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Daily Digest - June 29, 2015

"I think it will be difficult because people will have a hard time deciding between what the law of the land says and what the doctrine of the church is." — The Rev. Sky McCracken, a General Conference delegate, on U.S. Supreme Court same-sex marriage ruling.

Same-sex ruling adds to church debate

WASHINGTON (UMNS) — United Methodists had varied reactions to the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling that establishes same-sex civil marriage as a constitutional right. Many United Methodists agree on one point: The decision likely will escalate a longtime denominational debate on the church's position on homosexuality. Church law bans clergy from blessing same-sex marriages and forbids churches from hosting such ceremonies. Heather Hahn reports.
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United Methodist bishop salutes slain Charleston pastor

CHARLESTON (UMNS) — South Carolina Bishop L. Jonathan Holston represented The United Methodist Church when he joined religious leaders at the June 26 memorial service for the Rev. Clementa Pinckney, killed with eight others at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church. President Obama flew in on Air Force One to deliver the eulogy. Linda Bloom reports.
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AU Choir consoles, encourages South Carolinians

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) — The Africa University Choir felt moved to comfort and encourage South Carolina United Methodists in the wake of the shootings at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston. The 16-person student choir was in its final week of a U.S. tour when the tragedy occurred on June 18. Andra Stevens has the story for Africa University.
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Survey finds clergy struggle with weight, cholesterol

GLENVIEW, Ill. (UMNS) — A survey of United Methodist clergy found nearly half are currently obese and that about half have had high cholesterol at some point. The Center for Health of the United Methodist Board of Pension and Health Benefits released the 2015 Clergy Health Survey Report on June 25. The online survey analyzed responses from 1,501 clergy.
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Making room-lots of room-for Youth 2015

ORLANDO (UMNS) — If you are wondering where the young United Methodists are, take a peek inside Orlando World Center Marriott. Bus after bus spilled hundreds of teens and preteens into the convention hotel for the start of Discipleship Ministries’ four-day event "Youth 2015 Go On." Susan Green, Florida Conference managing editor, has the story.
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How to dream like Jesus

CASPER, Wyo. (UMNS) — What was Jesus’ dream? The Rev. Rebekah Simon-Peter, a United Methodist, sums it up with this familiar quote: “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” She offers ideas for how Christians can come closer to living out this dream. Ministry Matters shares her commentary
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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 10-20, 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 offer training 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.