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Daily Digest: July 28, 2014

“The goal of the Alamo Table Tennis Club is to share the love of Christ and to be a positive influence with our youth.” – Pat Cummins, member of Alamo (Tennessee) First United Methodist Church.

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Ministry idea: Table tennis as outreach
ALAMO, Tenn. (UMNS) — Alamo First United Methodist Church has started the Alamo Youth Table Tennis Club in its activities building to minister to its youth group. Membership has grown from five participants the first night to 11 new members between the ages of 12 and 18.  The Memphis Annual (regional) Conference has the story of how the ministry works.

Read story


Meriam Ibrahim freed from Sudan, coming to U.S.
VATICAN CITY (UMNS) — Pope Francis met Meriam Ibrahim, the Christian woman spared a death sentence for apostasy in Sudan, at the Vatican on July 24. United Methodists and their ecumenical partners were among those advocating for her freedom. Josephine McKenna of the Religion News Service has the story.

Read story


Why purity rings don’t work
MOBILE, Ala. (UMNS) — The Rev. Jeremy Steele, a United Methodist writer and pastor in the Alabama-West Florida Annual (regional) Conference, writes about research that shows purity rings aren’t preventing teen sex and makes the case for what the church can do to encourage teen abstinence. He put together the new United Methodist curriculum on sex education: “Sex: A Christian Perspective on our Bodies, Decisions, and Relationships” for the United Methodist Board of Discipleship.

Read Steele’s blog

More about the curriculum

 

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 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 will perform Rachmanioff, 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, owner of Nickerson Coaching. $10. Details.

Free webinar “Revival: Faith as Wesley Lived It,” Thursday, Aug. 7 — 2 p.m. CT. The Rev. Adam Hamilton, senior pastor of United Methodist Church of the Resurrection in Leawood, Kansas, will talk about the life of John Wesley and the characteristics of a Wesleyan Christian. 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.

Early bird deadline for “Revitup! … For a Lifetime in Ministry” event for young clergy, Friday, Aug. 8— Event Monday-Wednesday, Sept. 15-17, in Atlanta for young clergy, ages 25-39, sponsored by the United Methodist Board of Pension and Health Benefits. The focus is on financial and leadership skills. $119 before Aug. 8. 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.

Free J. Mark McVey concert, Saturday, Aug. 9 — 7 p.m. ET. Lake Junaluska Conference and Retreat Center in North Carolina will presentFinding Your Voice: Lessons for the Soul from a Life on Broadway,” a special performance by tenor McVey, who has starred in “Les Miserables.” Details.

Free Lake Junaluska Signature Series event featuring Fred Bahnson, Sunday, Aug. 10 — 7 p.m. ET, Fred Bahnso is writer, permaculture gardener, and pioneer in church-supported agriculture.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.

Game Changers Summit, Wednesday-Friday, Sept. 3-5 — United Methodist Communications invites local churches to attend a conference at Gaylord Opryland Hotel in Nashville, Tennessee. The event will focus on how congregations can use technology to strengthen international development. Details.

Early bird deadline for the United Methodist Church of the Resurrection Leadership Institute, Wednesday Sept. 3 — Gathering is Wednesday-Friday, Sept. 24-26. The keynote speaker is Len Sweet, United Methodist scholar and best-selling author. Details.

NOMADS annual meeting, Sunday- Friday, Sept. 7-12 — NOMADS, which stands for Nomads On a Mission Active in Divine Service, provide volunteer labor for United Methodist organizations.  Most travel by RV, They will meet in Branson, Missouri. Details.