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Daily Digest: May 12, 2014

“We have already begun to see the power of ecumenical partnerships.” –– Kathy Jones, Director of Connectional Ministries, South Carolina Annual (regional) Conference

Goal: 1 million books for ecumenical educational project

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (UMNS)–– South Carolina United Methodists have collected nearly a million books to help combat what they see as a “direct connection between illiteracy and poverty in our state,” participants at a recent United Methodist Ecumenical and Interreligious Training event learned.

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Mission Society installs new president

NORCROSS, Ga. (UMNS) –– The Rev. Max Wilkins was installed as the seventh president of The Mission Society May 6 in a ceremony at Simpsonwood United Methodist Church. Wilkins, who officially assumes his duties June 1, succeeds the Rev. Dick McClain, who is retiring after nearly three decades of ministry.

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Update: Agency wants bishop to account for use of funds

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) — The United Methodist General Council on Finance and Administration issued a press release noting that progress was made this week on the review of the use of theological education funds sent to the denomination’s West Angola Episcopal Area.

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Appalachian Ministry Network gets new coordinator

BUCKHANNON, W.Va. (UMNS) –– Michael Armbrister, executive director of the Mount Rogers Planning District Commission in Marion, Va., will become executive coordinator for the United Methodist Appalachian Ministry Network  June 2.

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Pension board names managing director

GLENVIEW, Ill. (UMNS) -The Wespath Investment Management Division of the United Methodist Board of Pension and Health Benefits announced the hiring of Kirsty Jenkinson in a new position as managing director of Corporate Relations and Sustainable Investment Strategy, effective May 27.  Jenkinson, previously a program director at World Resources Institute (Washington, D.C.), will  lead an environmental, social and governance strategic oversight team to more broadly integrate ESG issues into Wespath’s investment selection and processes.

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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.

Free webinar “Children’s Ministry: Weekday Preschool Guidelines,” Monday, May 12 — 10 a.m. CT, How to maintain high educational and ethical standards that are consistent across United Methodist Weekday Preschool Ministry Programs. Details. 

Free “Lunch and Learn” about Southern Methodist University’s Perkins School of Theology, Monday, May 12 — 11: 45 a.m. to 1 p.m. CT, Jaime Clark Soles, associate professor of New Testament at Perkins, will speak on “The Bible and Disability” at St. Luke’s United Methodist Church, 3471 Westheimer Road, Houston. Details. 

Webinar “Using Visual Social Media to Embrace the Sacred and Build Community,” Tuesday, May 13  — 7-8 p.m. ET, offered by Practical Church Resources and led by Meredith Gould, author of “The Social Media Gospel: Sharing the Good News in New Ways.” $10. Details 

Free webinar “Binders Full of Women: How to Create, Maintain and Utilize a Talent Bank,” Tuesday, May 13 — 7:30 p.m. ET, part of a series of leadership webinars offered by the United Methodist Commission on the Status and Role of Women. To see schedule and register 

Global Partnership Summit, Wednesday, May 14 to Friday, May 16  — Event at the United Methodist Church of the Resurrection, Leawood, Kan., aims to equip church leaders for missional engagement locally and globally. Details 

A Day of Learning at Adrian College, Wednesday, May 14 — Starting at 1 p.m. ET, Adrian College in Adrian, Mich., will host a day of continuing education for United Methodists in and around the Michigan area. Sessions will focus on the Paul’s Letter to the Philippians, the fight against human  trafficking and the connections between the church and the academy. $30. Details 

Free webinar “Stewardship: What’s New in the Toolbox?,” Thursday, May 15 — 6:30 p.m. CT, An overview of new resources and ideas for increasing church giving. Details. 

Deadline to apply for Spark12 grants, Friday, May 16 — Spark12, part of the United Methodist Board of Higher Education and Ministry, provides funding, coaching and other support for young adult leaders and those working with young adults who have innovative ideas they believe will change the world. To apply 

A Gathering of the Aldersgate CovenantFriday-Saturday, May 16-17 — A 20-hour prayer for revival with guest speakers from across the United States at United Methodist Church of the Resurrection, Leawood, Kan. $35. Details. 

