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Daily Digest January 27, 2016

"In fact, Christian conferencing is not just a time set apart for conversations, but rather it is everything we will do at General Conference together." – Bishop Christian Alsted.

Will Christian conferencing imbue General Conference?

PORTLAND, Ore. (UMNS) — As delegates from around the globe prepare for The United Methodist Church's next top assembly, leaders pray the time will be washed in grace through Christian conferencing. Kathy Gilbert has the story. Read story and post a comment

Awards honor United Methodist communicators

PORTLAND, Ore. (UMNS) ─ The United Methodist Association of Communicators named Mark Doyal as "Communicator of the Year" and inducted the Rev. Joan G. La Barr into its Hall of Fame. The two longtime United Methodist communicators were among more than 80 honored Jan. 20 during the organization's meeting. Read story and post a comment

Super Bowl challenge seeks victory over hunger

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (UMNS) – Once the Denver Broncos and the Carolina Panthers were headed for the Super Bowl, a pastor from Denver laid down a challenge to Charlotte churches. "Denver United Methodists are formally inviting you to a food drive challenge between now and the end of the big game," wrote the Rev. Brad Laurvick. But, he added, no one loses when fighting hunger. Michael Rich reports for the Western North Carolina Conference. Read story  Read CBS Denver coverage

Embrace Church tops growth list

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (UMNS) – Embrace Church, a multi-site church in the Dakotas Conference, tops the list of the 25 fastest-growing large United Methodist churches as determined by ministry consultant Len Wilson. Embrace averaged 137 in worship in 2009, and now averages 4,000 at its four campuses and online. Read Dakotas Conference story (http://www.dakotasumc.org/news/embrace-named-fastest-growing-united-methodist-church/) View the fastest-growing large UMC's

Open umbrellas to intercept traffickers

SANTA CLARA, Calif. (UMNS) ─ United Methodist Women members ask church members to join the Intercept the Traffickers photo campaign and open their umbrellas to raise awareness of human trafficking around sporting events. The goal of "Opening an Umbrella" is to form a virtual line of defense around Levi's Stadium, where the Super Bowl will take place Feb. 7. Read story

Ferrum president to retire this summer

FERRUM, Va. (UMNS) – Jennifer Braaten, the 10th president of Ferrum College and its first woman president, announced she will retire in the summer of 2016. Sam Lionberger, Board of Trustees' chair, said Braaten's family was experiencing serious health issues and that she felt her obligation was to now be with family. "The college has grown in stature and reputation from her strong leadership during her tenure as president and our prayers of love and support are with her as she now enters a new phase of her life," he said. A search committee is being formed to seek a successor. Read press release

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.

The month of February

Black History Month ─ United Methodist Discipleship Ministries offers worship resources. The United Methodist Commission on Archives and History offers resources for African-American history.

Sunday, Feb. 7

Transfiguration Sunday — United Methodist Discipleship Ministries has worship resources.

More upcoming United Methodist events