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Daily Digest - March 6, 2015

"There are no excuses for what I did. I have learned firsthand that no one, not even me, is beyond redemption through God’s grace and mercy. I rely on the steadfast and never-ending love of God.”
— Kelly Renee Gissendaner, who faces execution in Georgia.

Candler students join call to stop Georgia execution

ATLANTA (UMNS) — Students, former graduates and faculty at United Methodist Candler School of Theology are rallying to support “one of their own” who sits on death row in Georgia. Kelly Renee Gissendaner was convicted of the murder of her husband and sentenced to death in 1998. In 2011, she graduated from the Certificate for Theological Studies program at Lee Arrendale State Prison, a program that is sponsored in part by Candler. Kathy L. Gilbert has the story.
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African summit brings together evangelists

MUTARE, Zimbabwe (UMNS) — African countries have their own cultures and their own way of worship. To respond to the changing needs of the African church, the United Methodist Board of Global Ministries brought together evangelists from 28 countries for a summit on evangelism at Africa University. Sandra Brands reports.
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Sharing the dream: Caldwell reflects on time with MLK

ASBURY PARK, N.J. (UMNS) — The Rev. Gilbert H. Caldwell was a young seminarian when he spent time with the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. as part of an effort to support public schools in the area around Boston University. “When there is institutionalized prejudice against a person for one reason or another, how can we be at ease in Zion? The job of the church is to address these.” Caldwell’s reflections are part of a series about United Methodists who shared King’s dream.
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Giving people homes transforms church, too

PORTLAND, Ore. (UMNS) — Efforts are increasing in municipalities across the United States to find homes for the homeless, rather than just shelter. The Rev. Jeremy Smith in his blog "Hacking Christianity" offers three ways churches can engage in these efforts and rethink their ministries with those in poverty.
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Wesleyan Philippines backs climate change movement

CABANATUAN CITY, Philippines (UMNS) — A recent forum at Wesleyan University-Philippines culminated in the launching of a “Climate Justice Now!” movement. Some 300 forum participants signed a statement calling for a commitment to addressing climate issues, as well as raising awareness about what needs to be done. Gladys Mangiduyos reports.
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Lent Quiz: When do congregations “strip the Lord’s Table”?

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) — Stripping the Lord’s Table reminds us of the Holy Week story and calls us to contemplate what matters most in worship. Do you know when churches typically do this?
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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.

Friday, March 6
Deadline to register for “Growing Church Leaders” workshop — 3 p.m. EDT Friday, March 13 to 4 p.m. EDT Saturday, March 14 at Dunbar United Methodist Church, Dunbar, West Virginia. The workshop is for pastors and laity seeking to enhance the ministry of local congregations by developing godly leaders. Details.

Thursday, March 10
2015 Willson Lecture: “Formation for Ministry: Twenty-first Century Opportunities” — 9 a.m. CDT. The United Methodist Board of Higher Education and Ministry is hosting the 2015 Willson lecture, delivered by the Rev. Russell E. Richey at the Harambee Auditorium, Scarritt Bennett Center, in Nashville, Tennessee. Details.

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