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Daily Digest: February 24, 2014

“Just like the biblical Moses, Madiba’s purpose was connected to fellow human beings. ...His painful days in prison revealed Madiba’s purpose through the assignment he successfully championed. The question I ask myself is, 'Where I am on the map of God?'” – Tafadzwa W. Mudambanuki, reflecting on Nelson Mandela’s life.

Commentary: Mandela showed us how to forgive
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) — As Black History Month nears its close, Tafadzwa W. Mudambanuki, central conference coordinator for United Methodist News Service, reflects on a visit to Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for almost three decades. “Purpose as demonstrated by Madiba is magnified when lives are affected positively and tremendously by a person’s lifestyle,” he noted.

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Former Clinton spokesman marries faith with politics
WASHINGTON (UMNS) — Mike McCurry has gone from being President Bill Clinton’s spokesman to a graduate of and now teacher at United Methodist-related Wesley Theological Seminary. In a profile, the Washington Post shares how McCurry, who also serves on United Methodist Communications’ board of directors, now quietly lives out his faith.

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Spanish-language clergy program to graduate 2
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) — Two students are expected to graduate this year from a Bachelor of Theology program designed for pastors whose primary language is Spanish. The program, cosponsored by the United Methodist Board of Higher Education and Ministry and the Latin American Biblical University in Costa Rica and offered in collaboration with the National Plan for Hispanic/Latino Ministry, began six years ago. The program responds to the growing need for Hispanic/Latino leadership in The United Methodist Church and providing clergy who can help the church understand ministry in the context of Spanish-speaking communities.

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5 Adam Hamilton books top sellers
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) - The Rev. Adam Hamilton of the United Methodist Church of the Resurrection in Leawood, Kan., has claimed five slots on the March 2014 CBA Best Sellers Top 50 list, which is compiled from sales in Christian stores. The March list reflects sales through Feb. 1, 2014. Abingdon Press announced Hamilton's award-winning Lenten favorite “The Way: Walking in the Footsteps of Jesus” closed out the top 10, with “Final Words from the Cross,” “24 Hours that Changed the World,” “The Way: 40 Days of Reflection,” and “Love to Stay: Sex, Grace, and Commitment” rounding out the list.

Find Adam Hamilton’s books online.

Donald Will, peace professor, dies
ORANGE, Calif. (UMNS) — Donald Scott Will, 65, Delp-Wilkinson Professor of Peace Studies at Chapman University and former seminar designer in the United Methodist Office at the United Nations, died Feb. 10 at his home. His father, Herman Will Jr., was the long-time peace program director at the denomination’s Board of Christian Social Concerns.

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Tea Party official opposes candidate because he’s ‘Methodist’
FORT WORTH, Texas (UMNS) — Bud Kennedy writes in the Star-Telegram that the co-founder and president of the Northeast Tarrant (County) Tea Party set off a controversy when she wrote on her Facebook page that Republicans should vote for a Southern Baptist instead of a Methodist for a vacant judgeship because Methodists believe “anything goes.”

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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.

Deadline to register for online course “United Methodism 101,” Monday, Feb. 24Course runs Feb. 26-April 9, training from United Methodist Communications. Seating limited. $9.99. Details.

Deadline to register for online course “Moodle 300: Course Facilitation,” Monday, Feb. 24Course runs Feb. 26-April 9, training from United Methodist Communications, Moodle Basc and Moodle Advanced are prerequisite. Seating limited. $119.99. Details.

United Methodist Global AIDS Fund event “Just Save One,” Tuesday, Feb. 25 — 6:30 to 8 p.m. ET, Saint Mark United Methodist Church, 781 Peachtree St. NE., Atlanta. The event focuses on how individuals and churches can fight AIDS. Details.

Welcome Table at Wesley Theological Seminary, Tuesday, Feb. 25; Tuesday, March 4; and Thursday, April 3 — 4-7:30 p.m. ET events for prospective students include a campus tour, networking opportunities and the chance to attend a class. Details.

Free webinar “Children’s Ministry: Using Pockets Magazine in Groups, at Home and in Church,” Tuesday, Feb. 2510 a.m. CT, Lynn Gilliam, editor of Pockets, will offer suggestions and ideas for using this resource with the children of your congregation and community. To register.

Webinar “Does Your Church have a Personality?” Tuesday, Feb. 25 — 7-8 p.m. ET, finding out what Myers-Briggs can tell about a congregation, offered by Practical Church Resources and led by Julia Wallace, ministry coach and former staff member of the United Methodist Board of Discipleship. $10. Details.

