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Daily Digest — September 25, 2015

“This conference is based on meeting communication needs of the last mile population. Within that last mile, at the farthest margins, are women.” – The Rev. Neelley Hicks, director of United Methodist Communication’s ICT4D Church Initiative.

Women can be game changers through technology

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) – Gender divides lead to digital divides and women don’t get the important, life-changing messages they need, said speakers and participants at the 2015 Game Changers Summit sponsored by United Methodist Communications. Kathy Gilbert reports.
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What the pope can teach United Methodist bishops

SUGAR LAND, Texas (UMNS) – The Rev. C. Chappell Temple, senior pastor of Christ United Methodist Church, writes about how he admires the way Pope Francis speaks out of the core teachings of the Roman Catholic Church. He says he would like bishops to do the same with United Methodist teachings.
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An open table: How the church understands communion

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) – The sacrament of Holy Communion is such a common occurrence in the landscape of our worship that its uncommon richness sometimes gets lost. With the approach of World Communion Sunday on Oct. 4, Joe Iovino shares how United Methodists understand the Eucharist.
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Learn more about World Communion Sunday

Lay ministers in training practice preaching

PORTLAND, Ore. (UMNS) – United Methodist lay men and women prepared a short sermon for critique by other participants at the first session of a Certified Lay Ministers training course, offered over two years in the Greater Northwest Episcopal Area. The certified lay ministers “provide key church leadership in rural and very small churches that have vitality, but are not large enough to be able to afford a full-time ordained minister,” Bishop Grant Hagiya said. Greg Nelson reports for the conference.
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Teens launch building campaign

SANDY SPRING, Md. (UMNS) – Seven girls at Sandy Spring United Methodist Church decided they needed a bigger space for Sunday school. So the girls, age 10 to 17, started a $50,000 building campaign – on their own and in secret. Melissa Lauber reports for the Baltimore-Washington Conference.
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Study explores images of God

CHICAGO (UMNS) – A five-week study, “God of the Bible,” which explores the various images of God throughout Scripture, is available now for download from the United Methodist Commission on the Status and Role of Women. Additional resources, such as sermon ideas and reading lists, will be available in late October.
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Staples program donates to UMCOR

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) – The office-supply chain Staples has made a donation of $17,457 to the United Methodist Committee on Relief, the denomination’s disaster recovery agency.  The 2015 donation owes to a partnership between Staples and the General Council on Finance and Administration, the denomination’s finance agency. Using the Staples Advantage program, churches and individuals receive savings through online and in-store shopping. A 1 percent rebate of those sales goes to UMCOR.
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Part-time local pastors playing growing role

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (UMNS) – The Rev. Mark Windley balances his sales manager job with leading a United Methodist church start. “My wife would tell you I’m not sane,” he says. The growing role of part-time clergy like Windley is covered in “Trending Local: The Rise of United Methodist Local Pastors,” with articles by Sam Hodges and photos by Mike DuBose. The series begins Sept. 28.

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.

Wednesday, Sept. 30
Deadline to register for Exploration 
– This gathering for young adults, age 18-26, exploring a call to ordained ministry will be Friday-Sunday, Nov. 6-8 in Orlando, Florida. The United Methodist Board of Higher Education and Ministry is the sponsor. $225 by Sept. 30. Details

Deadline for Do No Harm 2015 Conference: Best Practices for Health, Accountability and Wholeness – “Do No Harm 2015” on Thursday-Saturday, Oct. 15-17 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Chicago O'Hare, is a sexual ethics summit addressing the most recent developments in preventing and responding to abuse, misconduct and harassment of a sexual nature. The gathering is particularly by people in ministerial roles (both lay and clergy) within The United Methodist Church. The United Methodist Commission on the Status and Role of Women is the sponsor. $525 by Sept. 30. $525 by Sept. 30. Day rates of $250 based on availability Sept. 1-30.  Details

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