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Daily Digest — August 18, 2015

 

It was difficult for me to participate fully in the church service without a hymn book.” — Laura Muzambi on receiving the first Braille hymnal in Shona, the language of many in Zimbabwe.

Conference produces Braille hymnal in Shona

HARARE, Zimbabwe (UMNS) — Moving her fingers cautiously over the raised dots on the page, 16-year-old Laura Muzambi sings a song from the hymnal for the first time. Zimbabwe Bishop Eben Nhiwatiwa presented the first ever Braille hymnal in Shona to Muzambi, who is blind. The hymn book was produced in response to resolutions passed in the two annual conferences held in the Zimbabwe Episcopal Area in 2014. Priscilla Muzerengwa reports.
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Church has gun range ministry

JEMISON, Ala. (UPI) — Rocky Mount United Methodist Church here has a gun range on its property. The range led to creation of a ministry focused on recreation and gun safety. “This is an opportunity for us to reach out in the name of Jesus Christ in a setting that is completely unique,” said the Rev. Phillip Guin, pastor. Ben Hooper has a story for UPI.
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How is your spiritual life? Class meetings for  today

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) — When asked at church how we’re doing, many of us say, “Fine.” But to grow, Christians need to go deeper, writes Joe Iovino in a commentary for umc.org about the importance of small groups in the growth of the Wesleyan movement.
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Paws and play: Church/school program

WICHITA, Kan. (UMNS) — Members of East United Methodist Church bring therapy dogs to a Wichita elementary school. The result is a paw-some ministry that calms youngsters and makes them feel loved. Kathy Lefler has the story for Interpreter magazine.
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‘Living Grace’ contest seeks videos

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) — Sept. 14 is the deadline for “Living Grace,” a video competition designed to show God’s work in the world through the eyes of young adults. The goal is to get Christians to tell gospel-centered stories of journey, reconciliation or community in 3-minute videos. Partners in the project, which is funded through A Foundation for Theological Education, include the United Methodist Publishing House and Leadership Education at Duke Divinity School. Winners in each category will receive $3,000.
Read about the contest

United Methodists by the numbers

MADISON, N.J. (UMNS) — To know where you are going, it helps to know where you’ve been. The United Methodist Commission on Archives and History has put together a chart showing membership of United Methodist predecessor bodies in the U.S. compared to U.S. Census data.
See chart

Commentary: Before you post on social media about politics

TYLER, Texas (UMNS) — Political rhetoric is already flooding public discourse as Americans gear up for the 2016 U.S. presidential election. The Rev. David Dorn, pastor of Marvin United Methodist Church in Tyler, offers some advice before entering a political debate on social media. United Methodist Ministry Matters shares his video blog.
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Born again: After the storm

NEW ORLEANS (UMNS) — In the 10 years since Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans and the Gulf Coast region, hundreds of thousands of United Methodists have put money, hearts and hands into the work of healing the damage. The recovery isn’t finished and United Methodists are still helping. Writer Kathy Gilbert and photographer Mike DuBose report in stories and photos.
Coming Friday, Aug. 21

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.

Monday, Aug. 24 to Tuesday, Sept. 8

Online course "Come to the Table" for lay servants from BeADisciple.com — Deepen your own and your congregation’s understanding and practice of Holy Communion, or begin a Eucharistic ministry, through this wide-ranging study of Scripture, church history and United Methodist theology and practice of the sacrament. One CEU will be awarded. $55. Details

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