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Daily Digest - December 8, 2015

“I figured I’d find three or four older ladies knitting. I came home and told my husband, `They’ve got a sewing factory.’” — Norma Ussery on the sewing group at Poetry United Methodist Church in Texas.


Sewing group comforts thousands with cloth

POETRY, Texas (UMNS) — The Women’s Fellowship of Poetry United Methodist Church is into sewing, not poetry. But what the members do is epic. Since 2001, they’ve made some 30,000 items — both useful and comfortable — and distributed them to children’s hospital wards, nursing homes, assisted living homes, hospice groups, U.S. military bases and other places of need. Sam Hodges reports.
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Refugees await fresh start in Germany

MESSSTETTEN, Germany (UMNS) — On a recent Saturday morning, the Lidl supermarket in Messstetten, a pretty town tucked into a hilly corner of southwestern Germany, was busy. Among the shoppers was Farhan Othman, a young Syrian mother, who strolled the aisles with her husband, Ahmade Alkalil, and sons Suleiman, 3, and Mohammad, 9 months. They are among the refugees living in temporary quarters there. Linda Unger and photographer Paul Jeffrey have the story for the United Methodist Committee on Relief.
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‘Signs of hope’ with Paris agreement

PARIS (UMNS) — Faith groups at the Paris climate summit were evaluating an updated draft agreement over the weekend, says John Hill, United Methodist Board of Church and Society, in a video report. “Our first read is that there are signs of hope and there is still work to be done,” he says. Some United Methodists have sent individual climate change pledges to the social action agency.
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#GivingTuesday gifts to Advance increase

NEW YORK (UMNS) — On Dec. 1, nearly 6,000 donors from 27 countries contributed $2.8 million through The Advance of the United Methodist Church on #GivingTuesday, up from $2.5 million last year.
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Church reopens with Bible-reading marathon

PITTSBURGH (UMNS) — Hill Top United Methodist Church, severely damaged by fire more than a year ago, reopened with a Bible-reading marathon. It took up to four people reading different chapters simultaneously in the last days, but members and supporters of the church managed to read aloud the entire Bible in the week leading up to the Sunday service celebrating the reopening of their worship space. Jackie Campbell reports for the Western Pennsylvania Conference.
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Suggestions for Christmas Sunday worship

SAVANNAH, Ga. (UMNS) — So it’s the first Sunday of Christmas (Dec. 27 this year), and many church leaders have already spent their creative resources on Advent and Christmas Eve. What should a worship leader do? The Rev. Ben Gosden of Aldersgate United Methodist Church in Savannah offers some inexpensive and simple ideas for meaningful worship.
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Take the Advent Quiz!

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) — Do you know the origin of the term “Chrismons?” Discover the origin.
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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 and put Digest in the subject line.

Friday, Dec. 11
Women in ministry luncheon — The Scarritt Bennett Center in Nashville, Tennessee, will host a Scholastica peer-mentoring luncheon for women in ministry from 11:45 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. CST. The Rev. Renita Weems, an elder and biblical scholar in the African Methodist Episcopal Church, will speak. Cost is $11. Details.

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