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Daily Digest: September 1, 2014

“What was once typical mistreatment — physical or verbal abuse or sexual harassment — is in the process of being eliminated.” – Tomato picker Lupe Gonzalo said through an interpreter.

Church helps change lives of farmworkers
NASHVILE, Tenn. (UMNS) — Nothing about picking tomatoes is easy for the workers toiling in the Florida fields from October to May each year. They earn low wages and sometimes face physical and verbal abuse. The United Methodist Church has been pushing for better farmworkers' rights since 2001.

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Quarantined Liberians reject government offer
MONROVIA, Liberia (UMNS) — The Rev. Agrippa Nyentee, a United Methodist pastor trapped in the quarantined slum community of West Point, discusses the complaints of residents there about government actions in a phone interview with E. Julu Swen.

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Urgent response to Ebola outbreak
NEW YORK (UMNS) — To help United Methodists in Sierra Leone and Liberia deal with the Ebola crisis, denominational funding is providing money for health-care supplies, along with tents and construction of isolation units, personal protective equipment, training for health staff, public messaging about Ebola, and safe handling of deceased bodies. To date, the United Methodist Committee on Relief has sent $383,000 in grants.

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Read full coverage of the church’s response to Ebola.


Navy volunteer helps with Alaska rebuild project
GALENA, Alaska (UMNS) — A U.S. Navy serviceman, volunteering to rebuild homes in a remote Alaskan village during his annual leave, was impressed by the hospitality of church members there. Susan Kim reports for the United Methodist Committee on Relief.

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United Methodist key organizer of new youth homeless shelter
MINNEAPOLIS (UMNS) — The groundbreaking for the first youth homeless shelter in the northwest Minneapolis suburbs was thanks in a big part to collaboration of multiple faith and community organizations, including the Rev. Rachel McIver Morey of Brooklyn Mosaic United Methodist Church. The SunPost and Channel 12 both had the story.

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See Channel 12’s coverage


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.

National Hunger Action Month, September — United Methodist partner, the Society of St. Andrew, offers resources to make September a time to take a stand against hunger including a daily prayer calendar, study guides and children’s sermon ideas. Resources.

Deadline to register for online course “United Methodism 101,” Wednesday, Sept. 3 – United Methodist Communications will offer the course Sept. 3-Oct.15. $9.99. Details.

Early bird deadline for the United Methodist Church of the Resurrection Leadership Institute, Wednesday Sept. 3— Gathering is Wednesday-Friday, Sept. 24-26. The keynote speaker is Len Sweet, United Methodist scholar and best-selling author. Details.

Free webinar “What Can a Congregation do to Change?” Thursday, Sept. 4 6:30 p.m. CT, Phil Maynard, author of “ Shift: Helping Congregations Back into the Game of Effective Ministry” will offer practical ideas for congregational transformation. Details.

Free webinar “Working with Exceptional Children: ADHD and the Autism Spectrum,” Thursday, Sept. 4 — 7-8 p.m. ET United Methodist Christian educator and certified special education teacher Elizabeth Christie will provide information, strategies and activities for working with those with ADHD and autism. Details.

NOMADS annual meeting, Sunday- Friday, Sept. 7-12 — NOMADS, which stands for Nomads On a Mission Active in Divine Service, provide volunteer labor for United Methodist organizations.  Most travel by RV, They will meet in Branson, Missouri. Details.

Converge 2014: A Gathering of Pastors for Pastors, Monday-Wednesday, Sept. 8-10 — The event for clergy and church staff will be at St. Paul’s United Methodist Church in Joplin, Mo. Erwin Raphael McManus, founder of MOSAIC community of faith in Los Angeles, will be the keynote speaker.$70, discounted from what’s on the website. Details.

Deadline to register for six online courses from United Methodist Communications, Tuesday, Sept. 9 — United Methodist Communications will offer the following courses Sept. 10-Oct. 22.“Communicating Faith in the 21st Century,” “Connectional Giving,” “Moodle 100: Basic Training,” “Tools for Increasing Your Church’s Vitality,” “Web Ministry 100: What is Web Ministry?” and “Welcoming Ministry 100.” Costs vary. Connectional Giving is free. Details.

