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Daily Digest - March 20, 2015

"We're hoping to draw attention by a new generation of scholars to a man who was a leading figure in The United Methodist Church and ecumenically." — Timothy Binkley, archivist at Bridwell Library, on the reorganized paper of Albert C. Outler.

Outler was great Wesley scholar —
and a pack rat

DALLAS (UMNS) — The great United Methodist scholar Albert C. Outler (1908-1989) also was a pack rat, hanging onto to airline tickets, restaurant napkins and entire editions of newspapers. Archivists at Bridwell Library, part of Southern Methodist University’s Perkins School of Theology, spent 6,000 hours reorganizing and slimming down Outler's papers. The library has created an exhibit of the highlights, and put them online. And the collection beckons to scholars who still find Outler a compelling figure. Sam Hodges reports.
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Seeing ‘sacred worth’ in women and girls

NEW YORK (UMNS) — What would the world look like if women and girls were seen as children of God and of sacred worth? It’s a question that Susan Burton and other United Methodist and faith representatives have pondered over the past two weeks as they participated in forums tied to the 59th Session of the U.N. Commission on the Status of Women and the 20-year-old Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action. Linda Bloom has the story.
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Learn about women’s contributions to The United Methodist Church

Lyle Schaller, influential church observer, dies at 91

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) — The Rev. Lyle E. Schaller, a United Methodist widely considered among the most influential observers of U.S. church culture in the 20th century, died March 18 at 91. He published 55 books between 1964 and 2005, all with the United Methodist Publishing House's Abingdon Press. Paul Franklyn offers a tribute to Schaller at Ministry Matters.
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Abingdon Press’ news release

Project 20/20 - a ministry idea with vision

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (UMNS) — Five thousand people in 13 countries — that’s how many people have better vision thanks to the “Project 20/20” ministry of Memphis Conference. The ministry supplies sunglasses and prescription eyeglasses to be distributed by mission teams. Grace Bonner, the coordinator of the ministry, shares the ministry’s impact and how congregations can get involved.
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Dakota Wesleyan takes a bite out of hunger

MITCHELL, S.D. (UMNS) — In South Dakota where one out of every five children is at risk of going hungry, discussing feeding programs is more than academic. Students and faculty at United Methodist-related Dakota Wesleyan University have a long history of working on hunger issues. Crystal Caviness, a public relations specialist with United Methodist Communications, has the story.
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Mission initiatives from around world gather for summit

CORNWALL-ON-HUDSON, N.Y. (UMNS) — Mission Initiatives are movements in places where The United Methodist Church does not have a presence, but where local people have expressed a call to launch or renew Methodist faith communities. Melissa Hinnen reports on what happened when missionaries, local church leaders from 12 mission initiative countries and Global Ministries staff recently came together for a week of networking and strategizing.
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Texas bishops join faith leaders to oppose death penalty

AUSTIN, Texas (UMNS) — All active and retired bishops of The United Methodist Church in Texas and 265 United Methodist clergy from across the state are among the signatories to an Interfaith Statement of Opposition to the Death Penalty.
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Lent Quiz: Why do we use lilies as a symbol of Easter?

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) — Many sanctuaries will be filled with lilies on Easter Sunday morning. Do you know why the lily is so popular during Easter? Take today’s quiz to find out.
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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.

Friday-Saturday, March 20-21
"How to Reach New People Workshop" — 4:30 p.m. CST March 20 to 1:30 p.m. CDT March 21 at the Missouri Conference Center in Columbia. The workshop will cover reintroducing your church to the community and the role of the pastor and congregation in reaching new people and developing an action plan. $25 per person or $75 per team of five. To learn more, email Tammy Calcote at tcalcote@moumethodist.org. Details.

Monday, March 23
United Methodist Women Day of Giving — On March 23, 1869, eight women gathered at Tremont Methodist Episcopal Church in Boston and organized what would become United Methodist Women. The group, a self-supporting agency of the church, is asking members to use this as a day of giving to its legacy fund. Details on how to give.

You can see more educational opportunities and other upcoming events in the life of the church here.