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Daily Digest - January 30, 2015

"Mercy Junction was blessed when it was given a building. With this space, it hopes to be sustainable soon. But not every community has this sort of opportunity." — The Rev. Carol Howard Merritt.

Church in the making: Sustainable expectations

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (CC) — In a blog for The Christian Century, the Rev. Carol Howard Merritt tells how the former Saint Andrew’s United Methodist Church, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, has taken on new life as a center for faith-based outreach. She also reflects on possible models of sustainability for congregations or ministries.
Read story

Iowa Conference complaint on same-sex wedding ends

DES MOINES, Iowa (UMNS) — A retired United Methodist pastor in Iowa will not face a penalty for officiating at a same-sex wedding in violation of church law. Bishop Julius Calvin Trimble announced in a pastoral letter that the Iowa Conference cabinet has reached “a just resolution” with the Rev. Larry Sonner this week in the complaint filed in November.
Read pastoral letter
Read full test of just resolution
Read Des Moines Register story

Churches help homeless families stay together

COLUMBIA, S.C. (UMNS) — United Methodist churches in South Carolina are teaming up with other churches to host homeless families for a three-month period. The Family Promise program just opened a new affiliate, bringing the state total to eight. The churches also help parents with their job searches and other assistance to get a family permanently back on its feet. Jessica Brodie has the story.
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Read more about United Methodists and Family Promise

Rethink Church: Conversations on race

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) — For Black History Month in February, Rethink Church has collected articles that can spark conversations about race, as well as offering episodes of “Night Call,” one of the first national radio call-in shows. The show, which aired in the 1960s, was aimed at getting whites and blacks to talk to each other — over the airwaves — during a period of incredible racial tension in the United States. The show was created by the church agency that eventually evolved into United Methodist Communications.
Read more and listen to “Night Call”
Read UMNS coverage of Ben Logan and “Night Call”

Kentucky pastor joins Christian Unity staff

NEW YORK (UMNS) — The Rev. Jean Hawxhurst, a district superintendent in Kentucky, has joined the United Methodist Council of Bishops’ Office of Christian Unity and Interreligious Relations as an associate ecumenical staff officer.
Read announcement

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.

Lenten resources
Society of St. Andrew — An anti-hunger ministry, this United Methodist partner provides the devotional booklet "Into the Wilderness" for Feb. 18 through April 25, as well as a resource for Friday fasts, "In Remembrance of Me." Order by Feb. 2 to get in time for Lent. Details.

Black History Month — Preaching notes and other worship resources from United Methodist Discipleship Ministries.

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