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Daily Digest: January 21, 2014

“Rev. Ramon Nieves was a powerful man. His power was in his amazing humility, his strong commitment to the cause of justice, and his unwavering dedication to serve his community.” — The Rev. Zaki L. Zaki, Chicago Northwestern district superintendent.

Trial set for theologian who officiated at son’s wedding

NEW YORK (UMNS) — A United Methodist theologian and retired elder in the New York Annual (regional) Conference will face a church trial for officiating at the 2012 same-sex wedding of his son. The trial of the Rev. Thomas Ogletree is scheduled for March 10 at First United Methodist Church in Stamford, Conn.
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Chicago pastor dies after being injured on mission trip

CHICAGO (UMNS) — The Rev. Ramon Nieves, pastor of Humboldt Park United Methodist Church, died Jan. 16 in Chicago after an apparent swimming pool accident Jan. 10 in Guatemala City while on a volunteer mission trip with his wife, Yolanda. The Chicago native and member of the Northern Illinois Annual (regional) Conference led the New York 9/11 response program for the United Methodist Committee on Relief.
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Musical brings words of Martin Luther King Jr. to life

MIAMI (UMNS) — United Methodist Brigitte Keane is a supporter of a production of a musical about Martin Luther King Jr. and the civil rights movement that is being performed in Miami. She hopes to see the production tour elsewhere.
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Internet buzz over church anointing

BOSTON (UMNS) — The Boston Globe reports that the Dec. 12 interaction between Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley, the Roman Catholic archbishop of Boston, and the Rev. Anne Robertson, a United Methodist elder, at Sudbury United Methodist Church is creating much internet conversation.
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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.

Free webinar “Starting Small Groups,” Tuesday, Jan. 21 6:30 p.m. CT, Explores the varying purposes, audiences and formats for small groups, and provides leadership advice. To register

Free webinar “Health Care Tax Credits and the Church,” Wednesday, Jan. 227-8 p.m. ET, shows congregations how to file a form 8941 and claim a tax credit on staff health insurance costs, offered by Practical Church Resources. To register

Free webinar “Nominating Committee Develops Leaders,” Thursday, Jan. 23 6:30 p.m. CT, Advice for committees to identify, train and support leaders throughout the year. To register

Free Human Trafficking Seminar, Saturday, Jan. 258:30 a.m. to noon CT, Trinity United Methodist Church, 607 Airport Road, Huntsville, Ala. Speakers include Pat McCay, director of Human Trafficking Task Force in Madison County, Ala.; Lacy Tolar, executive director of Rescue 1 in Nashville, Tenn., and Tajuan McCarty of The WellHouse in Birmingham. To learn more or if child care is needed, contact Kay West at

Free webinar “Children’s Ministry: What Every Child Should Experience,” Tuesday, Jan. 28 10 a.m. CT, Using the resource “What Every Child Should Experience in United Methodist Congregations” to help children’s ministers choose and write curriculum. To register

Webinar “Facebook Ministry 101,” Tuesday, Jan. 28 — 7-8 p.m. ET, An introductory look at how to set up a church Facebook Page and engage your community, led by the Rev. David Czeisel of Village Church of Bayville and Glen Cove United Methodist congregations. $10. To register

Free webinar “Trustees Manage for Ministry,” Tuesday, Jan. 28 6:30 p.m. CT, Overview of the legal and fiduciary responsibilities for new and returning trustees. To register

Deadline to apply for Central Conference Theological Education grants, Thursday, Jan. 30 — Supports projects to improve United Methodist theological education in the central conferences in Africa, Europe and the Philippines. To apply

Black History Month, February — The United Methodist Board of Discipleship has music and worship resources.

Deadline to apply for 2014 Urban Fellows and Missional Fellows programs at Wesley Theological Seminary. Saturday, Feb. 1 — Urban and Missional Fellows receive a $10,000 stipend for educational and living expenses. Details

Deadline for U.S. conference members to apply for 2014 Young Adult Summer Internship, Saturday, Feb. 1May 29–Aug. 2, the United Methodist Board of Church and Society invites those ages 18–22 from United Methodist racial/ethnic minority caucuses to apply. Details

Ministers Week at Southern Methodist University’s Perkins School of Theology, Monday-Wednesday, Feb. 3-5 — The theme will be “Engaging the Bible.” Details

Deadline to apply for the Young Clergy Initiative grants, Wednesday, Feb. 5 — Supports applicants who develop innovative projects that could attract young people to ordained ministry in The United Methodist Church. To apply

Caring for God’s Creation Conference, Thursday through Sunday, Feb. 6-9 — Peachtree Road United Methodist Church, Atlanta. Matthew and Nancy Sleeth will be keynote speakers. The theme is “Keeping the Sabbath and Mindfulness as Sustainable Practice.” Sponsored by United Methodist group Caretakers of God’s Creation. Details

Workshop on “Preaching Lent and Holy Week: Dying and Rising with Christ,” Friday, Feb. 7 8:45 a.m.– 4:20 p.m. ET at United Theological Seminary, 4501 Denlinger Road, Dayton, OH 45426. $95.

Lake Junaluska Signature Series featuring Rachel Held Evans, Saturday, Feb. 22 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. ET. The popular Christian blogger and author will talk about how the Bible is meant to be a conversation starter, not a conversation ender. $25-35. Details

The Professional Association of United Methodist Church Secretaries conference, Thursday through Sunday, April 3-6 — Asheville, N.C., continuing education for administrative assistants and office workers in United Methodist churches. Details