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Daily Digest - January 16, 2015

"We all agree that this (Paris attacks) only strengthens our resolve to carry on this path of dialogue and meetings that we have taken the first steps on." — Karl Anders Ellingsen, the United Methodist Church in Norway.

Promoting interreligious dialogue after Paris attacks

NEW YORK (UMNS) — The month before the deadly attacks on a Paris magazine office and a Jewish market, a small group of United Methodist and Muslim young adults in Norway discovered they had more in common than they realized. Now, they would like to continue the dialogue. Linda Bloom has the story.
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Turning racial nightmares into dreams

ASBURY PARK, N.J. (UMNS) — The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. taught us that we can transform evil into good. God enables us to do that. But we first have to acknowledge the evil before we, through God, can transform it, writes the Rev. Gilbert H. Caldwell, a veteran of the U.S. civil rights movement whose grandfather was born into slavery. For the United Methodist Commission on Religion and Race, he also put together a viewing guide for the movie “Selma.”
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Guide for the movie “Selma”

Ebola adds to struggles of Liberian elderly

MONROVIA, Liberia (UMNS) — Well before Ebola began ravaging their country, elderly Liberians were feeling vulnerable because of changing family structures. “Then came Ebola. It wiped out entire families, but in some cases, it carried away the primary breadwinners, leaving many vulnerable persons, primarily orphans and the elderly, who struggle to find a single meal for the day,” said Moses B. Kiadii, a member of a coalition of advocates for the elderly. Nyamah Dunbar reports.
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Duke cancels Muslim call to prayer from chapel

DURHAM, N. C. (UMNS) — Duke University has reconsidered a previously announced plan to present a traditional Muslim call-to-prayer from the Duke Chapel bell tower, campus officials said Thursday.
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Read CNN coverage
 

Initiative takes churches on journey to vitality

GREENWOOD VILLAGE, Colo. (UMNS) — The Rev. Jeremy Scott says the Whole Church Initiative in the Yellowstone and Rocky Mountain conferences could borrow some guidelines from Alcoholics Anonymous about being honest in a “constructive, not confrontive way.” Charmaine Robledo, communicator for the Rocky Mountain Conference, reports on the initiative.
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New podcast focuses on ‘The Beloved Community’

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) — The Upper Room’s Academy for Spiritual Formation invites United Methodists and others to listen to “From the Well,” a podcast which draws from spiritual content gathered and shared at academies over the years. In honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, this month's podcast focuses on listening and its importance in the creation of The Beloved Community.
To download the podcast

United Methodist News Service will not publish a Daily Digest on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Jan. 19. The Daily Digest will return on Jan. 20.

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-Saturday, Jan. 18-24
Week of Prayer for Christian Unity — The Office of Christian Unity and Interreligious Relationships, part of the Council of Bishops, urges United Methodists to participate. Resources, including posters, daily Scripture, prayer guides, bulletins, pulpit announcements and prayer cards, are available online from the Graymoor Ecumenical & Interreligious Institute.

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