Free webinar "Means of Grace, Means of Growth," 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. CT, Thursday, Feb. 27  Registration deadline is 12 noon CT, Wednesday, Feb. 26.Webinar from Upper Room and Interpreter magazine that explores practices in which Christians have traditionally engaged to grow in their relationship to God. To register.

Deadline to register for “Reclaiming Evangelism” Event, Wednesday, Feb. 269 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, March 1, Mullins United Methodist Church, 4 N. Mendenhall Road, Memphis,Tenn. The Rev. Heather Lear, director of evangelism ministries at the United Methodist Board of Discipleship, will speak. $25 per individual, $20 per attendee in groups of four or more. Details.

Deadline for early-bird registration for “180 Turnaround Church Conference,” Friday, Feb. 288:30 a.m.-4 p.m. ET Thursday, March 20 conference at Redeemer United Methodist Church in DeWitt, Mich. $49 per person. Details.

New deadline to register for Lake Junaluska Peace Conference, “Faith, Health and Peace: Seeking the Basic Right to Good Health for All God’s Children,” Saturday, March 1 —Thursday-Sunday, March 27-30, Lake Junaluska Conference and Retreat Center in Lake Junaluska, N.C. Partial student scholarships available. Details.

Transfiguration Sunday, March 2 — Resources from the United Methodist Board of Discipleship.

WebinarMaking Sure Your Church Website Works,” Tuesday, March 4 — 7 p.m.-8 p.m. ET, what belongs on the website, how to organize content and how best to use images, offered by Practical Church Resources. $10. Details.

Ash Wednesday, March 5 — Mark the start of Lent with worship resources from the United Methodist Board of Discipleship.

Creating Sacred Time for Your Family workshop, Sunday, March 2 — 6 p.m. CT, First United Methodist Church of Hurst, Texas. Details.

Our Sacred Journey with Children workshop, Monday, March 3 — 7-8:30 p.m. CT, First United Methodist Church of Hurst, Texas. Details.

Early-bird registration deadline for Engaging Local Schools Conference, Monday, March 3 — 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. ET, Saturday, March 22, Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, D.C. $20-50. Details.

Free webinar “Developing Your Ministry Plan 2: Discovering Your Congregation’s Niche,” Thursday, March 66:30 p.m. CT, Understanding the missional context of your congregation and your community is key for creating ministry that connects to newcomers. To register.

Sprague Lecture Series, "Christian Ethics and the Crisis in U.S. Criminal Justice," Saturday, March 8 - 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. ET, the University Plaza Hotel and Conference Center in Columbus, Ohio. Speakers include Michelle Alexander, author of "The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness,” James Logan, author of "Good Punishment? Christian Moral Practice and U.S. Imprisonment,” and Ohio West Area Bishop Gregory V. Palmer. Details.

Deadline to register for five online courses from United Methodist Communications, Monday, March 10Courses run March 12-April 23, choices include Communicating Faith in the 21st Century, Connectional Giving, Moodle 200: Basic Training, Web Ministry 100: What is Web Ministry? and Welcoming Ministry 100. Prices vary. Connectional Giving is free. Details..

Free webinar “Individual Faith Formation Planning for Children,” Tuesday, March 1110 a.m. CT, The interactive webinar explores what an individual faith formation plan for a child would look like and how it could shape the way a child engages. To register.

Free webinar “Multiplying Disciples: Part 1,” Tuesday, March 116:30 p.m. CT, Explore the qualities needed to build a lay-clergy team that leads the congregation in disciple-making. To register.

Free webinar “Freed Up Financial Living: Start This Ministry in Your Church!,” Thursday, March 136:30 p.m. CT, This course can help people in your church better understand their money, and how to control it so that it doesn't control them. To register.

One Great Hour of Sharing, Sunday, March 30 Donations the United Methodist Committee on Relief receives through this offering, along with other undesignated gifts made throughout the year, cover the relief agency’s costs of doing business. The United Methodist Publishing House offers “Be Hope,” a new, four-week study in preparation for One Great Hour of Sharing. $6.29-10. To order.

Deadline to register for the 2014 United Methodist Women Assembly, Tuesday, April 1April 25-27, Louisville, Ky. Details.

Sojourn/ing Women, Bold Voices Then + Now conference, Friday-Saturday, April 4-5 — Scarritt-Bennett Center, Nashville, Tenn. Prices vary. Details.

A Gathering of the Aldersgate Covenant, Friday-Saturday, May 16-17 — A 20-hour prayer for revival at United Methodist Church of the Resurrection, Leawood, Kan. Details.