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Daily Digest: August 19, 2014

“I just drove down to Houston giddy at the thought that this might be a real John Wesley letter that had never seen the light of day.” – The Rev. Ted A. Campbell, associate professor of church history at Southern Methodist University’s Perkins School of Theology.

Scholar takes his turn with Wesley’s letters
DALLAS (UMNS) As most good United Methodists know, John Wesley felt his heart “strangely warmed” as he listened to a reading of Martin Luther’s preface to the Epistle to the Romans. The Rev. Ted A. Campbell, associate professor of church history at Southern Methodist University’s Perkins School of Theology, gets a similar glow whenever he learns of a previously undiscovered letter by Wesley.

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Bishop asks for support after violence
COLUMBIA, Mo. (UMNS) — Missouri Area Bishop Robert Schnase says United Methodists have worked to heal conflict and foster peace and justice in days following the police shooting death of an unarmed teenager in Ferguson, Missouri. “We ask for your support,” Schnase said, urging those who want to help to be in touch with the Rev. Willis Johnson, pastor of Wellspring United Methodist Church. Under Johnson’s leadership, the church has been on the forefront of efforts to ease tensions and seek the truth.

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Fighting malaria means fighting Ebola

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) — The biggest Ebola outbreak in recorded history is sweeping across Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia, and has a foothold in Nigeria. United Methodist health workers equipped by Imagine No Malaria to fight malaria are now also fighting Ebola. Julia Frisbie, an Imagine No Malaria field coordinator in the Pacific Northwest and a writer and regular contributor to www.umcor.org, writes about how those trained professionals are making a difference.

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Accurate messages crucial in malaria, Ebola fight
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) — While malaria is curable, Ebola is not. But there is real concern that the mortality rate from malaria may rise because patients will not seek treatment. Therefore, it is critical to get accurate, life-saving messages to people in these areas, writes the Rev. Larry Hollon, top executive of United Methodist Communications, in a blog post.

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Mercado: Technology aids disaster recovery
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) — As part of a team sent by United Methodist Communications days after Typhoon Haiyan struck the Philippines, April Grace G. Mercado saw firsthand how technology can save lives after a disaster. “When Haiyan happened, all communication towers were knocked down. Satellite phones were rendered useless because of thick clouds overhead. The only useful form of communication was ham radios,” she said. Mercado is a panelist at the Game Changers Summit, a conference hosted by United Methodist Communications Sept. 3-5 in Nashville, Tenn.

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For more about the Game Changers Summit, go to umcom.org/gamechangers.


75 grants awarded in Young Clergy Initiative
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) — Projects aimed at increasing the number of young clergy in the denomination got a $5.5 million boost from the United Methodist Board of Higher Education and Ministry when the second round of Young Clergy Initiative grants were approved during the Aug. 8 board of directors meeting. Grants ranging from $100,000 to $5,000 went to the 46 projects chosen in the second ground. With the 29 grants awarded in the first round, a total of 75 projects have now received money as part of the Young Clergy Initiative approved by the 2012 United Methodist General Conference. The Board of Higher Education and Ministry’s Nicole Burdakin has the story.

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See full list of grants

Learn about Young Clergy Initiative


Back-to-school shopping? Consider UMCMarket
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) — UMCMarket.org, presented by the General Council on Finance and Administration, allows online shoppers to donate a percentage of what they spend back to their church or the United Methodist ministry of their choice. GCFA invites United Methodists to use the site while preparing for the school year or for the change in the seasons.

Visit UMCMarket.org


History of Hymns: ‘Saranam, Saranam’
DALLAS (UMNS) — “Saranam” is a Tamil word for “refuge” or surrendering oneself fully to deity.  In this hymn, D.T. Niles sees this deity as the one true God. C. Michael Hawn of Southern Methodist University’s Perkins School of Theology shares the story of Niles, a Methodist evangelist who was born in what today is Sri Lanka.

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