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Daily Digest: March 10, 2014

“I would argue that everything that goes on in church buildings and with our church’s name on it should be about sharing the love of God with others and growing in the love of God ourselves. Everything that our church is about should have an evangelistic lens.” – The Rev. Heather Heinzman Lear, the director of evangelism ministries for the United Methodist Board of Discipleship.

5 ways to reclaim Wesleyan evangelism
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (UMNS) — For many United Methodists, evangelism is an uneasy concept. In a workshop, the Rev. Heather Heinzman Lear of the United Methodist Board of Discipleship aimed to clear up misconceptions and offered ways “to reclaim the centrality of evangelism in the life of our churches.”

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North Carolina pastor starts Wiki Worship
WILMINGTON, N.C. (UMNS) — Wiki Worship began yesterday at Hell’s Kitchen. “I was wondering, are we as the church answering questions that no one has asked?” asked the Rev. Philip Chryst, pastor of a missional community called The Anchor. Chryst organized the informal religious sessions for six Sundays during Lent. The StarNews Online explains how the questions will edit the service at a local restaurant with a distinctive name.

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For runner with M.S., no feeling at finish
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (UMNS) — Despite a diagnosis of multiple sclerosis three years ago, Kayla Montgomery, 18, has gone on to become one of the fastest young distance runners in the country. She's also United Methodist. The New York Times has the story.

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Zimbabwe church moves against domestic violence
MUTARE, Zimbabwe (UMNS) — Zimbabwe Area Bishop Eben Nhiwatiwa at the 13th session of the Zimbabwe East Annual conference called on the church to engage in programs to end all forms of domestic violence. Priscilla Muzerengwa reports on how the problem has grown in the country.

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United Methodist Men give devotional books to firefighters
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) — Conference presidents of United Methodist Men and prayer advocates took time out from their Feb. 27-March 2 meeting to engage in three service projects, including distributing devotions to a Nashville fire station. Rich Peck of United Methodist Men has the story.

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Church bookkeeper guilty in $760,000 embezzlement
RICHMOND, Va. (UMNS) — The former finance administrator for Chester United Methodist Church pleaded guilty March 6 to five felony embezzlement counts for stealing more than $760,000 over four years. The Chesterfield County News has the story.

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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.

Women’s History Month, March — Worship resources from the United Methodist Commission on the Status and Role of Women.


Deadline to register for “The Wizard of ALZ: A Different Perspective on Dementia,” Monday, March 10 — Memphis Conference Older Adult Council event 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. CT Tuesday, March 18, First United Methodist Church, Jackson, Tenn. $15. Details.

Deadline to register for five online courses from United Methodist Communications, Monday, March 10 — March 12-April 23, choices include Communicating Faith in the 21st Century, Connectional Giving, Moodle 200: Basic Training, Web Ministry 100: What is Web Ministry? and Welcoming Ministry 100. Prices vary. Connectional Giving is free. Details.

Free webinar “Individual Faith Formation Planning for Children,” Tuesday, March 11 — 10 a.m. CT, The interactive webinar explores what an individual faith formation plan for a child would look like and how it could shape the way a child engages. To register.

Free webinar “Multiplying Disciples: Part 1,” Tuesday, March 11 — 6:30 p.m. CT, Explore the qualities needed to build a lay-clergy team that leads the congregation in disciple-making. To register.

Free webinar "Proof of Heaven: A Neurosurgeon's Journey into the Afterlife," Wednesday, March 12 – 10 a.m. CT, discussion of Dr. Eben Alexander’s best-seller. To register.

Free webinar “Freed Up Financial Living: Start This Ministry in Your Church!,” Thursday, March 13 — 6:30 p.m. CT, This course can help people in your church better understand their money, and how to control it so that it doesn't control them. To register.

Webinar “Community Survey: Why, What, Who and How to Do It!” Thursday, March 13 — 7-8 p.m. ET, how to do a community survey to help you build new relationships and gather key information about your community. Joy Skjegstad, who has worked at Park Avenue United Methodist Church in Minneapolis, will lead. $10. Details.

