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Daily Digest - December 9, 2014

"Bottom line for me is we’d love to have Francisco home by Christmas, but we just don’t feel comfortable letting him go." — The Rev. Jim Wiltbank said of Francisco Perez Cordova, who is in sanctuary at St. Francis in the Foothills.

 

Arizona church takes lead in offering sanctuary

TUSCON, Ariz. (UMNS) — The people at St. Francis in the Foothills United Methodist Church love having Francisco Perez Cordova around. But for his sake they’d love to see him go, provided he first gets assurance that he won’t be deported. Perez Cordova lives fulltime at the church after he accepted sanctuary from a possible deportation order. Sam Hodges has the story.
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Amid Ebola, Liberian church celebrates Student Day

MONROVIA, Liberia (UMNS) — For the last five years, United Methodist Student Day brought United Methodist students together in Ganta, Gbarnga or Buchanan. This year, the pomp and pageantry that usually mark the day in Liberia were missing because of the Ebola crisis. Julu Swen reports.
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New Sager Brown dorm to be named for Dixon, Rabb

BALDWIN, La. (UMNS) — The United Methodist Committee on Relief broke ground recently for a new dormitory on the UMCOR Sager Brown campus that will be named for the Rev. Sam Dixon and the Rev. Clinton Rabb, who perished nearly five years ago in the devastating earthquake in Haiti.
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‘We need to advocate for ways to bring peoples together’

FREUDENSTADT, Germany (UMNS) — United Methodists need to “celebrate migration and the migrant,” said Thomas Kemper, the top executive of the United Methodist Board of Global Ministries. He spoke at a Global Migration Consultation that discussed trends in migration worldwide and how the church is responding. The Rev. Arthur McClanahan has stories on the meeting.
Read Global Migration Consultation — Day Two
Read Global Migration Consultation — Day Three
 

Meet the new chief strategist for vital congregations

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) — The Rev. Sara B. Thomas of the West Ohio Conference joined the staff of the denomination's Discipleship Ministries on Dec. 1 as chief strategist for vital congregations. Thomas has served as senior pastor of Maize Manor United Methodist Church in Columbus since May. 
Read press release
 

History of Hymns: ‘Advent Hymn’

DALLAS (UMNS) — Noted United Methodist composer Jane Manton Marshall celebrated her 90th birthday on Dec. 5. C. Michael Hawn of Southern Methodist University’s Perkins School of Theology says Marshall’s “Advent Hymn,” is representative of her work “as both an astute text writer and gifted musical composer.”
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Read UMNS story on Marshall
 

Advent quiz: What are those Christmas trees with white ornaments?

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) — During Advent, many churches display trees decorated with white ornaments called Chrismons. What is the origin of the term Chrismons?
Take today’s quiz
UMC.org Advent quiz