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Daily Digest - November 19, 2014

“She really was a pillar of leadership.” — Dawn Wiggins Hare, top executive of the United Methodist Commission on the Status and Role of Women, on Alice Lee's contribution as a laywoman.

Exemplary United Methodist laywoman Alice Lee dies

MONROEVILLE, Ala. (UMNS) — Though known to the broader world as the older sister of Harper Lee, author of "To Kill a Mockingbird," Alice Lee earned recognition and deep respect in United Methodist circles for decades of service at the local church, conference and general church level. Alice Lee, also a female legal pioneer in south Alabama, died Monday at age 103. Sam Hodges writes about Lee.

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Read Dawn Wiggins Hare’s March 2014 tribute to Lee

‘Jesus wept’: Finding God’s comfort when times are bad

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) — The shortest verse in the Bible, in the King James Version at least, is just two words, “Jesus wept” (John 11:35). Though only 10 characters, that verse has tremendous significance, especially when we are struggling to find hope in the midst of tragedies such as Ebola. Joe Iovino of United Methodist Communications shares a reflection.

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Confess sin of U.S. institutional racism, agency says

WASHINGTON (UMNS) — As the citizens of Ferguson, Missouri, awaited a grand jury decision on the shooting death of Michael Brown, the United Methodist Board of Church and Society issued a statement calling for prayer and the need “to confess the ways our systems of government, law and education perpetuate the sin of institutional racism in the United States.”

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Bishop: Pray while waiting for grand jury ruling

COLUMBIA, Mo. (UMNS) — A number of United Methodist churches in St. Louis and across the Missouri conference are planning prayer vigils on the day the grand jury decision is announced in the case of a highly-publicized fatal shooting by police in nearby Ferguson, writes Bishop Robert Schnase. He urges United Methodists to pray, call upon officials to let people voice their frustrations peacefully and support churches working to be available to the community as places of respite.

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Perkins waives application fee

DALLAS (UMNS) — Southern Methodist University’s Perkins School of Theology, is waiving the usual $50 application fee for prospective students through March 1, 2015. Financial aid is available for many students, with a Feb. 1, 2015, deadline to apply for merit scholarships, and a March 1, 2015, deadline to apply for need-based scholarships. Students who apply by the Nov. 21 early admissions deadline for fall 2015 will receive priority consideration for merit scholarships.

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Axe men for God

LAKE JUNALUSKA, N.C. (UMNS) — Richard Reeves is the unofficial pastor of a group of men that provides free wood to those who are desperate for ways to stay warm in the colder months. He is a member of Long’s Chapel United Methodist Church in Lake Junaluska. The Mountaineer reports on his ministry.

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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.

Thursday, Nov. 20
"Speaking Your Mind to God: Embracing Authenticity and Self-Compassion" — 11:30 to 12:30 CT, a call-in seminar with Roberta Bondi, Upper Room Books author and early church historian, and Johnny Sears, director of The Academy for Spiritual Formation. Details.

Sundays, Nov. 23 and Nov. 30
"Day 1" — The Rev. Sue Haupert-Johnson, North Central District superintendent in the Florida Conference, will be the featured preacher on “Day 1” with host Peter Wallace, the nationally broadcast ecumenical radio program also accessible online at

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