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Daily Digest - January 12, 2015

"This violence serves as an affront to freedom, human rights and the security of all people." — Ivan Abrahams, general secretary of the World Methodist Council on the attack on a Paris magazine.

Keeping faith with Haiti

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (UMNS) — Using photographs from 2010-2014, photographer Mike DuBose presents a visual record of how an earthquake changed this small Caribbean nation. The United Methodist Church has worked hand-in-hand with the Methodist Church of Haiti to rebuild churches, schools and homes. The first in the UMNS series “Keeping faith with Haiti.”
View the slideshow

NCC condemns killings of Paris magazine employees

WASHINGTON (UMNS) — The National Council of Churches condemned the killings of the 12 employees of the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in Paris, and defended the right to free expression. But the council expressed fear “that this defense of free expression may feed anti-Muslim sentiment and bring further division between Christians and Muslims.”
Read statement
World Methodist Council also condemns shootings

Baptism: God’s gift to us all

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) — The United Methodist Church recognizes the two sacraments in which Christ himself participated: baptism and the Lord's Supper. Baptism joins Christians everywhere and is a symbol of new life and forgiveness of sins. In this video, MaryJane Pierce Norton reflects on the meaning of baptism and offers ways to use the element of water as a daily reminder of this special gift.
View video

What can the church learn from Walt Disney World?

ORLANDO, Fla. (UMNS) — Walt Disney World finds a variety of ways to make its guests feel welcome. In a column shared by the Florida Conference, the Rev. Rich Birch, a New Jersey pastor, describes what churches can learn about hospitality and growth from the popular tourist destination.
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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.

Tuesday, Jan. 13
Free webinar "Church Council" — 6:30 p.m. CST. United Methodist Discipleship Ministries shares the resources available for building and overseeing a comprehensive plan for church councils and leadership teams, including those that opt for a single board leadership model. Details.

Thursday, Jan. 15 
Free webinar "SPRC Overview of a Year of Leadership" — 6:30 p.m. CST. United Methodist Discipleship Ministries offers suggestions for staff-parish relations committees to create a healthy work place for staff so that ministry is effective. Details.

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