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Daily Digest: August 4, 2014

“It’s a faith value and also an American value that we don’t turn our back on children.”
– Clay Jenkins, a United Methodist who led the Dallas County Commission in offering to provide shelter for unaccompanied minors arriving from Central America.



Border crisis had him leading, tweeting
DALLAS (UMNS) — Clay Jenkins, a United Methodist, drew on his Christian faith and even tweeted words often attributed to John Wesley while leading Dallas County to offer shelter for unaccompanied minors coming across the U.S.-Mexico border. The offer by Jenkins, top official of the county commission, sparked protests but also won him kudos from faith leaders.

Read story and comment

Indiana church leads way to help immigrant kids
FORT WAYNE, Ind. (UMNS) — St. Joseph United Methodist Church in Fort Wayne is leading a fledgling coalition of churches in finding solutions to help immigrant children settle in Indiana, despite Indiana Gov. Mike Pence’s proposal to send them back to where they came from. An opinion piece in the July 31 Fort Wayne Journal Gazette commended the churches’ efforts.

Read opinion piece

Read statement from Indiana Conference on unaccompanied minors

Call for solidarity with the persecuted in Iraq
MOSUL, Iraq (UMNS) —Christians, including United Methodists, and other people of faith are raising the alarm about the persecution of Christians in Iraq and the destruction of the tomb of Jonah, a site sacred to Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Christians in Mosul have largely fled after forces with the Islamic State, formerly known as ISIS or ISIL, told them to convert to Islam, pay a tax for non-Muslims or leave the city with only the clothes on their backs. Shia Muslims and many non-militant Sunni Muslims, who want no part of the Islamic State, also have felt compelled to flee.

Read the Wall Street Journal on the significance of the tomb

Read World Council of Churches statement

Read Religion News Service on what the media is missing

Church plans ‘Great Mustache Conspiracy’
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (UMNS) — Members of St. Mark’s United Methodist Church in Memphis wanted to celebrate the birthday of their pastor, the Rev. Brad Gabriel. The congregation’s idea, Gabriel writes, would do Groucho Marx proud.

Read story

Looking ahead
Here are some of the activities ahead for United Methodists across the connection. If you have an item to share, email and put Digest in the subject line.

Webinar “Plan Your Year Round Stewardship Campaign,” Tuesday, Aug. 5 — 7-8 p.m. ET. Course teaches how a congregation can develop a holistic process that will help people grow in faith and give generously, led by the Rev. Paul B. Nickerson, owner of Nickerson Coaching. $10. Details.

Free webinar “Revival: Faith as Wesley Lived It,” Thursday, Aug. 7 — 2 p.m. CT. The Rev. Adam Hamilton, senior pastor of United Methodist Church of the Resurrection in Leawood, Kansas, will talk about the life of John Wesley and the characteristics of a Wesleyan Christian. Details

Free webinar “Planning for Advent,” Thursday, Aug. 7 7:30 p.m. CT. This webinar will provide an overview of key themes of the Season of Advent and the Scriptures of the season. Details.

Annual meeting of MARCHA (Methodists Associated Representing the Cause of Hispanic Americans), Thursday-Sunday, Aug. 7-10Gathering will be at Hacienda Hotel LAX in Los Angeles. The Rev. Alexia Salvatierra, lecturer at New York Theological Seminary and expert on faith-rooted advocacy, will be the main speaker. Bishops Minerva Carcaño and Warner Brown will preach. Details.

Mission RoundUP for United Methodist Volunteers in Mission, Friday-Sunday, Aug. 8-10 — Workshops for Volunteers in Mission in the North Central Jurisdiction at Epworth Camp and Retreat Center, North Webster, Indiana. The theme is “Achieving our Mission: Barriers vs. Opportunities.” Details.

Free webinar “S.O.S. for Teachers Schedule, Organization, Safety,” Thursday, Aug. 7 — 7-8 p.m. ET, Help for a successful Christian education season, led by Jane Kintzi, a consultant at the Parish Resource Center. Details.

Early bird deadline for “Revitup! … For a Lifetime in Ministry” event for young clergy, Friday, Aug. 8— Event Monday-Wednesday, Sept. 15-17, in Atlanta for young clergy, ages 25-39, sponsored by the United Methodist Board of Pension and Health Benefits. The focus is on financial and leadership skills. $119 before Aug. 8. Details.

Deadline to register for Impact Kentucky in Louisville, Friday, Aug. 8 — Kentucky Annual (regional) Conference gathering for community service will be Saturday, Aug. 16. Other Impact Kentucky events will be Saturday, Aug. 23, in the Covington and Elizabethtown Districts, an Friday-Saturday, Sept. 19-20, in Henderson, Kentucky. Details.

Shreveport, Louisiana Skeeter Run, Saturday, Aug. 9 — The first of six 5K and one-mile run/walks in the Louisiana Annual (regional) Conference to support Imagine No Malaria, the denomination’s initiative to eradicate preventable deaths from the disease. The other five runs will take place across the state on Saturday, Oct. 11. $20 registration. Details.