Evangelism Conference, Friday-Saturday, March 14-15 — Holston Conference event at Cokesbury Center in Knoxville, Tenn. The speaker will be the Rev. Jorge Acevedo, lead pastor of Grace Church, a multi-site United Methodist congregation in southwest Florida. $35. Details.

Free webinar “From Generation to Generation: Challenges in Forming Faith,” Tuesday, March 18 — 6:30 p.m. CT, examining the role of congregations in forming faith. To register.

“180 Turnaround Church Conference,” Thursday, March 20 — 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m. ET conference at Redeemer United Methodist Church in DeWitt, Mich. $59 per person, and $20 for each additional person from the same church. Details.

Early registration deadline for United Theological Seminary’s “Light the Fire!” Church Renewal Conference, Friday, March 21 — May 8-9 at Ginghamsburg Church, 6759 S. County Road 25A, Tipp City, Ohio. Details.

Ecumenical Advocacy Days, Friday through Monday, March 21-24 — Assembly co-sponsored by United Methodist Board of Church and Society, United Methodist Women, and other United Methodist ministries in Washington. The theme is “Jesus Weeps: Resisting Violence, Building Peace.” Details.

“Prophets, Harlots, Witches, And Warriors: Untamed Women Of The Old Testament,” Friday, March 21 —6-8:30 p.m. CT, The Rev. Sherry Cothran, United Methodist pastor and singer/songwriter, will share songs and stories about some of the Bible’s most interesting women. Event is at the Scarritt-Bennett Center in Nashville, Tenn. $10. Details.

Engaging Local Schools Conference, Saturday, March 22 — 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. ET, Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington. $20-65. Details.

Free webinar “Media: What’s Trending in Elementary School,” Tuesday, March 25 — 10 a.m. CT, a discussion of how we can extend community for children through healthy media use. To register.

Webinar “Company’s Coming! Training for the Experience,” Tuesday, March 25 — 7-8 p.m. ET, how to welcome guests at your local church. The Rev. Mark Waltz, of United Methodist congregation Granger Community Church in Indiana, will lead. $10. Details.

Window on Wesley Theological Seminary, Tuesday, March 25; Saturday, April 26; and Tuesday, June 17 — 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m. ET, full-day events for prospective students include a campus tour, discussion of degree programs and the chance to attend a class. Details.

White Privilege Conference, Wednesday-Saturday, March 26-29 — A conference that examines challenging concepts of privilege and oppression and offers solutions and team building strategies to work toward a more equitable world, co-hosted by the Wisconsin Conference Board of Church and Society and Wisconsin Council of Churches at Monona Terrace Convention Center and Concourse Hotel in Madison, Wis. Details.

“Spirituality of the Labyrinth” workshop, Saturday, March 29 — 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. CT at the Scarritt-Bennett Center in Nashville, Tenn. $42. Details.

Bishop’s Convocation of Prayer, Saturday, March 29 — 9:30 a.m.-4 p.m. ET, Trinity United Methodist Church, 903 Forest Ave., Richmond, Va. The Rev. Tom Albin, dean of the Upper Room Ministries and Ecumenical Relations, will speak. $10. Details.

Increase Generosity in Your Church Conference, Saturday, March 29 — 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. ET, Myers Park United Methodist Church, Charlotte, N.C. The Rev. Lovett H. Weems Jr., director of the Lewis Center for Church Leadership, will speak. $35-45. Details.

One Great Hour of Sharing, Sunday, March 30 — Donations the United Methodist Committee on Relief receives through this offering, along with other undesignated gifts made throughout the year, cover the relief agency’s costs of doing business. To learn more.

Community Organizing for Social Change & Church Development training, Monday-Friday, March 31-April 4 — First Grace United Methodist Church, New Orleans. The training will teach how methods of community organizing can be a tool in congregational development, community transformation and engagement in justice ministries. Jointly offered by United Methodist Board of Church and Society, and Path1 of the United Methodist Board of Discipleship. $295. Details.