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Daily Digest: July 21, 2014

“You don’t just get up and decide to be addicted while you are pregnant. It’s heartbreaking from every standpoint.” – The Rev. Rebecca Fetzer of Cokesbury United Methodist Church in Knoxville, Tennessee.

Susannah’s House helps recovering moms
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) — Melissa was addicted to drugs when she gave birth to her children. She still feels the shame of being rejected by others in recovery groups, who felt that a mother should be able to walk away from addiction. Cokesbury United Methodist Church has started a ministry that helps mothers like Melissa and their children. Annette Spence, editor of The Call in the Holston Annual (regional) Conference, has the story.

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Schaefer case appealed to Judicial Council
MYERSTOWN, Penn. (UMNS) — The Rev. Christopher L. Fisher, who was counsel for the church in the trial of the Rev. Frank Schaefer, has turned in an appeal to last month’s decision to reinstate Schaefer’s ordination credentials. The case will be heard during the October meeting of the denomination’s highest court, Judicial Council.

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See October Judicial Council docket

Sympathy for those mourning Flight 17
GENEVA (UMNS) — The World Council of Churches on July 18 expressed sympathy and sorrow to family, friends and colleagues who mourn the deaths of nearly 300 people on board Malaysia Airlines Flight 17. It crashed in eastern Ukraine on July 17 en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur. Particular mention was made of the estimated one-third of the victims who were traveling to the International AIDS Conference in Melbourne. “This is a profound tragedy that shocks and worries all of us; but especially for those who have lost their loved ones including our neighbors and partners at the World Health Organization here in Geneva and groups with HIV and AIDS workers, researchers and others,” said the Rev Olav Fykse Tveit, the council’s top executive. Many United Methodists are also praying for those affected by these deaths.

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.

Deadline to register for online course “United Methodism 101,” Tuesday, July 22 — United Methodist Communications will offer the course July 23-Sept. 3. $9.99. Details.

Free webinar “Congregations as Discipling Communities” Tuesday, July 22 — 6:30 p.m. CT. This webinar will focus on a model where congregations can create safe, open and relational spaces where disciples at all stages of their faith journey can share their experiences. Details.

Free webinar “Creating a Culture of Innovation Part 2: VAP-IT (Values, Assets, Process-Initiate, Test),” Thursday, July 24 6:30 p.m. CT. This webinar will discuss how to use the VAP-IT tool to launch new ideas and revamp existing ministries. Details.

Festival of Wisdom and Grace, Monday to Thursday, July 28-31 — Columbia (S.C.) Area Bishop Jonathan Holston will be the conference preacher at this time of worship and learning at Lake Junaluska (N.C) Conference and Retreat Center. The theme is “Living Ordinary Time with EEEE’s — Enthusiasm, Encouragement, Engagement and Empowerment.” Details.

Deadline to register for United Methodist conference “Walking with Palestinian Christians,” Wednesday, July 30 — Gathering Thursday-Friday, Aug. 7-8 sponsored by the United Methodist Board of Global Ministries and host Ginghamsburg Church, 6759 S. County Road 25A, Tipp City, Ohio. Details.

Deadline for early-bird registration for “Make Worship More Creative” workshops in the Upper New York Conference, Friday, Aug. 1 — Day-long workshops featuring worship coach Jason Moore will be Monday, Sept. 8 through Thursday, Sept. 11 at different churches around the conference. Cost is $25 per person, and $65 per church. Details.

A Weekend of Music: The Lake Junaluska Singers & David Troy Francis, special guest star Broadway performer Mark Morales, Friday-Saturday, Aug. 1-2 — The Lake Junaluska Singers will be in concert Aug. 1, and David Troy Francis on Aug. 2 will perform Rachmaninoff, Gershwin and American hymns at Lake Junaluska Conference and Retreat Center in North Carolina. Details.

Webinar “Plan Your Year Round Stewardship Campaign,” Tuesday, Aug. 5 — 7-8 p.m. ET. Course teaches how a congregation can develop a holistic process that will help people grow in faith and give generously, led by the Rev. Paul B. Nickerson, former pastor and now owner of Nickerson Coaching. $10. Details.

