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Daily Digest - March 23, 2016

 

“I am thankful to God for the safety of our team. I am praying for the people of Brussels as they recover from this terrible terrorist act." — East Ohio Bishop John Hopkins on the attack in Brussels.

 

United Methodists safe after Brussels airport attack

BRUSSELS (UMNS) — Two United Methodist leaders and a mission team from the East Ohio Conference are safe after being in the Brussels International Airport during the terrorist attacks that left more than 30 people dead. Faith leaders are calling on the world to offer prayers for those killed, their families and the people who are risking their lives to help. Kathy L. Gilbert reports on United Methodist reaction.
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Easter lessons on walking with Christ

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) — The familiar Bible story of Christ's walk to Emmaus remains cherished Easter reading and, in fact, is one of the possible lectionary passages for this Sunday. The account also has given its name to United Methodist-initiated retreats. Heather Hahn reports on why the story still resonates.
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2014 Vitality Report offers mixed news

OCEAN, N.J. (UMNS) — New Jersey Area Bishop John Schol has released the 2014 Vitality Report on U.S. United Methodist churches. Between 2013 and 2014, the report said, a higher percentage of United Methodists got involved in small groups and became engaged in mission. The report also shows congregations giving more to mission. However, it shows a decrease in the percentage of U.S. churches that are growing in worship attendance.
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Liberian bishop signs construction contact

MONROVIA, Liberia (UMNS) — Bishop John G. Innis signed a construction contract for nearly $2 million for a three-story commercial building that is expected to generate income to support the ministries of The United Methodist Church in Liberia. E. Julu Swen reports.
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Three historic congregations launch new church

SAVANNAH, Ga. (UMNS) — In the South Georgia Conference, one plus one plus one equals one. Three historic Savannah congregations — one predominantly African-American, one predominantly Caucasian, and a third that has become fairly multiracial in recent years — are blending their ministries to launch ConneXion Church. Kara Witherow of the South Georgia Conference has the story.
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History of Hymns: 'Were You There'

CHICAGO (UMNS) — "Were You There" is one of the most prominent and popular of the African-American spirituals. Yet, like most spirituals, the origins of "Were You There" are impossible to trace, borne not from the pen of an individual but out of the communal slave experience. David Bjorlin, a minister of the Evangelical Covenant Church, writes about this beloved hymn.

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Digest break for Easter

There will be no Daily Digest on Holy Thursday or Good Friday. The digest will resume Monday, March 28. We wish all our readers a blessed Easter.

 

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.

 

Thursday, March 31

Beginning of 60 Days of Prayer for General Conference — The Upper Room has created resources for 60 Days of Prayer to help every local congregation pray with the delegates and church leaders for the 2016 General Conference. The 60 days of prayer begin March 31 and extend through May 29. The denomination's legislative assembly is May 10-20 in Portland, Oregon. Details

 

Sunday, April 10

Native American Ministries Sunday — Offering for this special Sunday funds urban ministries with Native Americans, scholarships for Native American attending United Methodist seminaries and conference Native American ministries Details

More upcoming United Methodist events