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Daily Digest - June 25, 2015

"The church in Cuba is something of a miracle. It survived tough times and now thrives, in large part because it combines the grace of Wesleyan theology with Cuban culture." — The Rev. Edgar Avitia, United Methodist Board of Global Ministries.

Cuba’s vibrant,
growing Methodist Church

HAVANA (UMNS) — The Methodist Church in Cuba currently has more than 42,000 members and a worshiping community of 65,000 — a remarkably large number for a Protestant denomination in a country with a Roman Catholic culture (by tradition) and a communist government. Elliott Wright has the story for New World Outlook.
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Poll: We like our red-white-and-blue patriotism — mostly

WASHINGTON (RNS) — We’re gung-ho for the idea that the U.S. has a special status with God, and we’re almost always proud of our nation. But a new survey finds our flag-waving, All-American Fourth of July celebrations are also tempered by concerns that the nation isn’t the moral leader it once was, reports Cathy Lynn Grossman of Religion News Service.
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Commentary: Introverted Christian
in loud church

ADRIAN, Mich. (UMNS) — Loud music, strobe lights and “the wave” can be overwhelming for introverted Christians. “Instead of meeting our spirituality in these ways, give us the time and the space that we need to recover after each day,” writes Carolyn Wirtz, a student minister on the staff of the Adrian College chaplain's office.
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E-Reader Project trainings held in Angola

MALANGE, Angola (UMNS) — Faculty at two theology schools in Angola have received training on how to use e-readers. The sessions were through the E-Reader project to provide theology schools in remote areas access to current textbooks and reference books. The project is a collaboration of The United Methodist Board of Higher Education and Ministries and Discipleship Ministries. Nicole Burdakin reports.
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Starbucks, Communion and race conversations

WASHINGTON (UMNS) — The Rev. Douglas Powe Jr., notes the controversy that followed an initiative of Starbucks chief executive Howard Shultz to have the coffee shops serve as settings for conversations around race. Powe, a professor at United Methodist Wesley Theological Seminary, suggests Christians already have a holy meal to model such conversations: the Eucharist. The Lewis Center for Church Leadership shares his commentary.
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Tornado hits Illinois town again

COAL CITY, Ill. (UMNS) — Five tornado touchdowns were reported June 22 in five Illinois counties, including a tornado that caused extensive damage in Coal City in Grundy County — located in the northernmost region of the Illinois Great Rivers Conference. It is the second tornado in 19 months for the community of about 5,000 people. Coal City United Methodist Church, which served as disaster response center for November 2013 tornado, has been reactivated as such a center.
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Young African leaders gather at Clark Atlanta University

ATLANTA (UMNS) — United Methodist-affiliated, historically black, Clark Atlanta University will host 25 Mandela Washington Fellows for Young African Leaders in Business and Entrepreneurship for the second summer. The fellowship was started by President Barack Obama and is a program of the U.S. Department of State.
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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, 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 10-20, 2016. All volunteers are responsible for their own travel and expenses. Those interested can apply here.

Early bird registration for Game Changers Summit 2015 — The United Methodist Communications-sponsored conference on information and technology for development will be Sept. 17-19 at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel in Nashville, Tennessee. Technology and communication leaders from around the globe will speak and train on developing communication strategy to aid the social good throughout the developing world. $275 by July 1. Details.

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