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Daily Digest — August 20, 2015

We must come together to gain strength for the journey and for mutual accountability.” — The Rev. Maxine Allen on the isolation faced by many black clergywomen.

Black clergywomen’s conference offers respite

ROCKVILLE, Md. (UMNS) — A gathering of 150 black United Methodist clergywomen provided a place of respite from the day-to-day isolation faced by many of the women. The Aug. 3-6 gathering was the 27th annual meeting of the Black Clergywomen of The United Methodist Church and included women from five jurisdictions. The Rev. Sheron C. Patterson reports.

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UMW plans to sell Alma Mathews House

NEW YORK (UMNS) — The United Methodist Women board has voted to authorize the sale of Alma Mathews House, a guest house in New York City's Greenwich Village for United Methodist Church agencies and other nonprofits. Board members said the high maintenance costs and rising property values created an opportune time to sell the facility and reinvest the funds into mission addressing the needs of women, children and youth today.
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Read about Alma Mathews

Elvis, among others, entered UMCOM

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) — If the walls at United Methodist Communications could talk, amazing stories would pour forth. The agency’s 75-year history includes hosting such luminaries as Elvis Presley, Chet Atkins and Alex Haley in its state-of-the-art production facilities. Natalie Bannon reports.
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More about Elvis Presley’s Methodist moment

5 lessons from 3 storytellers

FRAKES, Ky. (UMNS) — Want to be an effective storyteller or share sermons that will make people sit up and listen? Annette Spence of Holston Conference’s The Call offers five tips from experienced Appalachian storytellers.
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Seminary dean has essay in ‘I (Still) Believe’

DURHAM, N.C. (UMNS) — Ellen Davis, interim dean and professor of Bible and practical theology at Duke Divinity School, has an essay in the new book “I (Still) Believe: Leading Bible Scholars Share their Stories of Faith and Scholarship.” The book, published by Zondervan, looks at whether serious Bible study threatens or enhances faith.
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Bishop: To renew church, put focus on Jesus

INDIANAPOLIS (UMNS) — “I truly believe that we have to focus upon Jesus in order to find the renewal and revival that we seek,” writes Indiana Area Bishop Mike Coyner in a commentary. He suggests five changes that would result from putting Jesus at the center.
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Born again: After the storm

NEW ORLEANS (UMNS) — Since Hurricane Katrina smashed into Louisiana in 2005, the Epworth Project has assisted 7,631 clients and hosted more than 56,000 volunteers who have repaired 2,447 homes. Writer Kathy Gilbert and photographer Mike DuBose revisited Epworth and other projects on the 10th anniversary of the devastating storm.
The series on Katrina begins Monday, Aug. 24.

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. 8 

Deadline to register for four online courses offered by United Methodist Communications — United Methodist Communications will offer the following courses Sept. 9-21: “Communicating Faith in the 21st Century,” “Connectional Giving," "Moodle 100: Basic Training" and “Welcoming Ministry 100.” Costs vary. “Connectional Giving” is free. Details

Tuesday-Thursday, Sept. 8-10

“Healthy Congregations, Healthy Communities,” Houston, Texas. A U.S. health care summit for United Methodists engaged in health ministries to learn about a new congregational health initiative, Healthy Congregations, Healthy Communities.” — The initiative is being launched jointly  by the United Methodist Board of Global Ministries, the Board of Pension and Health Benefits and Wesley Theological Seminary. The summit will highlight congregational and annual conference work in health ministry and feature work across general agencies that supports healthy clergy, congregations and communities. Details

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