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December 12, 2012

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UMNS Daily Digest
Produced by United Methodist News Service
Open hearts. Open minds. Open doors. The people of The United Methodist Church
Wednesday, December 12, 2012

"Too often in our culture, the focus of Christmas is on consumerism. As a church, we want to shift the focus back toward the birth of Christ and who we are called to be as his followers." - Jennifer Fuqua, Christ United Methodist Church, Franklin, Tenn.

Christmas giving blesses giver, receiver

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) - Across the United States - in big cities and tiny hamlets - United Methodist congregations are encouraging people to spend less on forgettable, consumer-driven gifts and more on thoughtful gifts that benefit others. Find out how.
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'Blue Christmas' service reaches out

HIGHLANDS RANCH, Colo. (UMNS) - For many people, the Christmas season is a time of wishing there was more to give, of loneliness, or of depression. The folks at St. Andrew United Methodist Church in Highlands Ranch have two words for people who are feeling any of the latter: "It's OK," reports ourhighlandsranchnews.com.
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Hoosiers go for holiday records

INDIANAPOLIS (UMNS) - United Methodists in Indiana are pushing some records in their efforts to make sure everyone shares in Christmas. La Porte residents are eagerly waiting to get the official nod from Guinness World Records that the Rev. Billy Nickrand of Door Village United Methodist Church broke the bell-ringing record to raise money for the Salvation Army. Nickrand rang for 60 hours and 5 minutes in front of a grocery and raised more than $6,300. The Rev. Randy Davis, of the Dunkirk Mount Tabor and Redkey United Methodist churches, collected more than 10,000 McDonald Gift Cards, valued at $5 each, to give to veterans in Veteran Administration medical centers across Indiana. A prayer for the veteran to whom the card was given goes with each card. For more information, email Davis at revgoober@yahoo.com.
Read about the Davis project
Learn more about Billy Nickrand's bell-ringing

Africa University hosts continental summit

MUTARE, Zimbabwe (UMNS) - More than 120 evangelism leaders from 20 African countries and 18 Wesleyan Methodist family churches under the World Methodist Council attended the landmark Africa Continental Summit Dec. 1-8 at United Methodist-related Africa University.
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United Methodists at NAACP summit

ATLANTA (UMNS) - United Methodists are among those attending the three-day NAACP's National Religious Leaders Summit, which concludes Dec. 12. The gathering, themed "Moving Us Forward on the Roads to Justice," aims to help move the faith community back to its long-held leadership role in matters of social justice. Among the speakers at the event is James H. Salley, who is representing the United Methodist caucus, Black Methodists for Church Renewal. The gathering on Dec. 11 also honored the Rev. Joseph E. Lowery, a United Methodist pastor, for his decades of civil rights work.
Read news release

United Methodist named Rhodes Scholar

SPARTANBURG, S.C. (UMNS) - When Rachel Woodlee, a senior at United Methodist-affiliated Wofford College in Spartanburg, S.C., heard she was selected as one of 32 Rhodes Scholars in November, she called her parents to share the news. Woodlee, a United Methodist, competed against nearly 200 finalists from a pool of 838 applicants from 302 U.S. colleges and universities for the oldest international fellowship in the world. The distinction provides her with a two-year scholarship to the University of Oxford in England, where she will have the opportunity to earn two master's degrees.
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Resource on immigration law advocacy

WASHINGTON (UMNS) -The United Methodist Board of Church and Societyhas prepared a 38-page resource to guide in putting together public witness events that will have a positive impact on reforming U.S. immigration laws.
Learn more

Model helps churches welcome immigrants

WASHINGTON (UMNS) - A model has been created to help U.S. congregations become "Immigrant Welcoming Congregations." For United Methodists, says Bill Mefford of the Board of Church and Society, "the IWC model is rooted in the denomination's affirmation of the worth, dignity and inherent value and rights of every person regardless of their nationality or legal status."
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