unscathed from tornado damage at Carl Junction United Methodist Church in 2003 did not survive an Aug. 7 fire ignited by a lightning strike to the rebuilt church’s steeple. But the community has rallied around the congregation, the Los Angeles Times reports.

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History of Hymns: ‘Jesus, Lover of My Soul’
DALLAS (UMNS) – “Jesus, Lover of My Soul” is perhaps one of the most personal hymns penned by Charles Wesley, writes C. Michael Hawn of Southern Methodist University’s Perkins School of Theology. The music scholar writes about the inspirations for a hymn some have called Wesley’s greatest.

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