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Daily Digest - March 8, 2016

“There is a high level of commitment on the part of most of the African delegations to attend the events as an opportunity to prepare together for General Conference and to pray and conference together about the issues that are of special concern to Africa.” —  The Rev. Jerry Kulah on the Africa Initiative retreats.


African delegates to gather before GC2016

LUBUMBASHI, Democratic Republic of Congo (UMNS) — Some African leaders want to add bishops, create a fund to support theological education in Africa and maintain the church’s current ordination rules and definition of marriage. The United Methodist Church Africa Initiative will host a gathering for delegates from the 30 annual and provisional conferences in Africa on May 4-6 at Canby Retreat Center in Portland, Oregon. Vicki Brown reports.
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E-readers enhance theological education

FREETOWN, Sierra Leone (UMNS) — In Sierra Leone, where core theological and academic resources are costly and often inaccessible, e-readers are opening new doors, offering affordable, easy access to learning materials for students and staff. Theology faculty lecturers at the United Methodist-related College of Theology and Management and Church Training Centre received e-readers through a partnership with a program of United Methodist Discipleship Ministries and the United Methodist Board of Higher Education and Ministry. Phileas Jusu reports.
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Pastor brings tent witness to Iowa

DES MOINES, Iowa (UMNS) — The Rev. Mike Tupper, a West Michigan Conference pastor, pitched a tent overnight on the lawn of the Iowa Conference office. Tupper is bringing his tent witness around the country. Tupper is sleeping outside these winter months as a sign of solidarity with gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender individuals he sees as kept outside of church ministry. The Rev. Arthur McClanahan reports for the Iowa Conference.

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Bishop Carcaño: ‘The question is how to live’

WASHINGTON (UMNS) — Bishop Minerva Carcaño, in her sermon at the National Cathedral, said we all question untimely deaths of those who are killed by mass shooters, or those who die in tornadoes. “The bigger picture and the real question is not why did death come to them, but rather how do we live before death comes for us?” asks the Los Angeles area bishop in her Feb. 28 sermon.
Watch or read the sermon


Interns sought for Washington program

WASHINGTON (UMNS) — The United Methodist Board of Church and Society is seeking applications for the denomination’s Ethnic Young Adults summer internship program in the U.S. capital. Interns gain experience in advocacy, attend Friday leadership seminars and join in devotions. The deadline to apply is March 15.

To learn more 


New Vital Conversations series debuts

WASHINGTON (UMNS) — The United Methodist Commission on Religion and Race announced Vital Conversations 2 beginning on March 10. This new interactive video series features thought leaders, pastors, theologians, activists, authors and scholars from outside of the United States who will share their stories, insights and expertise on issues related to faith, culture and fighting oppression in the church and world today.

Read press release


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.


Tuesday, March 15

Discounted deadline for Caring for Creation Conference — The ninth event will be Friday-Saturday, April 8-9, at Decatur (Georgia) First United Methodist Church, 300 E. Ponce de Leon Ave. This year’s focus is on food and food systems. Keynote speakers include Norman Wirzba of Duke University, Jennifer Ayres of Emory University's Candler School of Theology and Alice Rolls of Georgia Organics. Scholarships are available. Register

More upcoming United Methodist events