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Daily Digest: March 19, 2014

“It is to God’s credit, not mine. When God works, obedience is required from some, courage from one and sacrifice from another. I had to be obedient to that
voice. …”

– The Rev. Chad Oyer of First United Methodist Church in Birmingham, Mich., talking about the donation of a kidney from one of his congregants to another.
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Woman donates kidney to ‘brother in faith’
BIRMINGHAM, Mich. (UMNS) — Sid Thomas found the gift he was praying for through his congregation, Birmingham First United Methodist Church in the Detroit Annual (regional) Conference. The Detroit News has the story.

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Watch church’s video


Appeal granted in Schaefer defrocking case
WASHINGTON (UMNS) — The Committee on Appeals of the Northeastern Jurisdiction has agreed to hear the case in which a Pennsylvania pastor, Frank Schaefer, was stripped of his clergy credentials after officiating at a same-sex wedding ceremony for his son. Schaefer was convicted of violating the United Methodist Book of Discipline, the law book of the denomination.

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Florida church paves way for homeless shelter
OCALA, Fla. (UMNS) — St. Mark’s United Methodist Church has entered into a partnership to establish a shelter for homeless men and women in a building on its property. The church’s action opens the way after a first plan for a tent city on another site met with neighborhood opposition. “We have just been looking for a mission,” the Rev. Susan Gray of St. Mark’s told Ocala.com.

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Ministry with the Poor


Easter eggs keep church running all year
SHICKSHINNY, Pa. (UMNS) — Since its beginning in Civil War times, the First United Methodist Church has served the community through many needs. More than 25 years ago, it took a family recipe to make Easter eggs to sell, an enterprise that now helps pay bills and enables continued service. TimesLeader.com reports that the church expects to sell 16,000 eggs this year.

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Area rallies to help Ohio pastor with ALS
POWELL, Ohio (UMNS) — The Rev. William E. Croy, formerly the pastor at Maple Grove United Methodist Church, is in the advanced stages of ALS, commonly called Lou Gehrig’s disease. Thisweeknews.com tells how a community has rallied to help him.

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Church, college respond to violent deaths
GLADE SPRING, Va. (UMNS) — When four family members died in a domestic-violence tragedy in Glade Spring, Va., people at United Methodist-related Emory & Henry College and State Street United Methodist Church responded to help the community grieve and find hope. Annette Spence of the Holston Annual (regional) Conference shares the story.

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Sometimes, mission lands at your front door
FORT WORTH, Texas (UMNS) — Julian Hobdy, digital media coordinator for the Central Texas Annual (regional) Conference, reflects on what happened when a “pretty ugly” car accident happened just outside the conference center. “In a time of great chaos and turmoil, decay and destruction, Christ injects himself into our situations.”

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Bishop proposes ‘Seven Levers’ of positive change
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (UMNS) — Missouri Area Bishop Robert Schnase, author of “Five Practices of Fruitful Congregations,” has just published a new book with Abingdon Press, “Seven Levers: Missional Strategies for Conferences.” The book’s ideas will be topics of discussion at the Annual Association Conference Lay Leaders event Thursday-Sunday, March 20-23, in Kansas City.

To learn more and order the book