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Daily Digest: September 15, 2014

Sierra Leone health workers receive support

FREETOWN, Sierra Leone (UMNS) – Beleaguered health care workers are watching their colleagues die, while struggling daily to care for more patients than they have beds. In many cases, they are receiving no salary, but the Sierra Leone Annual (regional) Conference is providing assistance to some workers. Phileas Jusu, communicator for the Sierra Leone Annual Conference, reports on the Ebola outbreak.

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Duke study: More religious acceptance of homosexuals

DURHAM, N.C. (UMNS) – The willingness of religious congregations to welcome homosexuals as members — and place them in leadership positions —is on the rise, according to a new Duke University study. Duke Today reports on the National Congregations Study.

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Fully-fledged Hispanic Academy poised for growth

MIAMI (UMNS) –The Hispanic Academy’s first class of 23 graduates are at work in The United Methodist Church. The idea for the academy in the Florida Conference grew out of concern that the church wasn’t adequately reaching out to the growing population of Spanish-speaking people and the first graduates were recognized as lay missioners in June. Susan Green, managing editor of the Florida Conference Connection, reports.

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Eight years after call, deaconess consecrated

OKLAHOMA City, Okla. (UMNS) –When Jerrie Lindsey read about the ministry of deaconess, a laywoman’s vocation dedicated to love, justice, and service, she knew that was where she belonged. But with children to raise and volunteer work to do, she couldn’t pursue the goal. This year, she was consecrated as a deaconess at the 2014 United Methodist Women’s Assembly. Holly McCray of the Oklahoma Conference 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 newsdesk@umcom.org and put Digest in the subject line.

Free webinar “Children and Sacrament” Monday, Sept. 1510 a.m. CT, United Methodist Board of Discipleship staff will answer questions on involving children in sacraments. 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. 166:30 p.m. CT, Event includes examples and ideas to help the community, small groups, individuals and families to have a deeper connection with God. Details 

Free webinar “What Is Lay Servant Ministries All About?” Wednesday, Sept. 17— 6:30 p.m. CT, This focuses on the nature of Lay Servant Ministry since the name change from "Lay Speaking Ministry.” Details

Webinar “In-Person Hybrid Learning in Congregational Faith Formation,” Thursday, Sept. 187-8 p.m. ET, The Rev. Kyle Matthew Oliver will lead a discussion on how digital tools can make faith formation more accessible to congregations, including a hybrid approach that combines small groups and online activities. $10. Details 

Free webinar “What’s a Methodist?” Tuesday, Sept. 23 — 6:30 p.m. CT, The class explores John Wesley’s definition of a Methodist found in his brief tract “Advice to the People Called Methodists.” Details 

United Methodist Church of the Resurrection Leadership Institute, Wednesday-Friday, Sept. 24-26 —  Church is in Leawood, Kansas. The keynote speaker is Len Sweet, United Methodist scholar and best-selling author. Details

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 will feature United Methodist author and fundraiser, J. Clif Christopher. The Sept. 24 session will be at 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.

Workshop “Get Their Names,” Saturday, 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 Annual (regional) Conference will lead the seminar on sharing the Christian faith  

Classes in the Native American Course of Study, a national school for Native American local pastors and local pastors who work in Native ministries  —  “Mission: Evangelism.” Monday-Friday, Sept. 29 to Oct. 3, in Shiprock, Arizona, and “Personal and Social Ethics,” Monday-Friday, Oct. 6-10 in Window Rock, New Mexico. Details or contact the Rev. Fred Shaw at fashaw@juno.com.

Deadline to apply for two discernment events for Deaconesses and Home Missioner Ministry is 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  

Northeastern Jurisdiction Native American Ministries Committee meeting, Thursday-Sunday, Oct. 2-5 — Event at West River Conference Center, 5100 Chalk Point Road, West River, Maryland. For details, contact Sharon Schmit at saschmit@gmail.com.

Free webinar “Focusing on the True Meaning of Christmas with Children,” Thursday, Oct. 2— 7-8 p.m. ET, ecumenical webinar shares how to teach children the true meaning 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 collect 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 envelopes

2014 Wright Lectures: Practical Approaches to Emerging Ministries, Sunday-Tuesday, Oct. 12-14 — Gathering will be at Menucha Retreat and Conference Center near Portland, Ore. Keynote speakers include the Revs. Jim Walker and Jeff Eddings, co-founders of Hot Metal Bridge, an emergent church in Pittsburgh that is a joint ministry of United Methodists  and Presbyterians. Details 

Lake Junaluska's Choir Music Weekend, Friday-Saturday, Oct. 17-18 —  Members of small- and medium-sized church choirs at Lake Junaluska Conference and Retreat Center will learn and perform eight anthems that may then be performed at participants' home churches. Details 

2014 Downtown Church Network, Wednesday-Friday, Oct. 22-24 — A peer-learning event at First United Methodist Church of Arlington, Texas, aimed toward pastors and staff of churches in downtown metropolitan areas of at least 100,000 in population. Details 

Wesleyan Leadership Conference on baptismal living, Thursday-Saturday, Oct. 23-25 — Lay and clergy leaders will explore baptismal living in the Wesleyan tradition at the United Methodist Board of Discipleship in Nashville, Tennessee. Details 

Embracing Diversity: Developing Effective Ministries in a Multicultural World, Saturday-Monday, Oct. 25-27 — Gathering at United Methodist Church for All People, 946 Parsons Ave., Columbus, Ohio,  will focus on how to embrace diverse people and appreciate diverse gifts. United Methodist Board of Global Ministries is a sponsor. Details

Free leadership retreat for women church planters, Sunday-Tuesday, Nov. 2-4 — Path 1, part of the United Methodist Board of Discipleship, will hold at Sheraton Music City Hotel in Nashville, Tenn. Jane Creswell, author of "Christ-centered Coaching,” will speak.  Details