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Daily Digest - May 9, 2016

“My story is a piece of a longer story that began centuries ago when people genuinely desiring to serve God and to proclaim Jesus Christ had not yet fully understood what Jesus taught about who is our neighbor.” — Bishop Warner Brown Jr. on experiencing racial discrimination growing up in the Methodist Church.

 

Brown gives final address as bishops’ leader

PORTLAND, Ore. (UMNS) — In his final address as Council of Bishops president, Bishop Warner Brown Jr. testified to God’s transforming power, including in race relations. Brown spoke just days before the start of the 2016 General Conference, where many United Methodists are hoping to change the denomination in various ways. Heather Hahn reports.
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Another board removes LBGTQ clergy bar

PORTLAND, Ore. (UMNS) — The Pacific Northwest Conference’s board of ordained ministry voted May 5 to affirm that “people of all sexual orientations and gender identities” can meet the high standards for “fitness, readiness, and effectiveness in ministry.” They are joining with the Baltimore-Washington and the New York boards of ordained ministry in stating they will no longer inquire about the sexual orientation of their ministry candidates. Kathy L. Gilbert reports.
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New program texts GC2016 news to Africans

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) — Citing a need to ‘bridge the gap’ between those with and without Internet access, United Methodist Communications has launched a new program to transmit General Conference news to Africa via text messaging. Each episcopal area in Africa will receive news briefs via the Internet and email and relay that information via text. Joey Butler reports.
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Commentary: GC2016 will hear Lumad plight

NEW YORK (UMNS) — Lumads, indigenous people in the Philippines, will be sharing their hopes and struggles at United Methodist 2016 General Conference in Portland, Oregon. Lumads and other farmers are being driven from their homes due to development on their ancestral lands, writes the Rev. Liberato Bautista.
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Committee alters GC2016 rule recommendation

PORTLAND, Ore. (UMNS) — The executive committee that leads the planning of General Conference has decreased the list of petitions to be considered under a proposed “Group Discernment Process” from 101 to 56. The proposal, the 44th rule that the Commission on General Conference recommends delegates adopt for the lawmaking body, offers a different way to deal with tough issues, including human sexuality.
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Read UMNS coverage of Rule 44

 

GC2016 news available in several languages

PORTLAND, Ore. (UMNS) — United Methodists can follow the news of the 2016 General Conference in several languages: French, German, Korean, Portuguese, Spanish, Swahili and English. The General Conference Newsroom will also be providing news for and about Native Peoples.
Learn more 

 

Board announces Division of Higher Education head

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) — John W. Wells will serve as associate general secretary in the Division of Higher Education for The United Methodist Board of Higher Education and Ministry beginning on July 1, 2016. Wells currently serves as top administrator at Mars Hill University, North Carolina.
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Oldest 2016 Emory graduate does prison outreach

ATLANTA (UMNS) — On May 9, 77-year-old Hurl Taylor will march in his second Emory commencement. Decades after graduating from Emory Law, he will receive a master's degree from Candler School of Theology to support his prison ministry.
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Huntingdon College honors bishop

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (UMNS) — Alabama-West Florida Bishop Paul Leeland received the Mary Mildred Sullivan Award from Huntingdon College. President J. Cameron West said in presenting the award that Leeland has forged a partnership in ministry of Christian higher education for the past eight years.
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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 newsdesk@umcom.org and put Digest in the subject line.

 

Sunday, May 22

Peace with Justice Sunday ─ Offering on this Special Sunday supports United Methodist peace with justice ministries through conferences and the United Methodist Board of Church and Society. UMCGiving.org has resources for pastors and lay church leaders.

 

Heritage Sunday ─ The United Methodist Church celebrates Heritage Sunday on the Sunday before Aldersgate Day, May 24, when John Wesley had his spiritual rebirth. This year, United Methodists mark the 200th anniversaries of the death of Francis Asbury and the birth of sister denomination, the African Methodist Episcopal Church. The United Methodist Commission on Archives and History offers resources.

More upcoming United Methodist events