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Daily Digest - February 20, 2015

"We are taking technology happening in the United States and sharing it across Africa." Robin Pippin of Discipleship Ministries says of the E-reader project.

 

E-readers offer better, cheaper theological texts

ABIDJIN-DOUMÉ, Côte d’Ivoire (UMNS) — Tété Gnamba Laurent Martial, a freshman at a United Methodist seminary, has spent $400 copying textbooks in the past four months. But a program to provide e-readers for theological students in Africa and the Philippines has brought relief for 50 students and faculty members at the theological school. Isaac Broune reports.
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WCC, NCC decry acts of terror in Denmark, Libya

GENEVA (UMNS) — In a letter to the Lutheran bishop of Copenhagen, the Rev. Olav Fykse Tveit of the World Council of Churches expressed deep concern over acts of terror in Denmark but noted the church’s “strong voice for justice and for peace” and its “special calling to show that this unity of humanity is real.” In the U.S., the National Council of Churches stated its “great distress” over the execution of 21 Coptic Christians by ISIS in Libya. Along with The United Methodist Church, the Coptic Orthodox Church is one of the National Council of Churches’ 37 member communions.
Read WCC story
See NCC statement

Newspaper names United Methodist top volunteer

CHENEYVILLE, La. (Town Talk) — On any given afternoon, Doris Earnest and other members of the United Christian Women's organization can be found around Earnest's table, drinking coffee and figuring who needs the next “prayer quilt,” school bag, or cookies — and the list goes on. Miranda Quartemont of The Town Talk shares why the member of Cheneyville United Methodist Church was chosen as the newspaper’s volunteer of the month in January.
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Smart Loan program costs less

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) — Daniel Mateer knew the United Methodist Smart Loan option made the most sense for helping pay for his electrical engineering courses at West Virginia University in Morgantown. “Do the numbers,” he said. After running a spreadsheet with figures from various student loans, it was obvious that the non-deferred loan cost less. The United Methodist Board of Higher Education and Ministry is accepting applications for spring and summer loans until May 5.
Read press release

Lenten reflections from two young clergymen

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (UMNS) — Two young clergymen in the Western North Carolina Conference are writing Lenten reflections on the writings of theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer. The Revs. James L. Burroughs III and Juston R. Smith will be using the devotional book “God is on the Cross: Reflections on Lent and Easter” as a starting point to their reflections and devotions.
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Read reflections

How did the early church observe Lent?

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) — The early church viewed Lent slightly differently than we do today. Do you know how they observed the season? Find out by taking the United Methodist Communication’s daily quiz.
Take 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.

Tuesday, Feb. 24
Deadline to register for online course "United Methodism 101" from United Methodist Communications — Course offered Feb. 25 - April 8 on the denomination's history, structure, ministries and challenges. $9.99. Details.

Youth ministry webinar "Measuring Success: The Dangers of Playing the Numbers" — 7-8 p.m. EST. The last of three webinars led by the Rev. Sam Halverson, longtime youth minister and associate director of connectional ministries in the North Georgia Conference. This one looks at viable and more sustainable ways of measuring success in ministry, beyond counting program attendance. Details.

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