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Daily Digest - December 11, 2014

“The Cuban missile crisis gave me a strong patriotic sense of call, so when I finished seminary I entered military chaplaincy.” — The Rev. W. Thomas Carter, retiring director of the United Methodist Endorsing Agency.

Chaplain looks back on 50 years of service

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) — The Rev. W. Thomas Carter, who served as an Army chaplain during the Vietnam War, will retire on Dec. 31 as director of the agency that endorses United Methodist chaplains. He shares his recollections from Vietnam and talks about the challenges service members still face. Kathy Gilbert offers this profile.
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President Obama: Faith seeing the stranger as yourself

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) — President Barack Obama and United Methodist Bishop Minerva Carcaño have cited the Christmas story as the best example of how to welcome the undocumented “strangers among us.” Both were in Nashville on Dec. 9. Kathy Gilbert has the story.
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Bishop: Mandate to welcome is clear

STUTTGART, Germany (UMNS) — “Our mandate is pretty clear,” said Bishop Julius Trimble of the Iowa Conference, “when it comes to loving and welcoming the migrant, the stranger, our neighbor.” Trimble offered his reflections following the Global Migration Consultation that concluded Dec. 7. The Rev. Arthur McClanahan reports.
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Read overview of Global Migration Consultation

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

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) — The Rev. William Koch, a retired district superintendent and chaplain to the Missouri State Patrol, says he worries about "the high degree of animosity toward law enforcement in general" following the recent grand jury decisions. He urges churches to reach out to local law enforcement. 
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Survey finds strong church support for Scouting

IRVING, Texas (UMNS) — The national office of Boy Scouts of America survey found 64.9 percent of United Methodist congregations would actively encourage other churches and organizations to charter scouting units.
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Women of Color Scholars celebrate 25 years

SAN DIEGO (UMNS) — Thirty-nine women of color are now teaching in seminaries around the world with the help of a scholarship and mentoring program that celebrated its 25th anniversary this year. The United Methodist Board of Higher Education and Ministry created the Woman of Color Scholars program in 1989 to address the absence of women of color faculty in theological education, especially in United Methodist schools. Susan Naslund has the story.
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Why do largest churches not have female pastors?

PORTLAND, Ore. (UMNS) — According to the most recent data from the General Council on Finance and Administration, only two of the 100 largest United Methodist churches in the United States have women as senior pastors. In a blog post, the Rev. Jeremy Smith ponders this trend in a denomination that has long welcomed women clergy and offers some ideas for increasing the numbers.
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Advent quiz: What is the meaning of the word Emmanuel?

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) — We sing the word Hebrew word Emmanuel throughout the Christmas season. What does it mean?
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