Free J. Mark McVey concert, Saturday, Aug. 9 — 7 p.m. ET. Lake Junaluska Conference and Retreat Center in North Carolina will presentFinding Your Voice: Lessons for the Soul from a Life on Broadway,” a special performance by tenor McVey, who has starred in “Les Miserables.” Details.

Free Lake Junaluska Signature Series event featuring Fred Bahnson, Sunday, Aug. 10 — 7 p.m. ET, Fred Bahnso is a writer, permaculture gardener, and pioneer in church-supported agriculture. Details.

Deadline to apply for Ethnic Local Church Grants, Sunday, Aug. 10 — The grants, distributed by the United Methodist Board of Church and Society, aim to strengthen ethnic minority local churches through education, advocacy or leadership development as they engage in social justice. Details.

United Theological Seminary’s Preaching Retreat, Tuesday-Thursday, Aug. 12-14 — “The Promise of New Testament Apocalyptic” will be the theme of the retreat at the seminary’s campus at 4501 Denlinger Road, Dayton, Ohio. The event aims to help pastors and students gain competence in preaching apocalyptic texts in the New Testament. Details.

Deadline to apply to join regional Healthy Families, Healthy Planet advocacy training, Friday, Aug. 15 — The free United Methodist training in advocating for women and girls will be Saturday, Sept. 6, with an optional session on Monday, Sept. 8, in Peoria, Illinois. Applications are required. Details and application.

Deadline to register for Just Save One conference to equip HIV and AIDS Ministries, Friday, Aug. 15 — The gathering will be Thursday through Saturday, Sept. 11-13, at the Renaissance Hotel in Denver and sponsored by the United Methodist Global AIDS Fund. Details.

Online courses from in August and SeptemberAug. 18-Sept. 2: Come to the Table (study of United Methodist theology and practice of the sacrament of Holy Communion); Aug. 18-Sept. 2: Come to the Waters (study of United Methodist theology and practice of the sacrament of Baptism); Aug. 18-Sept. 2: Biblical Storytelling I; Sept. 8-23: Life Together in the United Methodist Connection; Sept. 8-23: Living Our United Methodist Beliefs; Sept. 8-19: Becoming an Even Better Sunday School or Small Group Teacher; Sept. 15-26: Youth Ministry 101; Sept. 22-Oct. 3: Active Learning for Today's Children. Details.

Free webinar “What Every Teacher Needs to Know,” Tuesday, Aug. 19 — 6:30 p.m. CT, The United Methodist Board of Discipleship offers tips for effective leadership in small groups and other classes. Details.

Seven Levers Workshop: Missional Strategies for Conferences with Bishop Robert Schnase, Saturday, Aug. 23 — 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. CT at Collierville United Methodist Church, 454 W. Poplar Ave., Collier, Tennessee. $10. Details.

Symposium on “Understanding Human Trafficking: From Awareness to Action,” Saturday, Aug. 23 — 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. ET, sponsored by Frankfort District United Methodist Men and United Methodist Women at Frankfort (Kentucky) First United Methodist Church, 211 E. Washington St. $16. Details.

Deadline to register for workshop “Small Churches Can Have A Big Impact: Making your Voice & Vote Count!” Monday, Aug. 25 — Event is at 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. ET Saturday, Sept. 6. Ohio West Area Bishop Gregory V. Palmer will be the keynote speaker at this workshop at The Methodist Theological School in Ohio, 3081 Columbus Pike, Delaware, Ohio. $20-25. Details on PDF.

Webinar “Planning Your Fall Financial Campaign,” Tuesday, Aug. 26 — 7-8 p.m. ET This ecumenical webinar will give advice on how to customize a stewardship campaign by meeting people where they are on their journey of faith. $10. Details.

Deadline for early-bird discount on 2015 United Methodist Program Calendars, Sunday. Aug. 31 — Order before date and receive 10 percent discount. Use Promo Code CAL15EP.

Converge 2014: A Gathering of Pastors for Pastors, Monday-Wednesday, Sept. 8-10 — The event for clergy and church staff will be at St. Paul’s United Methodist Church in Joplin, Missouri. Erwin Raphael McManus, founder of MOSAIC community of faith in Los Angeles, will be the keynote speaker. $70, discounted from what’s on the website. Details.

One Board Model Seminar, Sunday, Sept. 142 p.m. CT. The Rev. Bob Farr, director of congregational excellence for the Missouri Annual (regional) Conference, will lead training for churches to implement a one-board model at The Connection, 6701 Virginia Ave., St. Louis. Details on PDF.

Christians Engaged in Faith Formation conference “CEF2014: May the Circle be Unbroken,” Friday-Monday,Oct. 17-20 — This is a conference for United Methodist Christian Educators and leaders in faith formation from other denominations at Millennium Maxwell House Hotel in Nashville, Tennessee. Details.