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Daily Digest - November 9, 2015

“Our mission must be disciple-making. If we are not careful, in the church we will do everything except the disciple-making Jesus commissioned us to do.” — Bishop Darryl Starnes of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church.

How to reclaim ethical evangelism

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) — What constitutes ethical evangelism? That was a question woven throughout many of the conversations at the first North American ecumenical evangelism conference. The gathering, hosted by United Methodist Discipleship Ministries, brought together Christians of varied traditions. Heather Hahn reports on the discussion.
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Bishop Kiesey announces retirement

LANSING, Mich. (UMNS) — Michigan Area Bishop Deborah Lieder Kiesey, who has post-polio syndrome, has announced her plans to retire in 2016 at the end of her current four-year assignment to the Michigan Area. “God has blessed me with plenty of energy, so throughout my life, polio has not slowed me down much, until recently,” Kiesey said in a video announcement. Her area comprises the Detroit and West Michigan conferences, which under her leadership have voted to merge.
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Watch video

Methodist human rights champion dies in Argentina

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (WCC) — Aldo Etchegoyen, 86, bishop emeritus of the Evangelical Methodist Church of Argentina and former top executive of the Council of Evangelical Methodist Churches of Latin American and the Caribbean (CIEMAL), died Nov. 1 in Buenos Aires. Nobel Peace Prize laureate Adolfo Perez Esquivel expressed sorrow for the passing of his close friend, saying, “Aldo was a tireless advocate of human rights and a defender of life, even in the most difficult and delicate moments of this continent.”
Read tribute from World Council of Churches

Eastern Pennsylvania archives renovated

PHILADELPHIA (UMNS) — A small book of hymn lyrics handwritten by Methodism’s founder John Wesley in 1780 was one of several antiquities that fascinated history lovers at the reopening and dedication of the renovated Eastern Pennsylvania Conference Archives. The archives are in the basement of Philadelphia’s St. George’s United Methodist Church, the oldest Methodist church in continuing use in the U.S. John Coleman reports for the conference.
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Steps to small-group facilitator success

DALLAS (UMNS) — Stepping up as a small-group facilitator is a great way to serve Christ, but it can also be intimidating. In an article for United Methodist Communications, Clay Morgan offers five steps for making the work easier and more effective.
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Commentary: The inconvenience of apportionments

BELTSVILLE, Md. (UMNS) — The Rev. B. Kevin Smalls admits that he cringes each year when he sees what his churches are asked to pay in apportionments that support his conference and the general church. But as much as local churches could do if they kept the money, he says the money also does a lot of good through church’s connection, including helping to pay for the education of pastors like him. Smalls is the pastor of Queen’s Chapel and Ebenezer United Methodist churches.
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Overview of general church apportionments

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. 9
"We Have a Story to Tell" communications training for local churches — 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. PST Saturday, Nov. 14 at Puyallup United Methodist Church, 1919 W. Pioneer Ave., Puyallup, Washington. Instructors include Ray Buckley, a Native American storyteller who has served The United Methodist Church in several prominent roles, and the Rev. Bill Gibson, the Pacific Northwest Conference's new director of strategic faith community development. $25-30. Details.

Sunday-Monday, Nov. 15-16
Fiser-Christie Endowed Mission Lecture Series celebrating UMCOR's 75th anniversary — St. James United Methodist Church, 321 Pleasant Valley Drive, Little Rock, Arkansas, will celebrate the 75th anniversary of the United Methodist Committee on Relief. The Rev. Denise Honeycutt, the relief agency's executive, will speak at 11 a.m. CDT Sunday, Nov. 15 during a worship that will be live-streamed. At the church, young adults also have constructed an "UMCOR Schoolhouse" where children can deposit special offerings. Details.

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