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Daily Digest - November 5, 2014

"I have heard about the work that your congregations, particularly your young people, have been doing – the level of creativity, energy, and commitment – to save the lives of millions of children and women in Africa." — Dr. Christoph Benn, Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria.

Health expert: United Methodists saving millions of lives

OKLAHOMA CITY (UMNS) — United Methodist generosity and creativity in the fight against malaria are saving millions of lives, an expert on tropical diseases told the denomination’s Council of Bishops. Heather Hahn reports.

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Constitutional amendments ratified

OKLAHOMA CITY (UMNS) — Annual conference members have ratified all four amendments to The United Methodist Church’s constitution. The Council of Bishops certified the votes on the amendments approved by the 2012 General Conference, which include one allowing General Conference to be held sometime other than the spring.

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Being a Christian during an election cycle

MACON, Ga. (UMNS) — What does it mean to be a disciple of Jesus Christ in an election cycle? The Rev. Ben Gosden, blogger and pastor of Mulberry United Methodist Church, writes that Christians should ask that question every two years. And he offers some suggestions on how to live as a disciple before and after an election.

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Rare for racial-ethnic pastors to lead large, mostly white churches

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) — Racial-ethnic pastors who lead large, predominantly white United Methodist churches in the United States are open-minded and spiritual, but rare, according to a new survey by The United Methodist Board of Higher Education and Ministry. The survey found that of the 1,070 churches with more than 1,000 members in the U.S. in 2011, just 20 had lead racial-ethnic, or non-white, pastors serving majority white congregations.

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Race and Religion launches virtual forums

WASHINGTON (UMNS) — Vital Conversations, a new feature launched by the United Methodist Commission on Race and Religion, will focus on topics relevant to The United Methodist Church. The dialogues on the website, Facebook, and Twitter begin this month with “Native Americans: Intercultural Competency, Reconciliation, and Inclusion.” Erin Hawkins, top executive for the commission, writes about the goals of the conversations.

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Students raise $40,000 for Zimbabwe clinic

PITTSBURGH (UMNS) — Two United Methodist college students from the Pittsburgh area have raised $40,084 through a seven-week online campaign to help rebuild the rural Nyahuku health clinic in northeastern Zimbabwe. The two women will take the 2014 Pittsburgh Polar Bear Plunge into the Allegheny River in December. Jackie Campbell has the story for the Western Pennsylvania Conference.

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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.


Native American Heritage Month — United Methodist Discipleship Ministries and Native American Comprehensive Plan offer prayer and worship resources.

Friday, Nov. 7
Deadline to register for Mo Explo — Event is 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. CT Saturday, Nov. 15 for people ages 17 to 70 who are considering ministry as a vocation. It will be at the Missouri Conference Center. Details.

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