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Daily Digest: October 31, 2014

"America has never been defined by fear. We are defined by courage and passion and hope and selflessness and sacrifice… and ordinary Americans who risk their own safety to help those in need." — President Obama at a meeting with faith leaders about Ebola.

Mission executive attends White House Ebola meeting

NEW YORK (UMNS) — Thomas Kemper, top executive of the United Methodist Board of Global Ministries, joined representatives of 15 faith-based organizations visiting the White House Oct. 29 to discuss the U.S. response to Ebola at a meeting with senior White House officials. He also attended a larger meeting in the East Room where President Barack Obama honored U.S. health care workers fighting the disease. Linda Unger reports.

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Churches can help youth fight cyberbullies

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) — It’s bad enough that people call each other names on Internet message boards — the private, yet public, nature of the online community can lead to far more dangerous behavior. But the church can help address the problem of online harassment, writes Joey Butler of United Methodist Communications.

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Assisting families fleeing Syrian conflict

NEW YORK (UMNS) — The United Methodist Committee on Relief is supporting the work of the International Blue Crescent Foundation, a partner agency, in providing basic food packages and hygiene kits for 1,000 families displaced by heavy fighting in Kobani, a Kurdish City in Syria near the Turkish border. An offensive against Kobani by the Islamic State has driven tens of thousands of refugees to Suruc, Turkey.

Donate to UMCOR’s International Disaster Response

Chuck Knows Church: The Protestant Reformation

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) — Chuck dons a monk’s robe and explains the connection between All Hallow’s Eve and the Protestant Reformation in this episode of “Chuck Knows Church.” United Methodist Discipleship Ministries (formerly the Board of Discipleship) produces the series.

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Ministry idea: Lighting the way on Halloween night

TIPP CITY, Ohio (UMNS) — Members of Ginghamsburg Church, a United Methodist congregation, will be handing out finger lights along with candy to young trick-or-treaters. “Not only do we get to light the streets and show people that Ginghamsburg cares, but it allows us to offer a safe and fun experience for children in the communities in which we live,” said Ryan Manager, Ginghamsburg Light the Night Coordinator.

See invitation to parishioners

More about Ginghamsburg’s children’s ministry

New (old) look for Scripture

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) — The Common English Bible’s intent is to make plain what Scriptures say, so it made common sense for Nashville-based Abingdon Press, part of the United Methodist Publishing House, to turn to Nashville-based Hatch Show Print to create three new Bible covers using 1 John 4:7; Ephesians 5:19 and Malachi 4:2. The Tennessean has the story.

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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, Nov. 1
Live-streamed United Methodist panel on human sexuality — 8 to 10 a.m. CT. View here on the day of the event. The public event will include bishops who contributed to a book on human sexuality and church unity, “Finding Our Way: Love and Law in The United Methodist Church,” released by United Methodist Publishing House’s Abingdon Press. Participants also can ask questions on Facebook and Twitter using the hashtag #cttalks. Details.

Reach New Disciples Conference: “Taking Church to the Community" — 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. ET, Lewis Center for Church Leadership Conference at Wesley Theological Seminary, Washington. The conference explores strategies a congregation can use to reach beyond its walls with worship, community events, ministries and service. $55. Details.

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