GO On Tour, Saturday, Sept. 13-Saturday, Nov.15 — A worship concert featuring Christian hip-hop artist Tedashii and speakers from next year’s national United Methodist youth event YOUTH 2015, will visit each of The United Methodist Church’s five U.S. jurisdictions this fall. Tickets are $15. Details of 10-city tour.

One Board Model Seminar, Sunday, Sept. 142 p.m. CT. The Rev. Bob Farr, director of congregational excellence for the Missouri Annual (regional) Conference, will lead training for churches to implement a one-board model at The Connection, 6701 Virginia Ave., St. Louis. Details on PDF.

Worship Design Studio Planning Retreat, Sunday-Wednesday, Sept. 14-17 — At Lake Junaluska Conference and Retreat Center, the Rev. Marcia McFee will guide participants through the entire liturgical year (starting with Advent) in order to map out worship themes and general plans for each season. Details.

Catapult Conference, Monday-Wednesday, Sept. 15-17 — Conference on “launching leaders into kingdom mission” will be at Cornerstone Church, a United Methodist congregation, 2125 Hamilton Road, Auburn, Alabama. Details.

Hispanic/Latino/a Heritage Month, Monday, Sept. 15–Wednesday, Oct. 15 — The United Methodist Board of Discipleship shares worship resources.

Free webinar “Becoming a Praying Congregation” Tuesday, Sept. 16 6:30 p.m. CT, Event includes examples and ideas for the community, for small groups, for individuals and families to have a deeper connection with God. Details.

How to Reach New People workshop by Jim Griffith, Friday-Saturday, Sept. 19-20 — Union United Methodist Church, 3543 Watson Road, St. Louis, will host event for pastors and church leaders. $25 per person or $75 per team of five (teams are encouraged). Details on PDF.

Rich Church / Poor Church: Keys to Effective Financial Ministry, Wednesday, Sept. 24 and again Tuesday, Oct. 14 — Both seminars will be from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. CT and feature United Methodist author and fundraiser, J. Clif Christopher. The Sept. 24 session will be Platte Woods United Methodist Church in Kansas City, Missouri, and the Oct. 14 session will be at Manchester United Methodist Church in St. Louis. $25. Details.

Spaghetti dinner, Unity Run/Walk and Indian Mission Homecoming Service, Friday-Sunday, Oct. 3-5 — Spaghetti dinner is at 5-7 p.m. ET Friday, Oct. 3, the Unity Run/Walk starts at 8:45 a.m. ET Saturday, Oct. 4, and the homecoming service is at 11 a.m. ET Sunday, Oct. 5. Both the dinner and run are at Nanticoke Indian Center, and the service is at Indian Mission United Methodist Church. Details on PDF.

Deadline to apply for two discernment events for Deaconesses and Home Missioner Ministry, Wednesday, Oct. 1 — Events are Friday-Sunday, Nov. 7-9, in St. Louis and Friday-Sunday, Nov. 21-23, in Tempe, Ariz. A discernment event is an opportunity to explore a sense of call to lay ministry with a group of fellow discerners. Details.

World Communion Sunday, Oct. 5 — United Methodists observe World Communion Sunday by celebrating communion with other Christians around the world on this special Sunday. Churches are also encouraged to receive a special offering to support ethnic undergraduate and graduate students, which often enables first-generation students to attend college. To download the World Communion Sunday pastor’s kit .World Communion Sunday envelopes and posters.

Deborah’s Daughters Women in Ministry and Leadership Conference, Wednesday-Friday, Oct. 22-24 — United Theological Seminary announces it will hold the conference at the seminary’s main campus at 4501 Denlinger Road, Dayton, Ohio, and at the Hilton Garden Inn in Beavercreek, Ohio. Details.