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Daily Digest - November 18, 2014

“We are trying to come to terms with the reality of his death. We never thought we would be losing one of our head doctors to Ebola.” — Sierra Leone Conference Bishop John K. Yambasu, on the death of Dr. Martin Salia.

Church mourns Ebola death of Sierra Leone surgeon

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) — The United Methodist Sierra Leone Conference is in shock over the death of Dr. Martin Salia from Ebola. Salia, who was the chief medical officer and only surgeon at United Methodist Kissy Hospital in Sierra Leone, died after he was airlifted to the United States for treatment. Kathy Gilbert has the story for UMNS.

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Kassig family remembers hostage son’s desire to help

INDIANAPOLIS (UMNS) — The United Methodist parents of the latest hostage executed by the Islamic State group are remembering his dedication to assisting those who have suffered during Syria’s civil war. “We are heartbroken to learn that our son, Abdul-Rahman Peter Kassig, has lost his life as a result of his love for the Syrian people and his desire to ease their suffering,” said Ed and Paula Kassig, members of Epworth United Methodist Church. Linda Bloom reports.

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Imagine No Malaria offers 2014 Advent resources

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) — The Advent season can be enhanced with Imagine No Malaria 2014 worship resources. The downloadable materials include a short video, sermon starters, hymn suggestions and children’s messages. The five weeks of materials are centered on the themes of “Imagine Hope,” “Imagine Peace,” “Imagine Joy, “Imagine Love,” all highlighted by the African hymn “I’ve Got The Light Of God In Me,” from Cameroon.

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Get resources

Imaginenomalaria.org/advent

Clergy Family Care Summit offers ways to support families

CHICAGO (UMNS) — The United Methodist Church gathered experts to discuss issues facing clergy and their families and to suggest ways the church can help improve their lives. The 23-member task force made recommendations on how bishops, annual conferences, district superintendents and others can help support clergy families. The summit was convened by the United Methodist Commission on the Status and Role of Women.

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The parable of the unwanted classic car

TACOMA, Wash. (UMNS) — The church is like a classic car that a father labors over for years in his garage, but may lack appeal or even seem like a gas-guzzling burden to his driving-age children. Patrick Scriven of the Pacific Northwest Conference offers this analogy as a way of explaining why young people leave the church.

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History of Hymns: ‘As the Deer’

DALLAS (UMNS) — “As the Deer,” written by Martin Nystrom in 1981, is one of the most popular songs in the contemporary Christian musical (CCM) genre. C. Michael Hawn, University Distinguished Professor of Church Music at Southern Methodist University’s Perkins School of Theology, shares the back story of Nystrom’s piece.

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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.

Wednesday, Nov. 19
The Rev. Karen Oliveto lecture — 7 p.m. ET at Alford Centrum at Methodist Theological School in Ohio, 3081 Columbus Pike, Delaware, Ohio. Oliveto, senior pastor of Glide Memorial United Methodist Church in San Francisco, will deliver a free public lecture, presented by the student group LIFE@MTSO. Oliveto is the co-author of the book “Talking about Homosexuality: A Congregational Resource” and has written numerous articles, hymns and liturgies. Details.

Thursday, Nov. 20
Sacred Leadership — 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. CT at the Center for Faith and Health, Methodist Health Systems in Memphis, Tennessee. Sacred Leadership is a day to explore leadership in form and philosophy, in technique and theology. It will be led by Nashville (Tennessee) Area Bishop Bill McAlilly, Lynn Taylor, coordinator of emerging ministries for the Nashville Area, and Gary Shorb, CEO of Methodist Healthcare. $15. Details.

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