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Daily Digest - May 11, 2015

"Every child deserves to live in communities of peace. This month, we invite families, friends and congregations to read, pray and give towards peace for our communities and around the world." — The Rev. Susan Henry-Crowe, United Methodist Board of Church and Society.

Seeking children’s prayers for Peace with Justice Sunday

WASHINGTON (UMNS) — Children are invited to submit original prayers for peace to the United Methodist Board of Church and Society as part of the denomination’s Peace with Justice Sunday observance. The multi-faceted initiative, “Hate Hurts, Peace Heals,” includes a reading list on peace for children and Sunday school classes and an opportunity to gather offerings for peace. Wayne Rhodes reports.
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United Methodists pitch in to feed children, distribute medications

BALTIMORE — Metropolitan United Methodist Church’s fellowship hall became a cafeteria and gathering space for children after school closures in the wake of riots. Volunteers and friends from surrounding cities sent food, clothing, toiletries, and medical supplies to the church. The Rev. Eric King talks about distributing meals and creating care packages for community members who have been without medication since a nearby pharmacy went up in flames. Think Progress reports.
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U.S. should finalize tobacco rules, health agencies say

WASHINGTON (UMNS) — The United Methodist Board of Church and Society has joined public health and medical organizations in urging President Obama to quickly finalize long-overdue U.S. rules covering all tobacco products, including electronic cigarettes, cigars and hookah.
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Ministry guide available in Spanish

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) — An updated, Spanish-language version of “The Christian as Minister: An Exploration into the Meaning of God’s Call” is now available. The book, published by the United Methodist Board of Higher Education and Ministry, is required reading for ministry candidates in The United Methodist Church.
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Remembering Del Ketcham

HENDERSONVILLE, N.C. (UMNS) — Delbert “Del” Ketcham, a former staff member of the Commission on United Methodist Men, died recently after a battle with lung cancer. He was passionate about gardening and improving food security.
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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.

May 15, 2015
Early bird deadline for "Seizing an Alternative: Toward an Ecological Civilization," a global conference on creation careThursday-Sunday, June 4-7 on the campuses of Pomona College and Claremont School of Theology in Claremont, California. United Methodist Bill McKibben, founder of 350.org, will be among the speakers at this conference on theology, ecology and economics. Cost $300 before May 15, $400 after. Details You can also register here.

Deadline to apply for "Social Justice Institute: Poverty, Race and Sexuality" — Conference is Monday-Friday, Aug. 3-7 at Boston University School of Theology. The Social Justice Institute aims to reclaim the role of faith leaders' prophetic voices in public life, pulpits and sacred spaces. This five-day intensive continuing education institute is designed to train seminarians, clergy and laity through conversations, lectures, worship and fellowship. Scholarships and up to two CEUs are available. Details.

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