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Daily Digest - December 10, 2014

“If we never get up off our knees and never do something with what we’re hearing from God in these conversations, then we are not fully being the church.” — Erin Hawkins, top executive of the United Methodist Commission on Religion and Race.

After grand jury rulings, what is the church’s witness?

NEW YORK (UMNS) — After separate grand juries decided not to indict officers involved in the deaths of two African Americans, United Methodists are seeking ways to bear witness that all lives matter. Church leaders, including those at the United Methodist Board of Church and Society, also plan to advocate for long-term reforms aimed at serving both the police and the people they are called to protect. Heather Hahn reports.
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Commentary: How is the church doing with injustice?

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) — As we move through the second decade of the 21st century, it is a good time to take stock of how The United Methodist Church is doing with persistent human injustice. The Rev. Fred Allen, national director of Strengthening the Black Church for the 21st Century, writes about what the church can do.
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Commentary: Ebola, health crisis are human rights challenge

WASHINGTON (UMNS) — As the world celebrates the 66th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights on Dec. 10, the focus on health as a human right is appropriate and timely, given the complex challenges that the Ebola crisis has brought to our attention. This commentary offered by the United Methodist Board of Church and Society examines the right to health.
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Video: Making a difference on HIV/AIDS

WASHINGTON (UMNS) — “We will not be satisfied until, worldwide, we have eliminated this virus,” says Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton in a video report on World AIDS Day 2014 by the United Methodist Board of Church and Society.
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Nativity scenes: More than meets the eye

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) — Nativity scenes are a common sight at Christmastime but what could seem like a simple decoration has a lot of spiritual lessons if you look hard enough. St. Francis of Assisi created the first crèche in 1223, in an attempt to bring the focus of Christmas back to the birth of Christ and away from material, gift-giving customs.
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Clark Atlanta receives $250,000 grant for fossil fuels research

ATLANTA (UMNS) — Clark Atlanta University received a $250,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Energy to conduct research that advances the safe and environmentally responsible use of fossil fuels, while providing educational and research training opportunities for minority students. Clark Atlanta, one of the 13 historically black universities related to The United Methodist Church, was one of three historically black universities to receive the grant.
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Advent quiz: Why are there shepherds at the manger?

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) — What do scholars say is the significance of the shepherds at the manger?
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UMC.org Advent quiz