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Daily Digest February 16, 2016

“There is a massive humanitarian crisis going on. This is one of those opportunities you have in your life to decide to be there or not.” – The Rev. Rachel Baughman, on joining a refugee relief effort in Lesbos, Greece.

 

United Methodists go the distance to aid refugees

DALLAS (UMNS) – Feeling called to offer a Christian response to a humanitarian crisis, a small group of United Methodists recently traveled to the Greek island of Lesbos to help care for refugees arriving by boat or raft. The group joined a grassroots relief effort, providing clothes, hot tea and tent space to families from Syria and other countries. Sam Hodges reports.
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Superintendent speaks out about imprisoned brother

DES MOINES, Iowa (UMNS) – The Rev. Kiboko I. Kiboko of the Iowa Conference says the Congolese government recently transferred his brother, Vano Kiboko, from a civilian to military prison in part because the brother “was befriending the prisoners.” The Rev. Arthur McClanahan offers this update on the ordeal of the United Methodist, who according to Human Rights Watch is wrongfully imprisoned.
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Reasons for young people to stay in church

GATLINBURG, Tenn. (UMNS) – The Rev. Jasmine Smothers of the North Georgia Conference recently challenged United Methodist teens to take a bigger role in church leadership and help reduce the flight of young people from the pews. “Why have you abdicated your power?” she said. Annette Spence of the Holston Conference has the story.
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Michigan church to reopen after tornado

PORTLAND, Mich. – Nearly eight months after a tornado blew the roof off the more-than-a-century-old Portland United Methodist Church, its doors will open once again Feb. 21 for Sunday worship. WOOD-TV reports.
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Podcast: ʽGet your spirit in shape’

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMC.org) – “Get Your Spirit in Shape” is a free, 30-minute, monthly podcast from United Methodist Communications featuring conversations with leaders, authors and others who offer spiritual nutrition and exercises for our everyday lives. In the first episode, J. Brent Bill, author of “Life Lessons from a Bad Quaker,” discusses how we strive to deepen our spiritual lives.
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Black History Month: UMW resources

NEW YORK (UMNS) – An online flipbook charting a racial justice timeline is one of several resources for Black History Month available through United Methodist Women. Dorothy Ravenhorst also recalls adopting the organization’s Charter for Racial Justice in Virginia in 1965.
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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.

Monday, Feb. 22

Webinar “Financial Tips for Clergy: Take the Bite Out of Income Taxes” ─ 10:30 a.m. CST. Clergy face some unique challenges when it comes to things like Social Security payments, estimated tax payments and housing allowances or exclusions. It is important to know the rules, but also the way to minimize the impact of your tax liability. United Methodist Discipleship Ministries hosts the Rev. Don Joiner, a certified financial planner, who offers tips to clergy who are navigating the preparation of taxes and planning for a sound financial future. Details

More upcoming United Methodist events