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Daily Digest: September 16, 2014

"We have to experience the pain of those who suffer, to serve them." - Eduardo Valentin Morales, who had communion with people at the border fence.

MARCHA approves declaration on border crisis

LOS ANGELES, Calif. (UMNS) — More than 150 Hispanic/Latino clergy and lay leaders celebrated communion through a fence on the U.S.-Mexico border, approved a declaration addressing the humanitarian crisis of unaccompanied children coming to the United States, and defined strategies to achieve their goals within The United Methodist Church. The Rev. Gustavo Vasquez, who leads a federated Presbyterian-United Methodist congregation in West New York, N.J., has the story. A video of bishops explaining the border crisis accompanies the story.

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Jorge Berrios reflects on how border wall reminds him of Wailing Wall

Historic Chicago church OKs same-sex unions

CHICAGO (UMNS) — First United Methodist Church at the Chicago Temple has affirmed a marriage-equality proposal that gives pastors a choice in whether to perform same-gender marriages and will support financially any pastor who does so if charges are filed.

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AIDS conference: Just Save One

DENVER (UMNS) — Bishop Cynthia Fierro Harvey asked participants at a conference on fighting HIV/AIDS what they were willing to risk “to just save one?” The conference, sponsored by The United Methodist Global AIDS Fund, aimed to provide participants with the knowledge, resources and inspiration to take action in eliminating the AIDS virus. Charmaine Robledo, Mountain Sky Area director of communications, reports on the conference.

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Fight against HIV/AIDS an act of political will

Press the issue of compassion

More Liberian United Methodists afflicted by Ebola

MONROVIA, Liberia (UMNS) — Two United Methodist pastors and about 18 church members have died, and others are have been quarantined because of concerns about the Ebola virus. The deaths are suspected to be Ebola, but have not been medically confirmed. Julu Swen, a communicator in Liberia, reports on the latest.

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Freedom Summer inspired ministry ‘from that day to this’

LOS ANGELES (UMNS)—The Rev. Fred B. Morris was a missionary candidate in 1963 when he traveled to the March on Washington and heard the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech. “His dream has inspired me in my ministry from that day to this,” he writes in a reflection on Freedom Summer.

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History of Hymns: ‘Close to Thee’

DALLAS (UMNS) — Fanny Crosby, one of the most famous American hymn writers, often composed hymn texts to previously composed music. According to her book, “Memories of Eighty Years” (1906), the Methodist was inspired by Silas Vail’s tune to immediately compose the text. C. Michael Hawn of Southern Methodist University’s Perkins School of Theology shares the hymn’s story.

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