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Daily Digest - January 20, 2016

"The United Methodist Church is the channel through which the good news of God’s love and salvation through Jesus Christ will be proclaimed." — East Congo Bishop Gabriel Yemba Unda on ministry to the pygmies.

 

East Congo pygmy tribes face discrimination

KANANA, Democratic Republic of Congo (UMNS) — Deep in the forests and savannas live tribes of pygmies who are among the poorest members of Congo’s society. United Methodists are reaching out to their neighbors who need churches, schools and health clinics. Kathy L. Gilbert and Mike DuBose have the story and photos.
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Kansas pastor who came out faces complaint

TOPEKA, Kan. (UMNS) — A Kansas pastor who came out now faces a complaint for being a “self-avowed practicing” gay clergy member. The Rev. Cynthia Meyer met with Great Plains Area Bishop Scott Jones about the complaint. Heather Hahn updates the story.
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Read Great Plains Conference report
 

European churches crucial to refugee response

GENEVA (WCC) — Churches in Europe have a crucial role to play in responding to the arrival of refugees in Europe, Germany's interior minister told a Jan. 18-19 gathering of governments, United Nations agencies, church and faith groups and civil society organizations. The Churches’ Commission for Migrants in Europe and the World Council of Churches also have published a revised and updated edition of their joint study, “Mapping Migration: Mapping Churches’ Responses in Europe.”
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More on migration study

Annual Lifewatch worship service set for Jan. 22

WASHINGTON (UMNS) — The annual Lifewatch worship service will be held at 9:30 a.m. EST on Jan. 22 at the United Methodist Building here. Thomas C. Oden, editor of the Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture, former theology professor at Drew University Theological School and Lifewatch board member, will preach. Lifewatch is an unofficial United Methodist group that seeks to witness for life and against abortion.
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Interim president named at United

DAYTON, OHIO (UMNS) — The Rev. Kent Millard, former senior pastor at St. Luke's United Methodist Church in Indianapolis, is United Theological Seminary’s interim president. The Rev. Wendy Deichmann, United's president for the past eight years, is taking a sabbatical. She plans to return to the classroom at United as professor of history and theology. United is one of 13 United Methodist theological schools.
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Sunglasses Sunday marks 25 years for Project 20/20

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (UMNS) — Project 20/20, an all-volunteer operation based at Emmanuel United Methodist Church, has provided glasses for distribution by international mission teams for 25 years. The project distributed almost 9,500 pairs of glasses and sunglasses in 2015. Sunglasses Sunday will be observed on Feb. 7. A special focus this year is donations of sunglasses, including for children. Grace Bonner, Project 20/20 coordinator, reports for the Memphis Conference.
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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. 26
Boston University School of Theology event "The Black Church Never Left the Outdoors: Eco-Justice and Environmentalism" — 5:30 to 8 p.m. EST. Dianne Glave, coordinator of diversity development in the Western Pennsylvania Conference, will speak on the connection between African-American and pan-African traditions and earth care. The Rev. Kapya John Kaoma will be her discussion partner. The event will be at 745 Commonwealth Ave. B23-B24 in Boston. Details.

Wednesday, Feb. 3
Early-bird deadline for Congregational Care Ministry Seminar at United Methodist Church of the Resurrection — The event is Thursday-Sunday, April 7-9, for pastors and church staff looking to become congregational care ministers. The gathering will be at Church of the Resurrection, 13720 Roe Ave., Leawood, Kansas. Topics include prayer, theology of care, boundaries, listening, visitation, death and grief, and organization. Early-bird registration is $140 until Feb. 3. Details.

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