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Daily Digest: May 19, 2014

“My hope is that United Methodists observe this 60th anniversary by beginning to discuss and act on racial justice as never before.” – The Rev. Gilbert H. Caldwell on the anniversary of the Brown v. Board of Education ruling.

Marking the 60th anniversary of Brown decision
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) — The Rev. Gilbert H. Caldwell, a United Methodist elder, was 21 and a seminary student at Boston University the first time he was in a classroom with students who were not black. A veteran of the civil rights movement, he reflects on the 60th anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education and his hope United Methodists will use this as an opportunity for prayerful reflection.

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Michelle Obama’s experience with landmark ruling

Garden of Eatin' changes the world one carrot at a time
BARTLESVILLE, Okla. (UMNS) — Yes, carrots can change the world. So can tomatoes, corn, beet greens, squash, peppers and garlic. Five years ago, a healthy handful of church members — some with green thumbs and some without — at Bartlesville First Church in Oklahoma got on their knees, emptied seed packets and dug their hands into the dirt. The church’s garden is just one of the United Methodist endeavors that have been part of the denomination’s annual Change the World weekend.

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15 missionaries and their families blessed for service
NEW YORK (UMNS) — With joyful anticipation, new United Methodist missionaries received a blessing and foot washing before being commissioned at annual (regional) conferences.

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‘Doug Swims’ for new church starts
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) — A ministry supporting church planters in the United States and a new church in Argentina will benefit from a special three-mile swim by New Church Starts (Path 1) associate executive director Doug Ruffle. His son Ben will join his father for part of the swim, which will take place on Ruffle’s 63rd birthday, June 11, at a Nashville-area YMCA.

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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.

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 “Transformation: 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. 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.

Free webinar “Safe Sanctuaries for Camps and Retreats — Part Two,” Tuesday, May 27 — 11 a.m. CT, This training is for local church leaders who do camps and retreats as well as leaders serving at camp and retreat centers. Details.

Free webinar “Children’s Ministry: Created by God,” Thursday, May 29 — 10 a.m. CT, Advice for using the “Created by God” curriculum, which teaches  'tweens about bodies, growth and development, relationships, reproduction and God's role and desire for this process.  Details.

Ascension Day, Thursday, May 29 — “Ride on King Jesus” is among the litanies and meditations to celebrate Christ’s Ascension from the United Methodist Board of Discipleship.

Pentecost, Sunday, June 8 — Throw the church a Spirit-filled birthday party with resources from the United Methodist Board of Discipleship.

Day 1, Sunday, June 8 and Sunday, June 15 — The Rev.Charles Reeb, senior pastor of Pasadena Community Church (United Methodist) will be the featured speaker Pentecost and Trinity Sunday on the nationally syndicated radio program “Day 1.” To listen.

Free webinar “Sunday School Curriculum Review,” Thursday, June 12 — 7-8 p.m. ET, A discussion of the different types of curriculum available and factors to consider in selection, led by Debbie Kolacki, a certified Christian educator and United Methodist lay servant. Details.

Lake Junaluska Summer Youth Events, June 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

Aldersgate 2014 Conference, Thursday to Sunday, July 17-20 — The national conference of Aldersgate Renewal Ministries will be at the Prairie Capital Convention Center in Springfield, Ill. The theme is freedom. Details.

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.. 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.