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Daily Digest: January 17, 2014

“While we are yet flawed by those among us who hold to racial bigotry and intolerance, they no longer define us as a nation or a people!” — Bishop Woodie W. White in his 2014 letter to the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

Bishop’s letters to MLK trace highs and lows of race relations

WASHINGTON (UMNS) — For decades, retired United Methodist Bishop Woodie W. White has marked the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday by writing a “birthday letter” to the civil rights leader. Adelle M. Banks of the Religion News Service offers background on how the bishop began the ritual and the bishop’s involvement in the U.S. civil rights movement.
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Bishop White’s 2014 letter to Martin

ATLANTA (UMNS) — “I write this year with mixed emotions,” says Bishop Woodie W. White in his annual letter, published this year by InterpreterOnline. He shares his thoughts on the passing of civil rights champion Evelyn Gibson Lowery and elder statesman Nelson Mandela as well as his concerns about where he sees bigotry on the rise.
Read letter

Human Relations Day is Jan. 19

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) — One of six churchwide Special Sundays with offerings for The United Methodist Church, Human Relations Day strengthens United Methodist outreach to communities in the United States and Puerto Rico, encouraging social justice and work with at-risk youth.
Find resources and examples of how grants are used

Cass Community beats the cold

DETROIT (UMNS) — The Rev. Laurie Haller, pastor of Birmingham (Mich.) First United Methodist Church, reflects on the warmth and shelter provided by Cass Community Social Services, a United Methodist ministry, as nearly a foot of snow piled up in Detroit. “Jesus may have never experienced sub-zero temperatures, but Jesus is right here,” Haller writes.
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Housing accommodations for General Conference

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) — The Commission on General Conference has selected Connections Housing as the official accommodations partner for the 2016 General Conference in Portland, Ore., and the 2020 General Conference in Minneapolis. General Conference, which meets every four years, is the denomination’s top lawmaking assembly and the only body that can speak for The United Methodist Church.
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The power of the small

CROSS LANES, W. Va. (UMNS) — Three parts of the polluting chemical in a million parts of water is all it took to shut down the entire water distribution system, notes the Rev. Gary Nelson, pastor of Cross Lanes United Methodist Church. He ponders, “What’s the power of one selfless act of love in an ocean of selfishness, greed and hatred?”
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2013 an amazing year, but 2014 may be better

WASHINGTON (UMNS) — “United Methodist engagement in justice ministries has reached sky-high levels,” writes Bill Mefford of the United Methodist Board of Church and Society. He then outlines his agency’s priorities for 2014.
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Looking ahead to Monday

Keep the following Monday events in mind and watch for the full Looking Ahead in the Tuesday, Jan. 21 Daily Digest.

Martin Luther King Day — The United Methodist Board of Discipleship offers worship resources.

Wisconsin Conference’s Martin Luther King celebration — 7 p.m. CT, Albright United Methodist Church, 5555 W. Capitol Dr. in Milwaukee. Bishop Julius Trimble of the Iowa Conference will be a guest preacher. An offering will be taken for the Rising Sun Camp, a Wisconsin United Methodist-sponsored summer camp that serves school-age children who have incarcerated parents. To watch livestream