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Daily Digest - June 26, 2015

"I am thankful for the amount of money that this frees up so that the church can be more about ministry than about providing me with health care." — The Rev. Shelly Forrest, Illinois Great Rivers Conference, says of the Affordable Health Care ruling.

United Methodists welcome health care ruling

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) — The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to uphold subsidies for health insurance bought on the federal exchange comes as a relief to many United Methodist clergy and lay church employees. The ruling also affects millions of other Americans. Heather Hahn reports.
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Church ballfield offers lessons in organ donation

COLLIERVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) — Ashley Blythe was a varsity softball player with dreams of playing in the Olympics when a car crash cut her life short. Her family honored her memory by donating her organs and a gift to Blythe’s church, CrossRoads United Methodist Church. The church in turn used that money to finish a community ballfield. The Memphis Conference reports on how players on the field are raising awareness about organ donation.
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We’re getting a new pastor! What can I do?

MONUMENT, Colo. (UMNS) — This time of year many United Methodist churches face big changes. A pastor who has been there shares tips to help parishioners through the transition. The Rev. Joe Iovino reports for umc.org.
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Congregations asked to share disciple-making stories

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) — United Methodist congregations are being invited to share stories about how they are making disciples for the transformation of the world as they offer the H.O.P.E of Jesus Christ in all aspects of life. United Methodist Discipleship Ministries, which developed the acronym H.O.P.E. to help remember steps in disciple-making, is posting the stories on a new website, UMCHOPE.org.
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Follow action at annual conferences

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) — New stories this week from conference gatherings include: California-Nevada, East Ohio, New England, Rocky Mountain and Northwest Texas. United Methodist News Service is posting reports at www.umc.org/ac2015.
See reports
 

Lord retires from Higher Education and Ministry

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) — The Rev. Gerald D. Lord will retire as associate general secretary in the Division of Higher Education of the United Methodist Board of Higher Education and Ministry effective July 1, 2015.
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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
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 for social good throughout the developing world. $275 by July 1. Details.

Thursday-Sunday, July 2-5
Lake Junaluska's Fourth of July youth weekend — Poet, speaker, author and event host Amena Brown will help lead Fourth of July youth weekend at Luke Junaluska Conference and Retreat Center in Lake Junaluska, North Carolina. New this year, the event includes worship as well as fireworks and other activities. Details.

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