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Daily Digest: August 8, 2014

“There were times when I felt like I would not survive this situation. I’m a proud man, and I want to work. I want to support my family. But there was no way to find a job.”
– Hameed, a former interpreter for the U.S. military in Afghanistan, who has received assistance from United Methodist churches.




Churches step up to help Afghan interpreters
GLEN ALLEN, Va. (UMNS) — After seven years translating for the highest echelons of the U.S. military in his homeland of Afghanistan, Hameed realized he was in grave danger. Given just hours to prepare to leave the country, he and his wife and two small children arrived in Washington in February with little in the way of belongings, money or future plans.  A coalition of 10 churches in northern Virginia — eight of them United Methodist — learned about the situation of Hameed’s family and jumped in to help. Neill Caldwell shares the story.

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United Methodist Church responding to Ebola threat
NEW YORK (UMNS) — As the Ebola virus spreads in Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia, The United Methodist Church continues to be present and respond. The United Methodist Committee on Relief has distributed $87,000 in grants so far and lifesaving supplies and protective equipment are on their way to Sierra Leone and Liberia. Ecumenical leaders in both countries have called for three days of fasting and prayer, Aug. 6-8.  Gifts can be made to Disaster Relief, International #982450

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Communication is aid in Ebola fight
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) — Misinformation and misunderstanding about Ebola abound, and communications has a critical role to play in containing the disease, writes the Rev. Larry Hollon, top staff executive of United Methodist Communications, in a blog post. “In these circumstances, a clear message saves lives,” he writes.

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Pray Aug. 10 for peace on Korean peninsula
GENEVA (UMNS) — The World Council of Churches invites The United Methodist Church and other member churches to join in prayer for peace and reunification of the Korean peninsula on Sunday, Aug. 10, using a prayer prepared by the National Council of Churches in Korea and the Korean Christian Federation.

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Read UMNS story on Korea Peace March

Action urged on attacks on Christians in Iraq
GENEVA (UMNS) — The World Council of Churches has issued an urgent call to the United Nations for an immediate response to the killing of Christians and others by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria militant fighters. The WCC also sent a letter to its 345 member churches making them aware of the situation in Nineveh Province, Iraq, where Christians are fleeing because of a two-day mortar attack.

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Letter to member churches

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Fire destroys Missouri church
CARL JUNCTION, Mo. (UMNS) — A fire, possibly started by lightning, destroyed the Carl Junction United Methodist Church building, in Carl Junction, Mo., on Thursday, Aug. 7. The local fire chief noted that the destruction was hard for him to see, in part because he’s a trustee of the church.

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“Dowdy” was surprise assessment
BANNISTER, Mich. (UMNS) — Members at Bannister United Methodist were hurt when Vital Congregation consultants told them the church looked “dowdy.” But since finishing the Vital Congregations process, Bannister has seen attendance nearly double and raised enough money for two new furnaces and a new roof. Kay DeMoss with the Michigan Episcopal Area shares the story.

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Buddy Camp Brings Children Together
ALEXANDRIA, La. (UMNS) — KALB News Channel 5’s Noelle Bellow has the story on First United Methodist Church’s “Buddy Camp,” a program that has brought together able-bodied and disabled children for the past 14 years.

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