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Daily Digest - January 11, 2016

"I saw students trying to break the cycle of poverty, working two or three jobs, receiving financial aid and still struggling to make ends meet for their families." — The Rev. Clark Atkins, who initiated a mobile food pantry for students.

Mobile food pantry serves college students

HARRISBURG, Ark. (UMNS) — What college student hasn’t eaten her or his weight in ramen noodles while waiting on a paycheck or financial aid to arrive? Arkansas United Methodists have started a mobile food pantry, which gets nutritious meals to students at two-year colleges and their families. Martha Taylor of the Arkansas Conference reports.
Read story

Strengthening ministry with Hispanics

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) — Manuel Padilla is working with United Methodist conferences to strengthen ministry in the Hispanic/Latino community. He talked to the Rev. Gustavo Vasquez of United Methodist Communications about his work.
Read interview and post a comment

Praise for steps against gun violence

WASHINGTON (UMNS) — The Rev. Susan Henry-Crowe, top executive of the United Methodist Board of Church and Society, commended the steps laid out by President Barack Obama to reduce gun violence. “United Methodists have long held that mass shootings and routine gun violence is tragic yet preventable,” she writes.
Read statement

South Carolina’s Million Book Effort

REMBERT, S.C. (UMNS) — South Carolina children in need will receive funding for new books for their school libraries, thanks to a gift from the conference through its Million Book Effort. The conference donated $22,000 to three Title I schools in the state: West Lee Elementary School, Rembert; Main Street Elementary School, Lake City; and Greeleyville Elementary School, Greeleyville. Martha Thompson and Jessica Brodie report for the Advocate.
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Vital conversation on U.S. race relations

WASHINGTON (UMNS) — Philip Klinkner, a political scientist and author, will lead the next “vital conversation,” part of a series of online interactive videos offered by the United Methodist Commission on Religion and Race. He will explore the United States’ continuing struggles with race relations at 9 p.m. EST Wednesday, Jan. 13.
To register

Looking at the local pastor trend

PULASKI, Tenn. (UMNS) — The Rev. Ed Trimmer of Martin Methodist College reflects on the growing number of licensed local pastors in The United Methodist Church and takes a close look at the trend within the Memphis and Tennessee conferences.
Read commentary

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.

Sunday, Jan. 17
Human Relations Day — Special offering on this Sunday benefits ministries aimed at helping people reach their God-given potential. These include ministries that help people recover from addictions, help ex-offenders start anew and help people become disciples even while still in prison. Details.

Monday, Jan. 18
MLK Memorial Vigil — 5 to 6 p.m. CST. Scarritt Bennett Center in Nashville, Tennessee, invites participants to join in prayer, meditation and spoken word at Wightman Chapel to commemorate the legacy of the Rev. Martin Luther King. There will be readings from civil rights literature and time for silent reflection. Details.

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