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Daily Digest — October 12, 2015

“We are the original inhabitants of this land. ...But there is so little to affirm the contributions that Native American people have made to this country.” — The Rev. David Wilson on efforts to designate an Indigenous Peoples' Day.

Churchgoers join push to rename Columbus Day

OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. (UMNS) — United Methodists have joined efforts in Oklahoma and other parts of the U.S. to rename the second Monday in October to honor indigenous people. Various municipalities are giving the efforts a welcome reception. Heather Hahn reports.
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Chaplain writes workbook for inmates

BETHEL PARK, Pa. (UMNS) — Henry Huffman, a member of Christ United Methodist Church here, has drawn on his experience as a volunteer jail chaplain to write “A Character Driven Life,” a workbook that helps inmates prepare for a better future. The Western Pennsylvania Conference has the story.
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See UMTV feature on jail program

Warm hearts, cool climate

WASHINGTON (UMNS) — As world leaders prepare to respond to present and future challenges of a changing climate in Paris next month, United Methodists also are considering the issue through reflection and action. The United Methodist Board of Church and Society is offering resources through its “Warm Hearts, Cool Climate” campaign.
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Seeking climate justice in Paris

How rural churches strengthen their communities

CULLOWHEE, N.C. (UMNS) — In declining rural communities, churches are some of the few viable institutions, writes Allen T. Stanton, a rural church fellow in North Carolina. He points to Cullowhee United Methodist Church as an example of a country church that strengthens its wider community. Duke Divinity School’s Faith and Leadership offers his commentary.
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Missionaries reflect on 26 years in Israel

SYRACUSE, N. Y. (UMNS) — The Rev. Alex Awad and his wife, Brenda, reflect on their 26 years teaching at the Bethlehem Bible College in Jerusalem. The Awads, who served with the United Methodist Board of Global Ministries, recently returned to the Upper New York Conference to share their experience teaching at the college founded by Alex Awad’s brother.
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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.

Saturday, Oct. 17

Bill Mallard Lay Theology Institute at Emory University's Candler School of Theology in Atlanta — 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. EDT. Ahead of the 2016 General Conference, the gathering will focus on “Holy Conferencing: From Wesley to 2016" on Oct. 17 and continue April 9. The Rev. Kevin Watson, assistant professor of Wesleyan and Methodist Studies, will address John Wesley’s understanding of conferencing as a means of grace and its impact on the development of early Methodism. Candler alumnus Herchel Sheets, delegate to six General Conferences, will respond. After lunch, Rex D. Matthews, professor in the practice of historical theology and Wesleyan studies, will speak about the emergence of the “Conference” in 1744 and its evolution as a staple of the early Methodist Episcopal Church in the United States. $50; $25 for students. Details

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