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Daily Digest: January 8, 2014

“We invested in people, and we listened, and we didn’t judge. And we loved, we loved, and we loved some more.” — The Rev. Leah Hidde-Gregory, whose rural church saw 59 professions of faith in six years.

Church vitality: Professions of faith rise

LAKE JUNALUSKA, N. C. (UMNS) — For the first time in 11 years, United Methodist annual (regional) conferences in the United States reported an increase in total professions of faith in 2012. Learn how some United Methodist churches are nurturing new Christians.
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United Methodists offer hope in South Sudan turmoil

ALCOA, Tenn. (UMNS) — As continuing violence has increased tensions across South Sudan, United Methodist congregations there are providing both haven and hope.
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Central conference education grants deadline

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) — Thursday, Jan. 30, is the deadline to apply for Central Conference Theological Education grants, which are awarded for projects to improve United Methodist theological education in the central conferences in Africa, Europe and the Philippines.
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Young Clergy Initiative grants deadline

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) — Wednesday, Feb. 5, is the deadline for the Young Clergy Initiative grants, which will be awarded to applicants who develop innovative projects that could attract young people to ordained ministry in The United Methodist Church.
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Arkansas church reaches people with special needs

JONESBORO, Ark. (UMNS) —First United Methodist Church in Jonesboro offers a form of Christian education program unlike any in its area: a therapeutic Sunday school setting that provides learning and activities designed for individuals with special needs. The program “has given our clients a place to worship where they feel comfortable,” says a local recreation director.
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Moving forward and looking back — transparent communication

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) — In the first part of a blog series, the Rev. Larry Hollon, top executive of United Methodist Communications, reflects on how the intersection of technology and communication is shaping the church.
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