Change the World weekend, Saturday-Monday, May 17-19 — Learn how United Methodists are finding ways to serve others and connect with their communities. Details 

Heritage Sunday, May 18 — The theme this year is "The Church’s Heritage in Mission:
Remembering the 200th Anniversary of the Death of Thomas Coke.” Resources from the United Methodist Commission on Archives and History. Details 

Webinar “A Church for Everyone — Messy Church,” Tuesday, May 20 — 7-8 p.m. ET, How to be a church  for families based around hospitality, creativity and celebration, offered by Practical Church Resources and led by the Rev. Rich Hill, an Evangelical Lutheran Church in America pastor. $10. Details 

Free webinar “Sharing Our Faith,” Tuesday, May 20 —  6:30 p.m. CT, tips for sharing the Christian faith and discussing your faith journey without coming across as pushy from the United Methodist Board of Discipleship. Details. 

Workshop “Tranformation: Equipping Churches to Transform Lives,” Tuesday-Thursday, May 20-22 — United Methodist-related Huston-Tillotson University in Austin, Texas, will host ecumenical event. $150. Details 

The 2014 conference of the International Association of Methodist-related Schools, Colleges and Universities, Saturday-Wednesday, May 24-28 — The event  in Hiroshima, Japan is open to pastors as well as educators Hiroshima, Japan. The theme is “Peace, Reconciliation and Human Rights.” Details 

African American Summit, Tuesday-Wednesday, June 3-4 — Retired United Methodist Bishop Ernest S. Lyght will be the guest speaker for Peninsula-Delaware Conference event at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore, 11868 Academic Oval, Princess Anne, Md. $25. Call the Rev. Sheila Hunley at 410-810-4612. Details 

Lake Junaluska Summer Youth EventsJune 12 - July 20 —Lake Junaluska Youth Events will focus on being the Body of Christ through service, worship, and community with afternoons free for groups to customize their trip and explore the mountains of North Carolina. Leadership includes Shane Claiborne, Duffy Robbins, Andy Lambert, and more. Register at

Prepare: A Training for New Leaders, Monday-Tuesday, June 23-24 & Summer Institute, Tuesday to Friday, June 24-27 — Both events at Emory University’s Candler School of Theology in Atlanta aim to address that need by training, equipping, and building a network for new, seasoned, or prospective United Methodist collegiate ministers. Collegiate ministers who register by May 5 will receive a $50 gift card toward resources for their particular ministry. Combined cost of events is $100. Details 

Deadline to apply for CORR Action Fund grants, Monday, June 30 — The United Methodist Commission on Religion and Race will award grants of $20,000 to $80,000 to “innovative, bold, high-impact initiatives” that will increase intercultural competency or support vital conversations about race, cultural diversity and systemic equity. Details 

Deadline to register for Boards of Ordained Ministry Mid-Quadrennial Training, Friday, July 11 — Event for board officers and cabinet  representatives will be Tuesday, Aug. 12 and ends by noon on Friday, Aug. 15 in Denver. The United Methodist Board of Higher Education and Ministry is sponsoring. Details 

Deadline to register for School of Congregational Development 2014, Tuesday, July 15 — Gathering Thursday-Sunday, Aug.14-17 sponsored by the United Methodist boards of Discipleship and Global Ministries at Matthews United Methodist Church, Matthews, 801 S Trade St., Matthews, N.C. $425. Details 

Festival of Wisdom and Grace, Monday to Thursday, July 28-31 — Columbia (S.C.) Area Bishop Jonathan Holston will be the conference preacher at this time of worship and learning at Lake Junaluska (N.C) Conference and Retreat Center. The theme is “Living Ordinary Time with EEEE’s — Enthusiasm, Encouragement, Engagement and Empowerment.” Details