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Daily Digest - June 23, 2015

"We may be tempted to overanalyze what happened, but let us look forward and ask, ‘What will motivate us to prevent this kind of violence from happening again?'" — The Rev. Cathy Jamieson-Ogg on the massacre in Charleston.

Mourning for Charleston, then praying for action

CHARLESTON, S.C. (UMNS) — Through Sunday sermons, prayer vigils and public statements, United Methodists are expressing feelings of sorrow, determination and hope over the racially motivated June 17 massacre of nine church members at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church. Linda Bloom reports.
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Alabama pastors offer perspective on Charleston tragedy

DALLAS (UMNS) — Two United Methodist pastors in Alabama drew on personal relationships and a commitment to stronger ties among denominations of Wesleyan heritage in commenting on the shooting deaths at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina. Sam Hodges reports.
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In North Carolina, a 'green' viewcosts less

GARNER, N.C. (UMNS) — Direct sunlight, a wooded, natural setting, access to a patio with a view — staff at the United Methodist North Carolina Conference Center find a lot to like about their building. The conference’s environmental commitment to seek LEED certification also resulted in energy efficiency, financial savings and, potentially, more money for ministry.
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Mission agency head lauds climate change encyclical

NEW YORK (UMNS) — Thomas Kemper, top executive of the United Methodist Board of Global Ministries, urges church members and all people of faith to read and study the papal encyclical on climate change from Pope Francis. “It puts squarely on human shoulders the responsibility for the natural environment and its future,” he writes.
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Commentary: Bible school is not a dinosaur

BIRMINGHAM, Mich. (UMNS) — Far from being a relic of the past, Vacation Bible School remains one of the most important ways the church invests in the spiritual formation of children, writes the Rev. Laurie Haller. “VBS lives because we are convinced of the witness of Psalm 78:4, ‘We’re not keeping this to ourselves; we’re passing it along to the next generation,’” writes Haller, senior pastor of Birmingham First United Methodist Church.
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Last minute ideas to promote Bible school

History of Hymns: “Tell Me the Stories of Jesus”

DALLAS (UMNS) — William Henry Parker (1845-1929), a devoted member of Chelsa Street Baptist Church in Nottingham, England, wrote “Tell Me the Stories of Jesus” when his Sunday school class asked him for a story. C. Michael Hawn, director of the sacred music program at Perkins School of Theology at Southern Methodist University, writes about this hymn and Parker’s other work.
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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.

Wednesday, July 1
Deadline to apply to be a General Conference volunteer — Volunteers are needed for a variety of roles during the 2016 General Conference, including recorders, channel "B" identifiers, and verbatim transcribers. The United Methodist Church’s top legislative assembly, will meet in Portland, Oregon, from May 10 to 20, 2016. All volunteers are responsible for their own travel and expenses. Those interested can apply here.

Deadline for registration for “The Academy of Faith and Money” — This four-day training for provisional members and younger clergy will offer vital training for personal and church financial management, as well as consultation on educational loans repayment from student debt expert Heather Jarvis. Led by Horizons Stewardship and hosted by the United Methodist Board of Higher Education and Ministry, the event is in Atlanta. 1.8 CEUs are available. Details and registration.

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