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Daily Digest: February 25, 2014

“Early in our nation’s history, our Founding Fathers decided to be free of the destructive denominational wars of Europe. They knew firsthand the dangers of sectarian conflict and sought to prevent this nation from the horrors that continue in the present day in countries like Bosnia, Syria, and Nigeria, to name but a few.” – Statement of Texas interfaith leaders responding to Tea Party official’s stand against candidate because he is “Methodist.”

Age no obstacle in Dallas same-sex wedding
DALLAS (UMNS) — The longtime partners are 84 and 80 and the pastor is 85 and battling cancer. But the Rev. William McElvaney will unite Jack Evans and George Harris in marriage March 1, a violation of United Methodist church law. “We claim that our purpose is to make disciples of Jesus Christ and therefore to transform the world. … by excluding a whole group of people? … That’s just myopic, blindness,” McElvaney said.

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Texas faith leaders denounce opposition to ‘Methodist’ candidate
AUSTIN, Texas (UMNS) — Texas Impact and the Texas Interfaith Center for Public Policy, interfaith groups that include United Methodists, have released a joint statement critical of a Tea Party leader publicly urging voters not to vote for a candidate because he is United Methodist. “We raise our voices purely to affirm that there is no place for religious or denominational affiliation as a criterion for holding public office in the State of Texas,” the statement says.

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United Methodist missions program in top 20
NEW YORK (UMNS) — The Global Mission Fellows program has been named one of the top 20 "Service Programs that Change the World" by the Center for Faith and Service and FAITH3 in 2014. Global Mission Fellows is the United Methodist young adult missionary program that is part of Global Ministries’ Generation Transformation.

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Bishop Cho addresses Virginia legislature
RICHMOND, Va. (UMNS) — Virginia Area Bishop Young Jin Cho was already slated to open the Virginia House of Delegates with prayer on United Methodist Day, when hundreds of church members annually descend on the General Assembly to talk about key issues. As it turned out, however, Feb. 6 also happened to be an important day for Korean Americans in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Neill Caldwell has the story.

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Washington Post story on Virginia invocations

Meharry’s student-run free clinic helps underserved
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) — Now in its second year, the 12 South Clinic was founded by students of United Methodist-related Meharry Medical College to address healthcare disparities. The clinic is funded in part by The United Methodist Church’s Black College Fund.

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Michigan prayer reaches the Ukraine
MUSKEGON, Mich. (UMNS) — A banner and cell phone together became a prayer of encouragement Feb. 23 by a worshipper at Muskegon Central United Methodist Church for a frightened colleague in the Ukraine, a country embroiled in political conflict and violence.

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UMCOR offers 40 days of Lenten devotionals
NEW YORK (UMNS) — “The practice of Lenten disciplines,” says Bishop Hee-Soo Jung, “offers us the opportunity to deepen our faith, renew our commitment and prepare ourselves for the gift of Christ’s Resurrection.” Jung, who serves the Wisconsin Annual (regional) Conference, is one of several writers of a new collection of 40 Lenten devotionals that share the life-changing ministries of the United Methodist Committee on Relief.

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History of Hymns: ‘We’ll Understand it Better By and By”
DALLAS (UMNS) — The Rev. Charles A. Tindley was one of the eminent preachers of Methodism at the turn of the 20th century. His most famous hymn about faith in God in times of “somber skies and howling tempests” was written during a time of challenge during his ministry. Southern Methodist University’s C. Michael Hawn has the story

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Drew remembers MLK visit
MADISON, N.J. (UMNS) — A visit by the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. to Drew University 50 years ago will be the subject of a program Wednesday, from noon to 1:30 p.m. ET, on Drew campus radio station WMNJ. The Rev. Christopher Anderson, Methodist Librarian at Drew and staff member of the United Methodist Commission on Archives and History, will host.

To listen online