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Daily Digst - April 27, 2015

"Now, more than ever, there is the need for deliberate conversation, accountability, respect and unity of purpose." — A statement by faith leaders, including Bishop Marcus Matthews of the Baltimore-Washington Conference, who urged calm after the death of Freddie Gray while in police custody.

 

Technology will bridge languages at 2016 General Conference

PORTLAND, Ore. (UMNS) — A “Bring Your Own Device” system that allows the use of a smart-phone app in connection with a dedicated wireless network to stream audio might be the way to ensure that language differences are dealt with as fairly as possible at General Conference 2016. Greg Nelson, director of communications in the Oregon-Idaho Conference, reports.
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Baltimore faith leaders urge calm following death in police custody

BALTIMORE (UMNS) — Leaders of faith communities in Baltimore issued a statement urging calm and asking people to express their anger and frustration “in peaceful and constructive ways” following the death of Freddie Gray while in police custody. Bishop Marcus Matthews of the Baltimore-Washington Conference signed the statement released April 23. Erik Alsgaard reports for the Baltimore-Washington Conference.
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Tablets to be available for General Conference 2016

PORTLAND, Ore. (UMNS) — The Commission on General Conference expects to provide electronic tablets to delegates from the central conferences — church regions in Africa, Europe and the Philippines — who do not already have them. Tablets will include a Bible app, Skype, the 2012 Book of Discipline, and a portable hotspot to connect to the Internet, as well as proposed legislation for General Conference. The cost is about $170,000 and will be paid with higher-than-budgeted collections for the General Administration Fund, which pays for General Conference.
Why the tablet program was started

Lightning destroys Tennessee church

DRESDEN, Tenn. (UMNS) — Multiple lightning strikes destroyed Mt. Pleasant United Methodist Church on April 20 after a severe electrical storm. No one was at the church at the time of the blaze. The church was built in 1944. Lane Gardner Camp, director of communication for the Memphis Conference, has the story.
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Natchez Trace walk brought peace, raised funds

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) — Troy Waugh felt called by God to walk the nearly 450 miles of the Natchez Trace. He did just that last summer, raising nearly $10,000 for Nashville's United Methodist Community Care Fellowship. A video titled "Finding God and Goodness on Natchez Trace Walk" documents his experience.
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Global Ministries directors approve grants

NEW YORK (UMNS) — A busy April 16-18 meeting of the directors of the United Methodist Board of Global Ministries included approving $1 million in grants for mission programs and $7 million for ongoing disaster response and longer-term development needs. The directors were briefed on the agency's move to Atlanta, and on plans for a new global health initiative focused on children. Melissa Hinnen reports for the United Methodist Board of Global Ministries.
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Educators to discuss human rights network

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) — Human rights educators at United Methodist institutions from five continents will gather at American University, in Washington, May 8-9, to discuss the formation of a network on human rights. Tom Gillem reports for the United Methodist Board of Higher Education and Ministry.
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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.

Tuesday, April 28
Webinar "Congregations Working Together: Finding the Dream and Living It" — 7 to 8 p.m. EDT. This discussion will focus on how your church might work together with other congregations to strengthen the ministry inside your church and in the community. Joy Skjegstad, a consultant on nonprofit management and ministry development, will lead. Details.

May
Asian-Pacific-American Heritage Month — United Methodist Discipleship Ministries offers worship resources and prayers.

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