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Daily Digest - January 8, 2015

"I am deeply convinced that there is a tomorrow, a future for the church of Jesus Christ. The Lord of the church is also Lord of the future." — Bishop Hermann L. Sticher in 1989.

Bishop Sticher, German United Methodist leader, dead at 87

FRANKFURT (UMNS) — Retired Bishop Hermann L. Sticher led United Methodists in Germany at a time when western European culture was growing ever more secular. But he never lost faith in the capacity of the church to make more disciples. He died Dec. 19 of cancer. A commemoration service is planned for Jan. 8. Klaus Ulrich Ruof shares a remembrance.
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WCC condemns Paris slayings

GENEVA (UMNS) — The acting top executive of the World Council of Churches, Georges Lemopoulos, called the Jan. 7 shooting deaths of 12 people in an attack on the Paris offices of Charlie Hebdo “an attack on human life, human dignity and the human rights of all.”
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Ecumenical partners brought healing after ‘hell on earth’

NASHVILLE, Tenn.  (UMNS)—On the 36th anniversary of the fall of the Khmer Rouge, Larry Hollon recalls visiting Cambodia’s killing fields as a documentary producer. In his blog, he also notes the impact of ecumenical partners in bringing healing.
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Former head of United Methodist Communications passes away

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) — The Rev. Curtis Allen Chambers, former top executive of United Methodist Communications, died Jan. 3 in Terre Haute, Indiana. He was 90. Barbara Dunlap-Berg reports.
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Holston pastors get fit, gain community

ALCOA, Tenn. (UMNS) — A handful of Holston Conference pastors got a head start on the frequent New Year’s resolution to exercise – they started new workouts several months ago. Now they are boasting biceps that look more at home on a cinema poster than in the pulpit. Annette Spence has the story.
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Pastor: Gospel of Mark the work of `literary artist'

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (UMNS) — The Gospel of Mark is the Rev. Talbot Davis' favorite of the four New Testament accounts of Jesus' life. In a blog post, he credits it with having a special combination of theological depth and literary excellence.
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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.

Saturday, Jan. 10
Deadline to apply for Ethnic Local Church grants — The United Methodist Board of Church and Society awards grants to strengthen ethnic/minority local churches through education, advocacy or leadership development as they engage in social justice. Details.

Deadline to apply for Human Relations Day grants — The United Methodist Board of Church and Society awards grants to support ministries that respond to nonviolent young offenders through education, advocacy or leadership training and development. Details.