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Daily Digest - November 12, 2015

“This is an interesting data point that might be showing us that there are some things going well in the church while not forgetting that we still are not as diverse as we possibly could be.” — Erin Hawkins on new membership numbers showing the U.S. church growing in ethnic diversity.

Amid declines, diversity grows in U.S. church membership

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) — The General Council on Finance and Administration has newly released 2014 membership figures that show The United Methodist Church continuing its decades-long slide in the United States. However, the numbers also show slight growth in ethnic diversity. Heather Hahn takes a closer look at the numbers.
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GCFA announces online data and more

Church planters share stories, recharge spirits

ORLANDO, Fla. (UMNS) — Church planters — who often feel isolated and alone — gathered to compare notes, share stories and recharge their spirits. About 200 church planters and United Methodist leaders attended the National Church Planters Gathering sponsored by United Methodist Discipleship Ministries.
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Agencies collaborate to provide devotionals

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) — The General Council on Finance and Administration works with the Commission on United Methodist Men to honor military veterans. And it’s not just a Veterans Day effort. The two agencies worked with Home Depot to create a loyalty program that generates micro-donations that help provide free copies of “Strength for Service to God and Country” devotionals to veterans and those on active duty.
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Commentary: Red Starbucks cups no reason to see red

SUGAR LAND, Texas (UMNS) — The Rev. Chappell Temple, lead pastor of Christ United Methodist Church, offers his take on the “brew-ha-ha” around Starbucks’ Christmas cups. All the controversy, he says, rather misses the point.
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Resources for Native American Heritage Month

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) — United Methodist Discipleship Ministries offers resources for churches that want to observe Native American Heritage Month in November.
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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.

Tuesday, Nov. 17
Webinar "Cancer Care Ministry: Compassion and Companionship" — 7 to 8 p.m. EST. This webinar will provide the participant with guidelines and suggestions for starting and maintaining a ministry to share the journey of people with cancer and their families compassionately. Details.

Tuesday-Thursday, Nov. 17-19
Children's Ministry Forum: Rock On — The United Methodist Children’s Ministry Forum is for children’s ministries leaders in large-membership congregations (with at least 300 in worship). The gathering will be at First United Methodist Church, 723 Center Street, Little Rock, Arkansas. United Methodist Discipleship Ministries, the United Methodist Publishing House and the Large Church Initiative are event sponsors. Details.

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