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Daily Digest - July 20, 2015

“The United Methodist Church has long championed Christian unity and interreligious relationships, but now it is threatened by internal schism and disruption of interfaith relationships.” — The Rev. Donald E. Messer, a United Methodist theologian.

Book urges stronger unity, faith ties

NAIROBI, Kenya (UMNS) — The Rev. Donald E. Messer has a message that will resonate with fans of the Rev. Al Green: “Let’s stay together.” He has edited a book, “Celebrating God’s Love,” that includes essays by bishops and other United Methodists arguing why the denomination should stay united despite debates over human sexuality and should also bolster its dialogue with other faith groups. Messer, traveling in Kenya, spoke to UMNS's Heather Hahn about the new book.
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Bishop presents book to Pope Francis

Nichols answered call against odds

NITRO, W.Va. (UMNS) – The Rev. Shelly Nichols, who answered the call she felt to be a United Methodist pastor even as she battled colon cancer, died at home on July 9, at age 53. Nichols was featured in a United Methodist News Service story earlier this year.
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Read earlier story

Resources for responding to violence

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) — In response to the shooting tragedy July 16 in Chattanooga, Tennessee, that took the lives of four U.S. Marines, United Methodist Communications offers resources to help people cope with violent events, along with news coverage of how the church is working to respond with peace in a world of violence and how individuals and ministries can make a positive difference.
Responding to violence

12-year-old’s faith helps homeless

MANTUA TOWNSHIP, N.J. (UMNS) — Savanna Schaekel didn’t mind sharing her soccer ball with a homeless child. What she did mind was seeing that the child had no other toys to play with. Jeff Wolfe of the Greater New Jersey Conference reports how Schaekel is helping children in the Family Promise Network.
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United Methodist Men help Wounded Warriors

HEBER SPRINGS, Ark.  — It was a day filled with joy for the 67 veterans gathered at Lobo Landing outside Heber Springs for the 3rd Annual Wounded Warriors fishing program, which was made possible by a joint effort including United Methodist Men. The Sun Times tells the story.
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Suburban church joins Indy crime-fighting group

INDIANAPOLIS — The Zionsville United Methodist Church is now the 21st charter member of the Ten Point Coalition, and Zionsville is now the third city in Indiana participating in the coalition’s fight against crime in Indianapolis. The Ten Point Coalition, a project of the Rev. Charles Harrelson, pastor of Barnes United Methodist Church in Indianapolis, goes to the streets to work with at-risk teens to try to stop violence in the city. CBS4Indy has the story.
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Advice to help stop church vandalism

PADUCAH, Ky. — Recent church vandalisms in three counties has church leaders unsettled. The Rev. Sky McCracken of The United Methodist Church’s Purchase District met with church members recently to offer tips to help keep facilities safe. WPSD Local6 reports.
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Ohio homeless ministry looks to fundraising

ZANESVILLE, Ohio  — First United Methodist Church has developed a program called One Night In A Box as a way to help raise funds for its homeless ministry. The Friday night program is designed to help people understand what it is like to live in a box. The church, facing complaints from area residents about its homeless ministry, is developing fundraising initiatives to address some of the concerns. The Times Recorder tells the story.
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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.

Friday, July 24
The Rev. Helenor Davisson Tour — Starting at 11 a.m. CDT at Trinity United Methodist Church in Rensselaer, Indiana, take a free tour of the grave site and four other locations related to the Rev. Helenor Alter Davisson, a Methodist Protestant woman circuit-rider who was ordained a deacon in 1866. The Indiana Conference recently designated the locations a United Methodist Historic Site. Other tour sites include the stone farmhouse where her ordination took place and a former Methodist Protestant church building that now houses the Jasper County Historical Museum. To join the tour, email Richard Stowe at rastowe@mstar.net

Monday-Thursday, July 27-30
Festival of Wisdom and Grace Conference
 — The 2015 Festival of Wisdom and Grace Conference's theme is "Let Each Generation Tell." Led by Derrick-Lewis Noble, this event will be full of worship, workshops, professional training and fellowship designed for individuals, couples, small groups or church leaders relating to the second half of life. The event is sponsored by the Southeastern Jurisdictional Association of Older Adults at Lake Junaluska Conference and Retreat Center in Lake Junaluska, North Carolina. Details.

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