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Daily Digest — October 6, 2015

“As people of faith, we hold onto the promise that God is faithful in the midst of the storm and the flood. God’s love will triumph in the midst of loss and destruction.” — Bishop Jonathan Holston on historic flooding in South Carolina.

South Carolina churches join in flood relief

COLUMBIA, S.C. (UMNS) — United Methodists joined in as South Carolina began picking up the pieces after catastrophic weekend flooding. Bishop Jonathan Holston urged prayer and volunteerism. Local churches were already pitching in, providing emergency shelter and food for flood victims. Jessica Brodie reports for the South Carolina Advocate.
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A global presence in Argentina

NEW YORK (UMNS) — Buenos Aires, Argentina, will be home to the first of three new global regional offices for the United Methodist Board of Global Ministries. Board directors also got a progress update on the Atlanta relocation, approved a new mission initiative in the Central African Republic, and commissioned eight new missionaries during their Oct. 1-3 meeting. Linda Bloom reports.
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United Methodist Church sends eight new missionaries

Pre-General Conference Briefing set for Jan. 20-22

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) — United Methodist Communications will be hosting the Pre-General Conference Briefing Jan. 20-22 in Portland, Oregon. The event is to inform delegates, church and secular journalists and other interested parties about topics to be discussed during the 2016 General Conference, the denomination’s top lawmaking assembly. An early-bird registration rate of $199 will be offered through Nov. 30; after that, the cost will be $229.
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Taking action against gun violence

NASHVILLE (UMNS) — Last week’s mass shooting at an Oregon community college no doubt has many United Methodists wondering what they can do beyond pray for an end to gun violence. Joe Iovino of digs into the denomination’s Book of Resolutions for 11 action steps, dealing with everything from education to advocacy.
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Bishop: Prayers needed on sexuality impasse

LANSING, Mich. (UMNS) — In a pastoral letter, Michigan Area Bishop Deborah Lieder Kiesey asks for prayers after church leaders could not reach a just resolution in a same-sex marriage complaint. “I plead now for your prayers as I seek to find a path that will cause the least amount of harm to all of you and to the work of Christ that is before us.”
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The lowdown on Lo — Christian spoken-word artist

OXFORD, Miss. (UMNS) — People know him simply as “Lo,” and more people are getting to know Lo these days. Lo, also known as Loren Alaman, is the Christian spoken-word poet from Mississippi who recently gained national exposure. He got his start at Mississippi State University’s Wesley Foundation. Tamica Smith-Jeuitt of the Mississippi Conference reports.
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Drew installs new president

MADISON, N.J. — MaryAnn Baenninger was formally installed as the 13th president of United Methodist-related Drew University on Oct. 2, becoming the school’s first full-term female president. William Westhoven reports for The Daily Record.
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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.

Tuesday, Oct. 13

Deadline to submit 2016 General Conference petitions online — To be considered at General Conference, petitions must be submitted online no later than Oct. 13. The denomination's top lawmaking assembly next meets May 10-12, 2016, in Portland, Oregon. Details on how to submit

Friday-Saturday, Oct. 16-17

Right Next Door Conference: Beyond the Walls of Church and Neighbor — First United Methodist Church, Ankeny, Iowa. Women at the Well, a United Methodist congregation inside the walls of the women’s prison in Mitchellville, Iowa, is collaborating with Prison Congregations of America and the United Methodist Board of Church and Society to host a weekend of presentations and workshops designed to inspire, equip, and empower churches to connect with people churches may have missed. The conference will include a keynote address by Sister Helen Prejean, author of Dead Man Walking, and various workshops addressing prison ministry, advocacy, mental illness, domestic violence, addiction, how to reduce barriers in church, and more. Details and registration.

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