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Daily Digest: June 6, 2014

“I believe there are churches that may leave, who say we cannot live in a denomination where any church is allowed to host or officiate at the wedding of someone who is gay.  But I hope that most churches will say, `I believe that faithful Christians may interpret scripture differently on this issue.’” — The Rev. Adam Hamilton.




Hamilton: Give ‘local option’ for church law on homosexuality
DALLAS (UMNS) — Amid calls for an amicable split of the United Methodist Church because of division over church law on homosexuality, the Rev. Adam Hamilton has offered “A Way Forward for the United Methodist Church.” His proposal would give churches a local option on whether to host same-sex unions and welcome gay clergy. The question of ordaining “self-avowed, practicing homosexuals” would be left to annual conferences. Hamilton answered UMNS’s questions about the proposal.

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Celebration sets stage for net distribution in Bo
BO, Sierra Leone (UMNS) — More than 1,500 people watched and cheered from the stands of the new Bo Stadium June 5 as leader after leader told them mosquito insecticide-treated bed nets were ready for pickup in the 15 chiefdoms of the district. ‘Everyone has the right to live,’ United Methodist Bishop John K. Yambasu told the crowd.

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Greater New Jersey Conference holds Act of Repentance
WILDWOOD, N.J. (UMNS) — Greater New Jersey United Methodists and the Lenape Native Americans held an Act of Repentance, a way to mend the relationships between the two groups, during the recent annual conference. Cyndi Kent of the United Methodist Native American International Caucus led the litany.

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Schism: Gay free or gay-friendly?
CHICAGO (UMNS) — Chicago Area Bishop Sally Dyck reflects on the possibility of “amicable breakup” and what that would even look like. “If it’s a crisis in covenant that is at stake here, how is it that tearing apart the unity of the church isn’t a serious violation of covenant?” she writes.

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Does unity for unity’s sake work?
JOHNS CREEK, Ga. (UMNS) — The Rev. Steve Wood, pastor of Mount Pisgah United Methodist Church in Johns Creek, Ga., has been involved in multiple conversations about the future of the church, including with those calling for amicable separation. He shares thoughts on unity, including his belief that “to live in unity for the sake of unity while forsaking the church’s historical definition of the authority of Scripture is not God’s way forward for any of us in my opinion.”

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In Sudan, water is life
EL SAHARIG, Sudan (UMNS) — Now that the United Methodist Committee on Relief has refurbished their water yard, the waiting time to obtain this precious resource has decreased for some 15,000 residents of El Saharig and the nearby El Neem Camp. Linda Unger has the story.

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A Pentecost remembrance: Tiananmen Square
VALLEY FORGE, Pa. (UMNS) — The Rev. Doris Kung Chi Pui Dalton shares her reflections on the 25th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre, which was June 4. “Please lift up a prayer for the people of China, that the winds of Pentecost would blow through their lands, and fan the flame that continues to flicker,” she said.

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Chuck Knows Church: Pentecost
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) — Seen any symbols of fire around your sanctuary? Do you what’s the second most important day in the Christian year? The United Methodist Board of Discipleship series “Chuck Knows Church” explains.

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Illinois Great River exceeds malaria fund goal
PEORIA, Ill. (UMNS) — An offering of more than $39,000 for Imagine No Malaria has propelled the Illinois Great Rivers Annual (regional) Conference past its $2.5 million goal.

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The route of a North Central Jurisdiction bike ride for Imagine No Malaria will cover all annual conferences in the jurisdiction, not all states, as reported in the June 4 digest.