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Daily Digest: October 24, 2014

"I want it to bring people off the streets and into the church community so they see there is more to it." — Christy Hayashi on why she started a singles ministry at her church.

United Methodist ‘rabbi’ honored by Jewish school

DALLAS (UMNS) — The Rev. Lowell McCoy taught speech for more than 50 years at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion. Now the Cincinnati school has named an interfaith relations award for him. The retired United Methodist minister, 95, is credited with shaping the oratory of many Reform rabbis and was affectionately called "Rabbi McCoy" by his students.

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Single mingles: A ministry idea for the ages

PORT ORANGE, Fla. (UMNS) — Christy Hayashi recently kicked off a singles ministry at First United Methodist Church, Port Orange, with a dance-off contest that rocked the house to a Christian beat. Singles ministries are something the United Methodist Board of Discipleship would like to spread to more churches. Kathy Steele, in this story for the Florida Conference, shares why and the difference these ministries can make.

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Appalachian Trail chaplain shares stories

ALCOA, Tenn. (UMNS) — Besides wearing out three pairs of boots and eating through 46 boxes of food (mailed or delivered to him along the way), David Smith's 2,200-mile hike of the Appalachian Train included aiding a hiker suffering from Lyme Disease in Pennsylvania and another with an injured ankle in Virginia. Those are just two of the encounters Smith, United Methodist chaplain for the Appalachian Trail, shared with Annette Spence of the Holston Conference.

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Bishop gets pie in the face if conference meets $2 million goal

WEST SACRAMENTO, Calif. (UMNS) — In 2013, the California-Nevada Conference set a goal of raising $2 million to help eradicate preventable malaria deaths in Africa. As of Oct. 14, the conference is about $517,000 short. So the conference cabinet is challenging each of its four districts to raise $100,000. If the conference reaches the $2 million goal by June 1, 2015, Bishop Warner H. Brown Jr. will go into a dunk tank and receive a pie to the face during the annual conference session. Brown is also president of the Council of Bishops. Larry Hygh has the story.

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Bishop says thank you for Imagine No Malaria fundraising

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (UMNS) — As the Michigan Area enters the final weeks of the Imagine No Malaria Initiative, Bishop Deborah Lieder Kiesey expresses gratitude for the $1 million raised and pledged. She also lends encouragement for an Advent push toward saving 50,000 more lives.

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When is proposed change a deal breaker?

WASHINGTON (UMNS) — When it comes to change, perceived deal breakers often are merely preferences. The Revs. Jasmine Smothers and F. Douglas Powe Jr., both United Methodist, suggest how to make the distinction in an excerpt from their book “Not Safe for Church: The Ten Commandments for Reaching New Generations”(Abingdon Press, 2014). The Lewis Center for Church Leadership shares the piece.

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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, Oct. 25 (Rescheduled event)
Workshop "Get Their Names," formerly scheduled Sept. 27 — 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. ET at Woodbury United Methodist Church, 577 Woodbury Road, Woodbury, New York. The Rev. Bob Farr of the Missouri Conference will lead the seminar on sharing the Christian faith without anxiety. $20 per person for United Methodists. Details.

Sunday, Oct. 26
U.N. Sunday — New Day United Methodist Church in the New York Conference offers litany of peace to mark the day. The Sunday falls closest to Oct. 24, the anniversary of the United Nations' founding. Details from the United Methodist Board of Church and Society.

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