Free webinar “Planning for Advent,” Thursday, Aug. 7 — 7:30 p.m. CT. This webinar will provide an overview of key themes of the Season of Advent and the Scriptures of the season. Details.

Annual meeting of MARCHA (Methodists Associated Representing the Cause of Hispanic Americans), Thursday, Aug. 7 to Sunday, Aug. 10 — Gathering will be at Hacienda Hotel LAX in Los Angeles. The Rev. Alexia Salvatierra, lecturer at New York Theological Seminary and expert on faith-rooted advocacy, will be the main speaker. Bishops Minerva Carcaño and Warner Brown will preach. Details.

Free webinar “S.O.S. for Teachers Schedule, Organization, Safety,” Thursday, Aug. 7 — 7-8 p.m. ET, Help for a successful Christian education season, led by Jane Kintzi, a consultant at the Parish Resource Center. Details.

Lion & Lamb Christian Festival, Friday-Sunday, Aug. 8-10 — A number of United Methodist entities, including the Indiana Annual (regional) Conference, are sponsors of this gathering at Fort Wayne, Indiana. $25 before Aug. 8. Details.

Shreveport, Louisiana Skeeter Run, Saturday, Aug. 9 — The first of six 5K and one-mile run/walks in the Louisiana Annual (regional) Conference to support Imagine No Malaria, the denomination’s initiative to eradicate preventable deaths from the disease. The other five runs will take place across the state on Saturday, Oct. 11. $20 registration. Details.

Deadline to apply for Ethnic Local Church Grants, Sunday, Aug. 10 — The grants, distributed by the United Methodist Board of Church and Society, aim to strengthen ethnic minority local churches through education, advocacy or leadership development as they engage in social justice. Details.

United Theological Seminary’s Preaching Retreat, Tuesday-Thursday, Aug. 12-14 — “The Promise of New Testament Apocalyptic” will be the theme of the retreat at the seminary’s campus at 4501 Denlinger Road, Dayton, Ohio. The event aims to help pastors and students gain competence in preaching apocalyptic texts in the New Testament. Details.

Deadline to apply to join regional Healthy Families, Healthy Planet advocacy training, Friday, Aug. 15 — The free United Methodist training in advocating for women and girls will be Saturday, Sept. 6 with an optional session on Monday, Sept. 8 in Peoria, Illinois. Applications are required. Details and application.

Deadline to register for Just Save One conference to equip HIV and AIDS Ministries, Friday, Aug. 15 — The gathering will be Thursday through Saturday, Sept. 11-13 at the Renaissance Hotel in Denver and sponsored by the United Methodist Global AIDS Fund. Details.

Online courses from BeADisciple.com in August and September — Aug. 18-Sept. 2: Come to the Table (study of United Methodist theology and practice of the sacrament of Holy Communion); Aug. 18-Sept. 2: Come to the Waters (study of United Methodist theology and practice of the sacrament of Baptism); Aug. 18-Sept. 2: Biblical Storytelling I; Sept. 8-23: Life Together in the United Methodist Connection; Sept. 8-23: Living Our United Methodist Beliefs; Sept. 8-19: Becoming an Even Better Sunday School or Small Group Teacher; Sept. 15-26: Youth Ministry 101; Sept. 22-Oct. 3: Active Learning for Today's Children. Details.

Seven Levers Workshop: Missional Strategies for Conferences with Bishop Robert Schnase, Saturday, Aug. 23 — 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. CT at Collierville United Methodist Church, 454 W. Poplar Ave., Collier, Tennessee. $10. Details.

Deadline to register for workshop “Small Churches Can Have A Big Impact: Making your Voice & Vote Count!” Monday, Aug. 25 — Event is at 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. ET Saturday, Sept. 6. Ohio West Area Bishop Gregory V. Palmer will be the keynote speaker at this workshop at The Methodist Theological School in Ohio, 3081 Columbus Pike, Delaware, Ohio. $20-25. Details on PDF.