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Daily Digest - May 14, 2016

It is not about distance. It is not about economic situation. It is not about color. But it is all about love. We can, indeed, transform this world by being the feet, hands, ears and eyes of Jesus Christ.” —Simon Mafunda, lay leader in the East Zimbabwe Conference.

Images from Friday’s General Conference include the laity address, an immigration vigil and a pastor who is sleeping in a tent.

See UMNS photos

 

Laity urged to share Jesus with the world

PORTLAND, Ore. (UMNS) — Lay members of The United Methodist Church admonished their peers who are delegates to General Conference to remember that they share in the responsibility of making disciples of Jesus Christ in the world. The May 13 laity address included lay leaders from the Upper New York, Virginia, Missouri, Tennessee, Zimbabwe and Great Plains conferences. Todd Seifert reports.
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Schaefer, son join campout for LGBTQ rights

PORTLAND, Ore. (UMNS) — The Rev. Frank Schaefer and his son will join the Rev. Mike Tupper in a tent outside the Oregon Convention Center to symbolize how they say LGBTQ people are kept outside the doors of The United Methodist Church. Their protest is on the doorstep of The United Methodist Church’s top legislative assembly, which is considering sexuality legislation. Kathy L. Gilbert has the story.
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Bumpy start for GC2016

PORTLAND, Ore. (UMNS) — The third day of General Conference 2016 saw more conflict over whether delegates should use iPads or old-fashioned placards to signal a desire to speak on the plenary floor. Some participants said prolonged debate over rules and procedures illustrated the lack of trust here and the challenges of being a global church. Sam Hodges reports.
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GC2016: What can churchgoers do together?

PORTLAND, Ore. (UMNS) — Throughout the morning, the delegates heard news that might surprise some: United Methodists together are doing great things that bring God’s reign into the world. Both the Connectional Table, which coordinates the work of church agencies, and the General Council on Finance and Administration, the denomination’s finance agency, gave reports that highlighted the good United Methodists do as a global church. Heather Hahn reports.
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Prayers, paper lanterns at climate vigil

PORTLAND, Ore. (UMNS) — An evening climate vigil May 12 featured lanterns lit by small LED lights, music and testimony from United Methodists around the world and a prayer space outside the General Conference legislative sessions. Linda Bloom has the story.
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Bishop Dyck says pope inspired her

PORTLAND, Ore. (UMNS) — Bishop Sally Dyck said Pope Francis has inspired her with his announcement calling for a year of mercy. She isn’t converting, but said she wants to be “part of a church that has a year of mercy, a decade of mercy, a millennium of mercy.” Anne Marie Gerhardt has the story.
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Immigration rally calls for end to deportations

PORTLAND, Ore. (UMNS) — For United Methodists gathering for lunchtime witness on May 13 at the Oregon Convention Center plaza, the phrase “Stop deportations” was a rallying cry. As the Rev. Rosanna Panizo, academic dean of the Methodist seminary in Peru, pointed out, faith both inspires and demands that Methodists take a stand on immigration rights. Linda Bloom reports.
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May 13 wrap-up: Laity address, State of the Church Report

PORTLAND, Ore. (UMNS) — After several days where General Conference delegates were clearly divided over Rule 44, on Day Four, they were urged repeatedly to work together, and shown examples of the good the church can do when it heeds that advice. In other news, demonstrations surrounding climate change, immigration and the church’s stance on homosexuality were held. Joey Butler reports.
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Walkers challenge us to be difference-makers

PORTLAND, Ore. (UMNS) — When several staff at Discipleship Ministries challenged each other for a “Fitbit” exercise session each day at General Conference, they ended up being challenged to do much more. After encountering many of Portland’s homeless on their walk to the convention center, the group found a way to make a difference in the lives of those in need they saw along the way. The Rev. Steve Horswill-Johnston has the story.
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Friends of Mission share stories, celebrate

PORTLAND, Ore. (UMNS) — Some 200 United Methodists, representing five continents, gathered at the DoubleTree Hotel here May 13 for a banquet sponsored by the denomination’s Board of Global Ministries. Today, the church’s missionaries go from everywhere to everywhere, said the Rev. Judy Chung, executive director of missionary service. Twenty-nine new missionaries bound for 16 countries will be commissioned at General Conference. Elliott Wright has the story for United Methodist Global Ministries.
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Celebrate Pentecost this Sunday

PASADENA, Calif. (UMNS) – Whether you’re at General Conference or worshipping in your home congregation, be sure to wear red and celebrate the birthday of the church this Sunday, May 15. The Rev. Joy J. Moore focuses on the importance of Pentecost for Christians today.
Read her commentary

 

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.

 

Monday-Wednesday, May 16-18

Community Service at GC2016 — Portland, various sites. Delegates, guests and observers to General Conference are invited to participate in community service events on Monday, May 16; Tuesday, May 17; and Wednesday, May 18. Small groups will work at the Oregon Food Bank and Bethlehem House of Bread, a ministry of Tigard United Methodist Church. Details  

 

Thursday, May 19
Commissioning of missionaries
8 a.m. PDT. Watch livestream video as 29 new United Methodist Board of Global Ministries missionaries are commissioned at the Oregon Convention Center in Portland. This is believed to be the first time the blessing and sending of missionaries has been included in a General Conference worship service during a plenary session. Watch online

More upcoming United Methodist events