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Daily Digest - November 7, 2014

“Methodists don’t believe that God just offers forgiveness. We believe God offers healing and freedom from that which we have been through.” — The Rev. Kevin Watson, Candler School of Theology.

Bishops told holy conferencing key to revival

OKLAHOMA CITY (UMNS) — Reclaiming an accurate understanding of holy conferencing is the most important thing United Methodists can do to revitalize the denomination, a Methodism scholar told the denomination’s bishops. The Rev. Kevin Watson of Emory University's Candler School of Theology spoke as the bishops seek to lead the church in a particularly contentious time. Heather Hahn reports.

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40-day climate walk ends on typhoon anniversary

BASEY, Philippines (UMNS) — A 40-day march from Manila to Tacloban City – now proceeding through areas devastated by Typhoon Haiyan – is aimed at encouraging both grassroots and world leaders to confront the crisis of global climate change by highlighting its effect on vulnerable countries like the Philippines. Gladys P. Mangiduyos has the story.

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Recovery continues a year after Philippines typhoon

NEW YORK (UMNS) — Nov. 8 marks the first anniversary of Typhoon Haiyan, also known as Typhoon Yolanda, which devastated the Philippines. As the recovery continues, the United Methodist Committee on Relief is helping rebuild houses and village resources in the municipality of Tanauan in Leyte Province. United Methodist Communications also worked in the typhoon-affected region to assist with emergency communication needs.

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More on Typhoon Haiyan response

Communications response to typhoon

Pastor used cell phone for graveyard connections

MOBILE, Ala. (UMNS) — The Rev. Chip Hale recalls the laughter and tears that went with caring for his elderly parents, especially a certain odd request from his mother that had him lingering in the graveyard after funerals he performed.

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This Christmas, help a child be born AIDS-free

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) — This World AIDS Day, the United Methodist Global AIDS Fund Committee invites all who are interested in helping a child be born free from HIV/AIDS to support the “Countdown to Zero: Just Save One” initiative. World AIDS Day is Dec. 1.

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Advent study on HIV/AIDS from the United Methodist Board of Church and Society

Former Illinois Great Rivers Conference communicator dies

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. (UMNS) — Bettie Story, director of communications for the Illinois Great Rivers Conference for more than two decades, died Nov. 1. She was 81. A native of Alabama, Story was named Communicator of the Year by United Methodist Association of Communicators and was an enthusiastic ambassador for Africa University.

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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.

Saturday, Nov. 8
Retreat on “Fresh Approaches to Reading the Bible for Transformative Spirituality” — 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. CT at Scarritt Bennett Center, Nashville, Tenn. Dr. Glory Dharmaraj, retired director of spiritual formation and mission theology for United Methodist Women, will lead. $50. Details.

Sunday, Nov. 9
International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church — News of Islamic State's persecution of Christians in Iraq and Syria has drawn extra attention this year to the places where Christians risk their lives for their faith. United Methodist Discipleship Ministries offers prayers for churches to use on this or any day. How UMCOR is helping people displaced in Iraq.

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