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Daily Digest - July 23, 2015

“I worry about nuclear war by miscalculation, accident or design. All three are real possibilities.” — The Rev. Stephen J. Sidorak Jr. on the upcoming 70th anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Bishop leads peace trip to Japan, 70 years after bombings

NEW YORK (UMNS) — In early August, United Methodist Bishop Mary Ann Swenson will lead a World Council of Churches delegation to Japan for 70th anniversary commemorations of the atomic bomb attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki during World War II. Group members also plan to encourage their governments to ban nuclear weapons. Linda Bloom reports.
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United Methodists respond to Chattanooga attack

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (UMNS) – Hixson United Methodist Church will hold funeral services July 24 for Sgt. David Wyatt, one of the Marines killed in the attack on the Navy and Marine operations center. Bishop Mary Virginia Taylor, whose area includes Chattanooga, released a statement in the wake of the tragedy, as did the conference's Muslim Outreach Team.
Read funeral details
Read bishop’s statement
Read Muslim Outreach Team statement

Pastor gets 90-day suspension for gay wedding

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) — The Rev. Pam Hawkins, associate pastor at Belmont United Methodist Church in Nashville, is under a 90-day suspension after officiating at the same-sex wedding of two Belmont members in March. The complaint against Hawkins reached a resolution on July 16. Officiating at a same-sex union is a chargeable offense under the Book of Discipline, the denomination’s law book. Belmont offers a statement and details on the resolution.
Read statement

Summer 'boat services' draw big crowds

LAKE MARION, S.C. — More than 600 people in 108 boats attended the first boat service this season on Lake Marion and an average of 400 show up each week to take part in this 46-year-old tradition on South Carolina's largest lake. The Rev. Reginald Thackston, a retired United Methodist minister, has been leading the services for 16 years. The Post and Courier has the story.
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July 31 application deadline for training grants

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) — The United Methodist Board of Higher Education and Ministry is accepting grant applications to fund programs that recruit, train and retain racial-ethnic United Methodists for leadership positions. The application deadline is July 31.
Read press release

'We Are All Ferguson' conference planned

FERGUSON, Mo. (UMNS) — “We Are All Ferguson” aims to bring people together in productive ways for a series of workshops and conferences on Aug. 2-9 at Wellspring Church, a United Methodist congregation in Ferguson. The event will bring together community and business leaders to address the racial and economic issues that became widely known in the wake of the shooting of Michael Brown last year. “We Are All Ferguson is not just about the ZIP code,” said the Rev. F. Willis Johnson Jr. of Wellspring. “It's about the shared human experience and the realities we're all faced with across the country of immense inequities, injustice and the need for us to work toward the eradicating of them.”
Get information on the event

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.

Thursday-Friday, July 30-31
Drew Theological School presents T.R.A.N.S.: Worship Beyond Borders Summer Music Institute 2015 — Trans: A Latin noun or prefix, meaning “across," “beyond” or “on the opposite side.” Drew Theological School in Madison, New Jersey will present its 10th Summer Music Institute to help worship leaders learn and grow in a community that moves across, beyond and into the opposite side where God's love is found. Details

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