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Daily Digest: March 17, 2014

“I bind unto myself today
The power of God to hold and lead,
His eye to watch, His might to stay,
His ear to hearken to my need.”

– Excerpt from St. Patrick’s “Breastplate” prayer.

Who was the real St. Patrick?
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) — He was a saint, but much of what we celebrate about the man called Patrick is legend. Heather Hahn separates fact from legend in a look at the ministry of St. Patrick, who was committed to spreading Christianity.

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St. Patrick: A patron saint for PKs
HOUSTON (UMNS) — You never know how those preacher’s kids will turn out, especially when their father is not only a deacon in the church, but also a respected judge in the community. St. Patrick offers a model for Christians today and preacher's kids today, writes the Rev. C. Chappell Temple, presiding pastor of Lakewood United Methodist Church.

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How to make financing college easier
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) — Financing college can be a daunting challenge, but administrators at United Methodist colleges and universities can provide some advice to make the task much easier. Natalie Bannon explains how to get started.

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One Great Hour of Sharing Devotional available
NEW YORK (UMNS) — The One Great Hour of Sharing Devotional eBook produced by the United Methodist Committee on Relief offers daily devotionals as it shares why UMCOR does what it does. The One Great Hour of Sharing offering will be on the fourth Sunday of Lent, March 30 this year.

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Correction and update
Same-sex wedding complaints against Talbert
An item in the March 14 Daily Digest about the formal complaint process against retired Bishop Melvin G. Talbert should have said that the March 13 news release was from the Western Jurisdiction College of Bishops. An updated version of the story includes responses from Bishops Debra Wallace-Padgett and Rosemarie Wenner and two unofficial United Methodist advocacy groups.

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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.

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 — Event is May 8-9 at Ginghamsburg Church, 6759 S. County Road 25A, Tipp City, Ohio. 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 at the Scarritt-Bennett Center in Nashville, Tenn. $10. Details.

Engaging Local Schools Conference, Saturday, March 229:30 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.

Free webinar “No More Volunteers! Reclaiming Christian Servanthood,” Tuesday, March 255 p.m. CT, a discussion of a different approach for finding, recruiting and motivating people to serve the church. 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.

Alonzo L. McDonald Distinguished Faculty Lectures on Christianity and Human Rights, Wednesday, March 26 — 12:15-5:30 p.m. ET, Tull Auditorium, Emory Law School, Atlanta a 50th anniversary celebration of key civil rights documents. Details.

“Spirituality of the Labyrinth” workshop, Saturday, March 299 a.m. to 3 p.m. CT at the Scarritt-Bennett Center in Nashville, Tenn. $42. Details.

Bishop’s Convocation of Prayer, Saturday, March 299:30 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 be the speaker. $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.

Preaching and lunch with retired Bishop William H. Willimon, Sunday, March 30 — Willimon, who formerly led the North Alabama Annual (regional) Conference and teaches at Duke Divinity School, will preach at 8:30 a.m., 9:45 a.m. and 11:15 a.m. ET at Aldersgate United Methodist Church, Alexandria, Va. At 12:30 p.m., he will speak during “Lunch with the bishop” about the future of mainline denominations. $10 for lunch; reservations required. 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.

Deadline to register for online course “United Methodism 101,” Monday, March 31—April 2 - May 14, an overview of the denomination’s history, structure, beliefs, ministries and challenges, from United Methodist Communications $9.99. Details.

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.

Free Perkins “Lunch and Learn” with Susanne Johnson, Monday, March 31 11:45 a.m. to 1 p.m. CT, Perkins School of Theology’s Houston-Galveston Extension Program, 3501 W. Alabama, Suite 107, in Houston. Johnson, associate professor of Christian education, will speak on “Hidden in Plain Sight: Perspectives on Injustice.” Details.

Free webinar “Multiplying Disciples: Part 2,” Monday, March 316:30 p.m. CT, spiritual leaders learn together to build an intentional congregational plan for making disciples. To register.

Deadline to apply for Hispanic Youth Leadership Academy, Tuesday, April 1 — The chaplain’s office at United Methodist-related Adrian College will help host a leadership academy June 25-28 for Hispanic United Methodist youth and young adults in eighth through 12th grades. Click here for a pdf of the registration form.

Free webinar “Monitoring Reports: Increasing Participation through Gentle Mutual Accountability,” Tuesday, April 17:30 p.m. CT, part of a series of leadership webinars offered by the United Methodist Commission on the Status and Role of Women. To see schedule and register.

Deadline to register for the 2014 United Methodist Women Assembly, Tuesday, April 1 — April 25-27, Louisville, Ky. Details.