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Daily Digest - January 12, 2016

"This is the fruits of the faith, this orphanage." — Okako Okenge Adolphine, director of a children’s shelter in Goma, Congo.

Orphanage shelters children in war-torn East Congo

GOMA, Congo (UMNS) — A United Methodist orphanage provides homes for 11 girls and boys ranging in age from 7 to 18. The shelter also feeds up to 30 children a day. Decades-long wars have left many widows and orphans in this gritty region of the United Methodist Kivu Conference. Kathy L. Gilbert and Mike DuBose visited the church and orphanage in a tour of the East Congo episcopal area in October.
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Use app to mark Christian Unity week

GENEVA (WCC) — Material for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, observed Jan. 18-25, is available for the first time on smartphones, computers and tablets. The World Council of Churches is collaborating with YouVersion, developer of the “Bible App,” on the free, digital format available in English, French, Spanish, German and Portuguese.
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More on Week of Prayer for Christian Unity

Worship band member heads to ‘American Idol’

BUTLER, Pa. (UMNS) — Most Saturday evenings, 15-year-old Isaac Cole McNany can be found playing and singing in the band at the God’s Country service at First United Methodist Church in Butler, Pennsylvania. He’s hoping to perform before a much larger audience this season on “American Idol.” Leslie Uriss Spehar of the Western Pennsylvania Conference has the story.
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Video: Small church’s soup kitchen

MARTINDALE, Texas (UMNS) — Martindale United Methodist Church, “The Little Green Church,” hosts a time of food and fellowship each Wednesday. The Rev. Don Duvall, the church’s pastor, says the conversation is as important as a hot meal. Austin W. Newton of the Rio Texas Conference has a video on this ministry.
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To reach the ‘Nones’ and ‘Dones,’ focus on the ‘Ones’

PORTLAND, Ore. (UMNS) — Many church leaders fret about the “Nones,” people who identify their religious affiliation as “none,” and the “Dones,” people who say they are done with church. The Rev. Jeremy Smith suggests churches can transform lives by focusing on the “Ones,” people engaged in only one activity in a faith community.
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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 and put Digest in the subject line.

Tuesday, Jan. 12
Webinar “Worship for All Ages: Ideas for Lent and Easter” — 6 to 7 CST. Want to try something new for Lent and Easter? The ecumenical education group Practical Resources for Churches shares ideas for new worship experiences and ways to make our time-honored traditions more meaningful and accessible. Details.

Friday, Jan. 15
Early-bird deadline for Caring for Creation Conference — The ninth event will be Friday-Saturday, April 8-9 at Decatur (Georgia) First United Methodist Church, 300 E. Ponce de Leon Ave. This year’s focus is on food and food systems. Keynote speakers include Norman Wirzba of Duke University, Jennifer Ayres of Emory University's Candler School of Theology and Alice Rolls of Georgia Organics. Scholarships are available. Another discounted registration deadline is March 15. To register.

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