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Daily Digest - May 19, 2015

“Ebola brought a lot of evil upon this nation but it opened our eyes to realities.” — United Methodist Bishop John K. Yambasu of Sierra Leone.

After Ebola: A devastated country picks up the pieces

FREETOWN, Sierra Leone (UMNS) — Liberia recently was declared Ebola-free, but the virus, while retreating, is proving to be an unshakable foe in Sierra Leone. More than 12,000 have contracted Ebola in Sierra Leone and nearly 4,000 have died. In “Ebola: The Struggle to Recover,” a four-part special report with stories and video, Jan Snider examines Ebola’s impact on that West African nation.
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Church body seeks greater openness on human sexuality

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) — United Methodist clergy could perform same-gender weddings and conferences could ordain openly gay clergy if legislation by a denomination-wide leadership body wins General Conference approval. Heather Hahn reports.
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Reflecting on the Boston bomber death penalty

BOSTON (UMNS) — In a commentary, New England Area Bishop Sudarshana Devadhar reflects on a jury’s decision to sentence Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev to death.
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Quiz yourself: United Methodist history

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) — The United Methodist Church has existed in various forms for more than 200 years. Test your knowledge of its history with this quiz, a partnership between United Methodist Communications and the United Methodist Commission on Archives and History. A new question will be added each day through John Wesley’s birthday, June 17.
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Lessons for church from the ‘spiritual but not religious’

DELAWARE, Ohio (UMNS) — Pew Research Center’s recent survey showed a steep rise in the religiously unaffiliated. Here is what Linda Mercadante, a professor of theology at Methodist Theological School in Ohio, has learned about reaching the “spiritual but not religious.” Joe Iovino reports for umc.org.
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Commentary: Why clergy get kicked out

CASPER, Wyo. (UMNS) — Every year thousands of clergy across denominations are moved, removed or otherwise asked to retire from the pulpit. The Rev. Rebekah Simon-Peter, a United Methodist elder and church consultant, digs into data offering reasons why pastors may end up alienating a congregation.
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