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Daily Digest - July 24, 2015

"I have great confidence that in the days ahead our faculty, staff and students will continue the work of shaping scriptural imagination for the renewal of the church.” — The Rev. Richard B. Hays, on ending his tenure as dean of Duke Divinity School.

Duke dean stepping down Aug. 1

DURHAM, N.C. (UMNS) — The Rev. Richard B. Hays will leave his post as dean of Duke Divinity School on Aug. 1 to begin treatment for pancreatic cancer. Hays had planned to step down at the end of the 2015-16 academic year.  He has been dean since 2010, and has taught New Testament at the United Methodist seminary for 24 years. Ellen Davis, a professor of Bible and practical theology at Duke Divinity, will serve as interim dean.
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Imaginative fundraisers for Imagine No Malaria

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) — Pies in the face. Karaoke contests. 5K runs. These are some of the fund-raising incentives and strategies being used by annual conferences as they support  Imagine No Malaria, the denomination’s global health initiative. Mahalia Smith reports.
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United Methodist uses peace skills as D.C. intern

WASHINGTON (UMNS) — Erika Yun does not know exactly what the rest of her post-collegiate life will hold. She does know she has the chance of a lifetime this summer. A member of Grace Korean United Methodist Church in Westwood, New Jersey, she is one 10 participants in the Ethnic Minority Young Adult Internship Program, organized by the United Methodist Board of Church and Society. Jeff Wolfe of the Greater New Jersey Conference reports on her experiences.
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Hearing female preacher, pastor finds calling

CLEVELAND, Miss. (UMNS) — The Rev. Darian Duckworth’s earliest memory of seeing a woman in a pulpit was watching Lisa Osteen, daughter of Lakewood Church founder John Osteen. Lisa Osteen inspired Duckworth to preach to her stuffed animals and eventually discern a calling to ordained United Methodist ministry. Duckworth shares the story of how the televised ministry helped her in unexpected ways.
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Ecumenical training for Middle East Christians

BEIRUT, Lebanon (WCC)  — A new initiative, “Ecumenical Institute for the Middle East,” is “promising and inspiring” in its attempt to train young Christians in ecumenical thought and history, says the Rev. Olav Fykse Tveit, top executive of the World Council of Churches. Some 40 students participating in the World Student Christian Federation program this year come from Lebanon, Egypt, Sudan, Jordan, Syria, Palestine and Iraq, representing diverse Christian traditions and denominations.
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Chuck Knows Church: Ark of the Covenant

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) — The Bible describes it and, as movie fans know, Indiana Jones hunted for it. But what really made the Ark of the Covenant so important? This episode of “Chuck Knows Church,” produced by United Methodist Discipleship Ministries, explains. No snakes were used in the making of this video.
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Follow action at annual conferences

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) — New reports this week from conference gatherings include California-Pacific, West Ohio and Wisconsin. United Methodist News Service is posting the coverage.
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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 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

Friday-Sunday, Aug. 21-23
Incarnate: A Lake Junaluska Signature Series Conference — Featuring Shane Claiborne, author and founder of The Simple Way, a Christian community in inner-city Philadelphia, and the Rev. Rudy Rasmus, pastor of St. John’s United Methodist Church in Houston. Lake Junaluska Conference and Retreat Center, Lake Junaluska, N.C. Details

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