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Daily Digest — August 14, 2015

“The church’s role is often just to name the ugly that is happening so people can heal from it.” – The Rev. Daniel Shanks, associate pastor at Living Word, a United Methodist church in Wildwood, Mo.

United Methodists join in Ferguson protest

FERGUSON, Mo. (UMNS) – About 75 United Methodists gathered at sundown Aug. 12 in Ferguson, Missouri, to offer peace and hope amid renewed unrest. With his community now in an official state of emergency, the Rev. F. Willis Johnson Jr., a United Methodist pastor, urged his colleagues to join him in nonviolent protest. Kelley Hartnett has the story.
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Ebola animation seen by thousands

FREETOWN, Sierra Leone (UMNS) – A video animation created to dispel myths about Ebola has directly reached nearly 60,000 individuals in two northern districts of Sierra Leone in three months. Phileas Jusu writes about the animation that United Methodist Communications helped develop.
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Interfaith group investigates in Central America

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (UMNS) – The Rev. Brenda Vaca, a California-Nevada Conference clergywoman and missionary of the United Methodist Board of Global Ministries, is part of an interfaith delegation investigating the humanitarian crisis of women and children fleeing Central America. The group, due back Aug. 17, is visiting Honduras and Guatemala.
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Perkins names Susanna Wesley chair

DALLAS (UMNS) – Evelyn Parker has been named the inaugural holder of the Susanna Wesley Centennial Chair in Practical Theology at Perkins School of Theology, a United Methodist seminary and part of Southern Methodist University. Parker has been on the Perkins faculty since 1998.
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5 secrets for church revitalization

LEXINGTON, Ky. (UMNS) – United Methodist leaders generally agree: Making disciples requires not just planting new churches but also reviving existing ones. Ministry Matters, part of the United Methodist Publishing House, offers these tips for congregational revitalization from the Rev. Ron Edmondson, senior pastor of Immanuel Baptist Church in Lexington.
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Exhibit showcases Indiana Jones’ quest for the sacred

WASHINGTON (RNS) – You won’t find the actual Ark of the Covenant or Christ’s Holy Grail, but the exhibit “Indiana Jones and the Adventure of Archaeology” does include some real relics. Sara Weissman of Religion News Service reports on the National Geographic Museum exhibit that highlights films that can “make you laugh and make you think deeply about God.”
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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.

Tuesday, Sept. 1

Deadline to register for online course "United Methodism 101" from United Methodist CommunicationsCourse offered Sept. 2 to Oct. 14 on the denomination's history, theology, governance, ministries and challenges. $9.99. Details

Tuesday, Oct. 27 to Thursday, Oct. 29

National Church Planters Gathering in Orlando, Florida  — Registration is open for this event, sponsored by United Methodist Discipleship Ministries and Path 1. Speakers will include the Rev. Michael Baughman on “Flipping Church: How Successful Church Planters are Turning Conventional Church Wisdom Upside Down.” Details

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