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Daily Digest — January 23, 2015

"Religious institutions may lack technical solutions or even skill or knowledge to address some of those problems they would be highlighting, but they can be offering a perspective of hope beyond business as usual." Pauliina Parhiala, ACT Alliance, on the role of faith groups in international affairs.

Human dignity sets tone for church’s international work

NEW YORK (UMNS) — Discussions about human dignity were part of a daylong symposium Jan. 21 at the Church Center for the United Nations exploring the role of religion and faith-based organizations in international affairs. Linda Bloom has the story.
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2015 ushers in renewed hope with dip in Ebola cases

FREETOWN, Sierra Leone (UMNS) — The new year comes with fresh hope of ending the Ebola epidemic in Sierra Leone, as the daily report of new cases now is sometimes in the single digits instead of hundreds. Phileas Jusu reports.
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United Methodist to celebrate Eucharist at National Cathedral

WASHINGTON (UMNS) — To commemorate the recent Interim Eucharist Sharing agreement between the Episcopal Church and The United Methodist Church, Washington National Cathedral will host a celebration at 11:15 a.m. Sunday, Jan. 25. In a first for the cathedral, the Rev. Gina Campbell, on staff there, will preside over the service of the Holy Eucharist. The Rev. Kim Cape, top executive, United Methodist Board of Higher Education and Ministry, will preach. A live webcast will be available at
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WCC condemns attacks on churches in Niger

GENEVA (UMNS) — Attacks on Christians in Niger, resulting in the destruction of more than 70 churches and the killing of an undetermined number of people, have been strongly condemned by the World Council of Churches.
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Super Bowl teams’ fans compete to help hungry

BOSTON (UMNS) — United Methodists on U.S. both coasts are turning the Super Bowl into a food fight. The Pacific Northwest Conference, home of the Seattle Seahawks, and the New England Conference, home of the Patriots, are competing to see who will collect the most canned goods and donations for local food pantries.
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Five ways to increase giving in your church

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) - Money can be a touchy subject, especially when we start talking about how churches can increase donations. However, the reality is that people want to give. Here are suggestions from United Methodist Communications to encourage generosity.
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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.

Monday, Jan. 26

Free lecture on disability and theology — 7 p.m. EST. Theologian and author John Swinton, chair of divinity and religious studies at the University of Aberdeen, Scotland, will deliver the lecture “Time, Hospitality and Belonging: Towards a Practical Theology of Disability" at Methodist Theological School in Ohio,in the Alford Centrum, 3081 Columbus Pike in Delaware, Ohio. Details

Tweet chat ahead of human sexuality panel — 9 p.m. EST. DreamUMC, a grassroots movement that arose out of General Conference 2012, will host a chance for United Methodists to pose possible questions for the third and final Connectional Table panel on human sexuality and the life of the church. The panel will be Feb. 10 in Maputo, Mozambique. To join the chat, use #DreamUMC. Details about the chat and the panel

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