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Daily Digest - December 14, 2015

“When we pray, ‘Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven,’ we are committing ourselves to the work of community building.” — The Rev. Cynthia Moore-Koikoi said in April of peace-building efforts in Baltimore after Freddie Gray died in police custody.

News poll: Racism voted top 2015 story

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) — The continuing struggle against racism in the United States — which occupied United Methodists in protests, prayer and peacebuilding — was the biggest story in the denomination in 2015, according to a United Methodist News Service poll of communicators. Vicki Brown has the story.
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Syrian doctor seeks asylum

CHICAGO (UMNS) — The Northern Illinois Conference’s Justice for Our Neighbors is currently helping eight Syrian refugees who are seeking asylum. One of those is a young doctor who was in his radiology residency when he was branded a traitor because he treated army patients. He escaped to Chicago and came to the free legal clinic for help obtaining asylum.
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Read UMNS coverage of Bishop Sally Dyck’s comments about the doctor and other refugees.

Video details history of Church Center for U.N.

NEW YORK (UMNS) — Wondering how the Church Center for the United Nations became a beacon for nongovernmental organizations working for peace, justice and human rights? A video from United Methodist Women offers a glimpse of how this ministry of hospitality evolved.
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Are online relationships healthy for teens?

MOBILE, Ala. (UMCom) — A Pew study found technology continues to change how teens form, nurture and maintain all levels of relationships. It's a highly nuanced study, but from a young person's perspective, the positive effects of online relationships outweigh the negative, writes Jeremy Steele.
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Church and Society names administrative officer

WASHINGTON (UMNS) — Richard "Rick" Reinhard has joined the staff of the United Methodist Board of Church and Society as the acting chief administrative officer, overseeing communication, finance and administration for the agency.
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Quiz: What do you know about Advent wreaths?

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) — On the third Sunday of Advent, why did some churches light a pink candle in their Advent wreath?
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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.

Thursday, Dec. 31
New Year's Eve/ Watch Night — Worship resources, including for covenant renewal and baptism reaffirmation, are available from United Methodist Discipleship Ministries.

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