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Daily Digest - December 18, 2015

“To see a child respond to God at vacation Bible School in such a profound way is a pastor's dream.” — The Rev. Betsy Haas of Kitty Hawk United Methodist Church.

Boy’s pillows comfort children, thrill adults

KITTY HAWK, N.C. (UMNS) — Kingston Haynes, 7, designs his own line of comfort pillows for kids in need. He got the idea for Kingston's Kreatures during vacation Bible school at Kitty Hawk United Methodist Church, and some 250 of them have been made by his family so far. Sam Hodges reports.
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Christian project assists refugees in Italy

GENEVA (WCC) — A coalition of Protestant and Catholic organizations has reached an agreement with the Italian government to provide travel and integration services for refugees from North Africa and the Middle East. The project is the first of its kind in Europe, the World Council of Churches reports.
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Charles Wesley’s gift of music

MADISON, N.J. (UMC.org) — Happy birthday, Charles Wesley. Born on Dec. 18, 1707, Wesley became famous for hymns such as “Hark, the Herald Angels Sing.” This video celebrates “the poet laureate” of Methodism and his continuing impact on our Christian walk.
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South Sudan: 4 ministry bright spots

ALCOA, Tenn. (UMNS) — Holston Conference has been sending mission teams to South Sudan since 2006, but the most recent teams are witnessing a “season of harvest” after years of hard work in the struggling nation. The conference’s Annette Spence has the story.
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Global Ministries gets $500,000 grant

NEW YORK (UMNS) — The United Methodist Board of Global Ministries has received a $500,000 grant from the William I.H. and Lula E. Pitts Foundation in support of the mission agency’s establishment of its new home in Atlanta, Georgia.
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District builds 153 handicap ramps

MANORVILLE, Pa. (UMNS) — Since 2011, four teams in the Indiana District of the Western Pennsylvania Conference have built 153 ramps for the elderly and people with handicapping conditions. The United Methodist ramp ministry received a $2,500 grant from the Committee on Older Adult Ministries of Discipleship Ministries. Rich Peck has the story.
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Christmas carols: ‘Above all sing spiritually’

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMC.org) — Want to know more about your favorite Christmas carols? Christopher Fenoglio of UMC.org offers this short compilation of historical anecdotes to add more meaning to your music.
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Advent quiz: What does Emmanuel mean?

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) — During this season, we sing of the coming Emmanuel. Do you know what the Hebrew word means? Hint: The answer is in Matthew.
Test your knowledge

 

 

This will be the last UMNS Daily Digest of 2015. The digest will resume Tuesday, Jan. 5. We wish all our readers a Joyous Christmas and Happy New Year.

 

 

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.

Through Thursday, Dec. 24
Advent ResourcesOne stop for United Methodist Advent resources, including devotions, sermon starters and books from Cokesbury, Upper Room, Discipleship Ministries, Rethink Church and Imagine No Malaria.

United Methodist Communications offers a way to take Christmas Eve and Christmas Day to Facebook and other social media with free downloadable images to celebrate each Sunday of the season and an Advent quiz

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.