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Daily Digest - June 18, 2015

"We are convinced we have one root, and Martin Luther brought this to the attention of the Christians in his time. That one root is Jesus Christ the Lord." — Bishop Rosemarie Wenner preaching at tree planting in Wittenberg, Germany.

Why Martin Luther matters to United Methodists

WITTENBERG, Germany (UMNS) — John Wesley took inspiration from Martin Luther, and a group of United Methodists recently traveled to the 16th century reformer’s home of Wittenberg to help with preparations for the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation. Heather Hahn reports.
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More rain for saturated Southwest

DALLAS (UMNS) — Already saturated Texas and Oklahoma were seeing additional heavy rains Wednesday, causing United Methodist officials to prepare for further flood-related relief efforts in those states and Louisiana, too. But Tropical Storm Bill did not rough up the Texas coast as much as feared. “Much ado about nothing,” said the Rev. Bill Ramsey, pastor of St. Paul's United Methodist Church in Bay City, Texas. Sam Hodges and Betty Backstrom report.
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Fatherly advice for tough questions

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) — For a sense of life lessons shared between generations in The United Methodist Church, United Methodist Communications asked young men who participate in the Boy Scouts of America affiliated with United Methodist congregations across the U.S. to ask questions about faith and life. Susan Passi-Klaus writes about how older men responded to the questions with their "grandfatherly wisdom."
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Iowa Conference aims to ‘Change a Child’s Story’

DES MOINES, Iowa (UMNS) — In Iowa, more than 8,000 fourth-graders live in poverty and read below their grade level. The Iowa Conference at its annual gathering committed to help these youngsters by distributing 500,000 children’s books and investing 1 million hours in reading with the children. The Rev. Arthur McClanahan and Courtney Gilenke report on the conference’s project “Change a Child’s Story.”
Read Fighting poverty with kids’ books
Read Conference embraces loving God’s children

Remembering Harold E. Batiste Jr.

SAN ANTONIO (UMNS) — Harold E. Batiste Jr., former president of the National Association of Conference Presidents and a member of the first General Commission on United Methodist Men, died June 15. He was 84. “Harold lived his life as a man after God’s own heart,” said the Rev. Joe Harris, the agency’s first top executive. Rich Peck of United Methodist Men offers a remembrance.
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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 newsdesk@umcom.org and put Digest in the subject line.

Sunday-Friday, June 21-26
Music & Worship Arts Week 2015 at Lake Junaluska — Music & Worship Arts Week at Lake Junaluska Conference and Retreat Center is an event highlighting the arts, worship, education and renewal in the beautiful mountains of North Carolina, presented by The Fellowship of United Methodists in Music and Worship Arts. Designed for all worship leaders, musicians, artists, dancers, actors, and pastors, as well as children and youth. On-site registration is available in the Bethea Welcome Center from 3 to 8 p.m. EDT Sunday, June 21. Mention this listing to receive $30 off your registration. $354 adult; $199 children and youth. Details.

Sunday, June 21
Western Jurisdiction United Methodist Men honor ‘Man of the Year’ — 4 p.m. PDT at Hollypark United Methodist Church, 13000 S. Van Ness Ave., Gardena, California. United Methodist Men will hold a Father's Day dinner and concert to honor the Rev. Osmond A. Lindo Sr., United Methodist theologian and author of "Real Men Read Jesus’ Parables." The Dozier Singers and Friends, including the local gospel group, Godspeed, will perform. $40 for adults, $75 for two tickets, $12 for children 12 and under. Proceeds benefit United Methodist Men. Reserve a seat by emailing Larry Dozier at Lrrdz@att.net.

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