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Daily Digest: January 27, 2014

“I always refer back to Noah and God saving his family and the animals from the flood. And I always feel that animals reflect the unconditional love that God has for his children.” — The Rev. Al Deal, who has created a dogs-welcome service.

Maryland church opens doors to dogs

SMITHSBURG, Md. (UMNS) — “For those who love their pets,” said the Rev. Al Deal of Mt. Zion United Methodist Church, they’re not just animals. “They are part of the family.” If they are part of the family, he asked, “why not invite them to church?” That’s just what he has done, reports The Herald-Mail.
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Pilot project to streamline student scholarships

BALTIMORE (UMNS) — Students who want to apply for college scholarships will find the paperwork lighter in a pilot project between the United Methodist Board of Higher Education and Ministry and the Baltimore-Washington Annual (regional) Conference. Students can go online and complete informational forms once instead of a new form for each application because their information will be stored in a database for reuse.
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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.

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

U.S. deadline 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

Deadline to register for “How to Increase Worship Attendance” seminar, Saturday, Feb. 1 — 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. CT, Saturday, Feb. 8, First United Methodist Church, 801 1st Capitol Drive, St. Charles, Mo. $49 per team; $15 per person. Details

Deadline to register for United Methodist Women Social Action Event: Poverty and the Christian Response, Saturday, Feb. 1 — 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. CT, Saturday, Feb. 8, First United Methodist Church, 703 Lee Avenue, Lafayette, La. Speakers include the Rev. Lisa Fitzpatrick — a 2013 CNN Hero — who is the director of APEX Community Advancement, Inc. in New Orleans. $15. Details

Disability Awareness Sunday, Feb. 2 — The 1996 General Conference voted to create Disability Awareness Sunday. Resources from the United Methodist Committee on Disability Ministries

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

Free webinar “Robert’s Rules 101: Learning to Participate in Conference Legislative Sessions,” Tuesday, Feb. 47:30 p.m. CT, the first in a series of leadership webinars offered by the United Methodist Commission on the Status and Role of Women. To see schedule and register

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

Free webinar “Developing Your Ministry Plan 1: Congregational DNA,” Thursday, Feb. 6 6:30 p.m. CT, the first of four webinars using the School of Congregational Development ministry plan to develop a focus for your church. To register

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

Cokesbury Vacation Bible School preview, Friday, Feb. 7 9 a.m. to noon CT, United Methodist Publishing House 201 Eighth Ave. S., Nashville, Tenn. Find more preview events near you

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.

Free lunch and Learn about Southern Methodist University’s Perkins School of Theology, Monday, Feb. 10 — 11:45 a.m.–1 p.m. CT, Perkins School of Theology’s Houston-Galveston Extension Program, 3501 W. Alabama, Suite 107, in Houston. Details

Early registration deadline for Lake Junaluska Peace Conference, “Faith, Health and Peace: Seeking the Basic Right to Good Health for All God’s Children,” Saturday, Feb. 15Thursday-Sunday, March 27-30 at Lake Junaluska Conference and Retreat Center in Lake Junaluska, N.C. Partial student scholarships available. Details

The Methodist School for Supernatural Ministry Session Six, "Power Evangelism,” Wednesday- Saturday, Feb. 19-22 — Course offered by Aldersgate Renewal Ministries in Goodlettsville, Tenn. A prerequisite for attendance is to have viewed or attended Session One, "The Basics" Details

Restorative Justice Weekend, Saturday-Sunday, Feb. 22-23 — Christ United Methodist Church in Sugar Land, Texas, near Houston, will host speakers from Alpha Prison Fellowship and the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. Jim Liske, president of Prison Fellowship Ministries, and Paul Cowley of Alpha International, London, will preach at worship services. Details