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Daily Digest - November 19, 2015

“If we are being faithful to God’s call on our lives, then vocations should be inspired not just on the African continent, but on the North American continent as well.” — Bob Coolman on Operation Classroom.

Commentary: New direction for Operation Classroom

VALPARAISO, Ind. (UMNS) — Operation Classroom, long committed to improving education in Sierra Leone and Liberia, is taking a new direction. President and CEO Bob Coolman writes about why changes are being made and what those changes mean.
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Church hosts funeral for veteran with no family

INDIANAPOLIS — More than 1,000 people packed into the Lawrence United Methodist Church to honor a man no one knew but to whom everyone felt a connection. The church hosted the funeral service for Billy Aldridge, a U.S. Marine veteran with no known living family. WTHR.com, the NBC affiliate in Indianapolis, reports.
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‘Welcome the stranger’

GENEVA (WCC) — In the midst of a mounting climate of fear of refugees and immigrants, the World Council of Churches is calling on Christians to be true to the Biblical imperative to “welcome the stranger.” Recently, 25 participants from 13 countries gathered to explore ways of promoting multicultural dialogue and activities at the parish and community levels.
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PLANting seeds of hope

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) — The Rev. Francisco Cañas, a native of El Salvador, came to the United States more than three decades ago because of political conflicts in his country. Active in various ministries dedicated to serving the Hispanic-Latino communities and immigrant population in California, he helped initiate United Methodism’s National Plan for Hispanic-Latino Ministry. Gustavo Vasquez interviewed him about his work.
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Concern over Middle East

WASHINGTON (UMNS) — Both the U.S. National Council of Churches and World Council of Churches are expressing concern over recent Middle East violence and acts of terrorism. “We call upon religious communities to build upon their historic legacies of inter-religious relationships, dialogue and action. When all these are in sight, we can envision peace,” says the NCC’s governing board.
See NCC statement
See WCC statement

Pilgrimage focuses on Wesleyan disciple-making

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) — United Methodist lay and clergy leaders can participate in the 2016 Wesley Pilgrimage to England, which will focus on how John and Charles Wesley made disciples of Jesus Christ. United Methodist Discipleship Ministries and the Board of Higher Education and Ministry will co-sponsor the 10-day pilgrimage, July 11-21, 2016.
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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.

Monday, Nov. 30
Deadline to apply to be part of the Young Adult Network, part of the Office on Christian Unity and Interreligious Relations — A small group of 12 adults between the ages of 21 and 31, who represent all jurisdictions and central conferences of The United Methodist Church, will be selected. Young adults who participate will be trained in group leadership skills, the history and theology of ecumenism, and the unique importance of Christian unity and interreligious relationships in our denomination. Details.

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