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Daily Digest: February 5, 2014

"…our church has an opportunity to be a moral force: to stand with the oppressed and marginalized, to raise up a new generation of spiritual leaders, and to contribute to the building of a renewed society based on justice and the well-being of all." — The Rev. John Calhoun, a United Methodist missionary in Ukraine.

United Methodists and the crisis in Ukraine

KIEV, Ukraine (UMNS) — The Rev. John Calhoun, a United Methodist Board of Global Ministries missionary in Ukraine, explains how United Methodists there have been gathering to discuss the impact of the months-long protests in that country on the life and ministry of the church and how United Methodists should respond.
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New York Times analysis

King cakes project helps feed the hungry

MIDWEST CITY, Okla. (UMNS) — Boulevard United Methodist Church is keeping the ovens hot, baking king cakes, a part of Mardi Gras tradition, to fund the church’s meal ministries. The Oklahoma Gazette explains how this fundraising effort began as a form of therapy for a parishioner recovering from a seizure.
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West Virginia clergy take the plunge

ROMNEY, W. Va. (UMNS) — Clergy in the Potomac Highlands District jumped in the (not so cold) water of Mount Storm Lake over the weekend. It was all for a good cause — Imagine No Malaria. So far they've raised $3,000 dollars to help save lives in Africa.
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Evolution Weekend: Different ways of knowing

NEW YORK CITY (UMNS) — Michael Zimmerman, founder of The Clergy Letter Project, writes in The Huffington Post that this year’s theme for Evolution Weekend — Different Ways of Knowing — was selected to recognize that religion and science use different methodologies to ask and answer different kinds of questions.
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Science and Faith: 9th Evolution Weekend ahead

Oklahomans speak against same-sex wedding ban

OKLAHOMA CITY (UMNS) — NewsOK reports that some United Methodists — clergy and lay ___ are placing newspaper advertisements to express their disagreement with the denomination’s same-sex marriage ban. “We felt like, as United Methodists, we wanted to send a message of hope, because there are LGBT United Methodists that are hurt again and again when they read that our institution leaves them out,” said the Rev. Trina Bose North.
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Anglican archbishops protest anti-gay laws

LONDON (UMNS) — Archbishops Justin Welby of Canterbury and John Sentamu of York have written the presidents of Nigeria and Uganda, in protest of the countries' anti-gay laws. The Huffington Post reports that the action comes after the two countries passed legislation to penalize homosexuals.
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Funding sought for expanded e-reader project

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) — A pilot project to supply e-readers loaded with theological teachings to students and faculty at universities in Africa did so well that a second fundraising effort is under way. The pilot project was funded by the United Methodist boards of Higher Education and Ministry and Discipleship. The United Methodist Publishing House provided select texts that were loaded into the e-readers.
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Why a clergywoman teaches yoga

CLEVELAND, Miss. (UMNS) — For years, Christians have debated whether followers of Christ should practice yoga. The Rev. Darian Duckworth, a United Methodist pastor in the Mississippi Annual (regional) Conference, shares how she sees yoga strengthening her Christianity.  
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Exploring the affirmation of being

ADRIAN, Mich. (UMNS) — Reflecting on sacrifice, the Rev. Chris Momany, chaplain at United Methodist-related Adrian College, poses two questions in The Christian Century: Who is it that offers and even enacts the sacrifice of atonement and for whom is this sacrifice given?
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Drew radio program on MLK postponed

MADISON, N. J. (UMNS) — A Drew University radio program about Martin Luther King Jr.'s visit to the school has been postponed from Wednesday, Feb. 5, to Wednesday, Feb. 26. The time remains from noon to 1:30 p.m. The program is part of Drew’s Black History month observances.
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