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Daily Digest - May 21, 2015

“The people are suffering, they are really devastated.” — Bishop John K. Yambasu, about the effects of Ebola on the Kailahun district in Sierra Leone.

Ebola survivors and orphans can be pariahs

FREETOWN, Sierra Leone (UMNS) — The number of Ebola orphans in the three West African nations of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone is still being tallied, but is estimated to exceed 12,000. United Methodist Bishop John K. Yambasu is particularly concerned about orphans in the Kailahun, which was the first district hit by the Ebola outbreak in May 2014, reports Jan Snider in Part 3 of her series “Ebola: The Struggle to Recover.”
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See more Ebola coverage

Economist: United Methodist Church in crisis

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) — The United Methodist Church has only 15 years to reverse its decline in the United States if it is to have a sustainable future, an economist warned church leaders. At the same gathering, the church leaders discussed possible missional goals to address that decline and enhance the global denomination’s ministries around the world. Heather Hahn reports.
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University of Denver holds symposium on Sand Creek Massacre

DENVER (UMNS) — A daylong symposium May 22 will focus on acknowledgement and repair for the Sand Creek Massacre in which more than 160 Cheyenne and Arapaho women, children and elderly men were slaughtered on the orders of Col. John Chivington, a Methodist clergyman. The University of Denver has released a report which finds Chivington “culpable for the Sand Creek Massacre.”
See list of speakers and topics for the symposium
Read UMNS coverage of Sand Creek

Quiz yourself: United Methodist history

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) - Charles Wesley, one of the founders of Methodism, was a prolific writer of verse. How prolific? Test your knowledge of church history with our latest question.
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Haste makes waste in disaster response

FORT WORTH, Texas (UMNS) - An effective disaster response by church folks requires "patience and process," say the Rev. Laraine Waughtal, disaster response coordinator for the Central Texas Conference, and Vance Morton, the conference's communications director. They offer five tips, drawn from experience in a region beset by tornadoes.
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Connectional Table wants to model worldwide church

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) – The Connectional Table of The United Methodist Church currently has only 10 percent of its members from outside the United States. Members want to change that, to reflect better the worldwide nature of the church.
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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.

Heritage Sunday United Methodists celebrate John Wesley's Aldersgate spiritual awakening on May 24, 1738 by also celebrating the history of the movement he started. This year's theme will focus on the Wesleyan movement's heritage of welcoming the stranger. The United Methodist Commission on Archives and History provides resources.

Day of Pentecost —  Christians around the globe will celebrate the Holy Spirit's soul-kindling fire that ignited the early church (on the same day United Methodists celebrate John Wesley's heartwarming experience at Aldersgate). United Methodist Discipleship Ministries offers worship resources in English and Spanish.

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