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Daily Digest - December 3, 2015

“I’m proud to be part of a global church that reminds us of humanity’s responsibility for the stewardship of God’s creation and keeps that at the center of these conversations.”
— The Rev. Lisa Garvin, speaking from Paris in a United Methodist video.

Prayer, advocacy are daily tasks at climate summit

PARIS (UMNS) — A team sponsored by the United Methodist Board of Global Ministries arrived here Dec. 2 to join a Board of Church and Society delegation and other faith groups providing support and advocacy during the U.N. climate conference. United Methodists can follow the activities of faith-based participants through video messages, social media and other online postings. Linda Bloom reports.
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Call for prayer after another mass shooting

PASADENA, Calif. (UMNS) — Bishop Minerva G. Carcaño, who leads the California-Pacific Conference, has called for prayer in response to the shooting in San Bernardino. The tragedy was still unfolding as she wrote: “Word of support and prayer for our California-Pacific Conference are being received from throughout the connection.”
Read her statement 
Resources for responding to violence

‘Pulpit Fiction’ podcast takes off

DAVENPORT, Iowa — “Pulpit Fiction,” a popular podcast recorded by the Rev. Robb McCoy of Two Rivers United Methodist Church, Rock Island, Illinois, and the Rev. Eric Fistler, a seminary friend, is a source of inspiration and information. Deirdre Baker reports for the Quad-City Times.
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Pulpit Fiction podcast

New support for theological education

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (UMNS) — The goal of a new endowment fund is sustainable, long-term support for theological education for United Methodist clergy outside the United States. Membership of The United Methodist Church outside the U.S. is 5.5 million-plus and growing and the need for educated clergy is growing, too. “It will continue for generations of future clergy,” said Bishop Patrick Streiff of the Endowment Fund for Theological Education in Central Conferences. “We hope to raise $25 million from supporters across the world.”
Read press release

Serving the bread of life — and pizza

ST. PAUL, Minn. — A handful of churches in Minnesota are building outdoor community brick ovens to serve the faithful with fresh bread and wood-fired pizzas after White Bear Lake United Methodist Church introduced the idea of using the ovens as a way to build community and feed physical and spiritual hungers. Richard Chin reports for the St. Paul Pioneer Press.
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Online forum on Vital Congregations, Four Areas of Focus

CHICAGO (UMNS) — The Connectional Table began a monthlong series in December on Vital Congregations and the Four Areas of Focus as part of the #CTTalks online forum. Beginning Dec. 1, a video will be posted each week that explores how vital congregations are aligning their ministry in ways that bear fruit in the Four Areas of Focus.
Read press release
Watch the videos

Goodpaster next Candler bishop-in-residence

ATLANTA (UMNS) — Bishop Larry M. Goodpaster of the Western North Carolina Conference will join Emory University's Candler School of Theology in the fall of 2016 as the school's next bishop-in-residence. Goodpaster will teach courses, preach and preside at chapel worship and ceremonial occasions, and offer counsel to students, particularly those seeking ordination in The United Methodist Church.
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Advent Quiz: A question about Mary

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMC.org) — How did Mary receive the news that she would bear the Son of God?
Take the quiz

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.

Saturday, Dec. 5
“The Sounds of CHRISTmas” — 5 p.m. CST, United Methodist Publishing House auditorium, 2222 Rosa Parks Blvd., Nashville, Tennessee. This production of music, drama and dance will take the audience from the rush of shopping to the real reason for Christmas. The presentation is a joint production of Strengthening the Black Church and several African-American United Methodist congregations — Braden, Brooks, Dixon Memorial, Gordon Memorial, Clark Memorial, Seay-Hubbard, Patterson — and the Tennessee State Wesley Foundation. Special guests for the performance will be children of incarcerated parents who were invited through The Matthew 25 Project, which aims to meet the needs of children whose parents are in prison. Admission is free and the worship offering will be donated to Matthew 25. For more information, contact the Rev. Fred Allen at fallen@umcdiscipleship.org or 615-521-5600, or Michele Morton at revmortonwesley@comcast.net.

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