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Daily Digest - June 01, 2015

"Everyone noticed how students would now stay for a full day’s study—girls as well as boys." — Erika Pearl, UMCOR program manager.

South Sudan: Girls’ schooling gains ground

NEW YORK (UMNS) — Traditionally, just one girl in 10 has completed her primary education in South Sudan. But two years into its Girls’ Education in South Sudan program, the United Methodist Committee on Relief already is seeing improvements in girls’ attendance at school. David Tereshchuk has the story for UMCOR.
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Baltimore mayor thanks church for support

BALTIMORE (UMNS) — Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake thanked The United Methodist Church for its leadership following riots spurred by the death of Freddie Gray. “I cannot say enough about the faith leaders we have across the board in our community of every faith tradition, but I also want to specifically thank the members of The United Methodist Church,” Rawlings-Blake said. The mayor, who was raised as a United Methodist, was on hand for the opening day of the Baltimore-Washington Annual Conference on May 29. Crystal Caviness has the story.
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Commentary: Should next Duke Divinity dean be United Methodist?

DURHAM, N.C. (UMNS) — The Rev. Richard Hays recently announced that he'll be stepping down next year as dean of Duke Divinity School, a United Methodist seminary. The Rev. Jayson Byassee, a graduate of the school, has written an essay for the Duke Chronicle, looking at whether Hays' successor really needs to be a United Methodist.
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Summit builds global consensus for ethical biotech

ATLANTA (UMNS) — Some of the world’s preeminent scientists and bioethicists gathered with leaders of philosophy, sociology, law, policy and religion in Atlanta on May 18-20 for the task of writing global guidelines for the aspirations, ethics and policies of biotechnology within the next eight months. BEINGS, short for Biotech and the Ethical Imagination, was organized by Paul Root Wolpe, director of United Methodist-related Emory University’s Center for Ethics. About 135 delegates from 25 countries joined the summit to take up the challenge.
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Older adult group repairs at least one church each year

PACOLET, S. C. (UMNS) — A group of older United Methodists in South Carolina takes on a full-scale repair of a church every single year. The annual trip teams up experienced and amateur workers from various churches around the state to spend a week tackling a major construction need. They make a point to visit every district; so far, they’ve completed projects in 11 of the 12 districts across South Carolina. Jessica Brodie reports for the South Carolina United Methodist Advocate.
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Big birthday for two Florida churches

LAKE CITY, Fla. (UMNS) — The Florida Conference will recognize two churches for reaching their 175th anniversary. First United Methodist in Lake City and Cherry Lake United Methodist in Madison County will be in the spotlight on Friday, June 12, during the conference's annual gathering. D'Ann Lawrence White offers a feature on the Lake City church, past and present.
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History Quiz: Test your knowledge of United Methodist history

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) — Do you know the name of the first building designed for the Methodist movement? Here’s a hint: John Wesley himself oversaw the construction of it in 1778.
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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.

Wednesday, June 3
Camp registration deadline — Wellspring United Methodist Church, 33 S Florissant Road, Ferguson, Missouri, is partnering with The United Methodist Missouri Conference in collaboration with Eagle Lake Camps for five full days of fun. Enthusiastic staff cares for the individual needs of each child. Some scholarships are available. Details.

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