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December 17, 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
Monday, December 17, 2012

"She worked to realize a dream which is destined to change the face of leadership in Africa from now until eternity." - Bishop Eben Nhiwatiwa of the Zimbabwe Area remembering Nancy Mikell Carruth, whom many knew as "Mrs. Africa University."

Church reaches out after school shooting

SANDY HOOK, Conn. (UMNS) - Members of Newtown United Methodist Church in Sandy Hook were holding their breath to learn the full impact of the Dec. 14 shooting at nearby Sandy Hook Elementary School, said the Rev. Mel Kawakami, the church's senior pastor, hours after the shooting. But, the church already was at work as a site for prayer and respite for Red Cross first responders and families. By late afternoon the death toll had climbed to 27, including at least 20 children, in one of the deadliest school shootings in U.S. history.
Read story and post a comment
Sign a United Methodist prayer wall
United Methodist Board of Discipleship resources on coping with school violence

United Methodists of note who died in 2012

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) - In 2012, church members marked the passing of a number of United Methodist leaders who made significant contributions in their Christian walk.
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Bishop Juan re-elected

BAYOMBONG, Philippines (UMNS) - Bishop Rodolfo Alfonso Juan, who presently leads the Baguio Episcopal Area in the Philippines, has been re-elected by the Philippines Central Conference. In the Philippines, a United Methodist bishop must be re-elected every four years. The Philippines Central Conference met Dec. 12-16.

Cokesbury announces new market areas

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) - Cokesbury, the retail division of the United Methodist Publishing House, has officially announced the market areas where new Cokesbury sales representatives will be assigned as part of the CokesburyNext initiative. After the closing of Cokesbury brick-and-mortar stores, the publishing house will deploy 48 Cokesbury sales representatives in 46 market areas to help customers learn about, review and examine products in their own churches and other ministry settings.
See the full list

Director of preaching ministries named

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) - The Rev. Pamela Dawn Chesser, an ordained elder in the Holston Annual (regional) Conference, will become director of preaching ministries at the United Methodist Board of Discipleship on Jan. 1. Chesser currently is chaplain at United Methodist-related Hiwassee College and pastor of the college chapel, Buckner Memorial United Methodist Church in Madisonville, Tenn.
Read news release

Reconciling Ministries names interim head

CHICAGO (UMNS) - Reconciling Ministries Network, an unofficial United Methodist caucus that advocates for greater inclusion of gays and lesbians, has named Randall Miller as its interim executive director. Miller is assistant professor of United Methodist studies, ethics and leadership and director of the Leadership Institute at the Pacific School of Religion. He is also immediate past chair of the Commission on the United Methodist General Conference.

Tackling poverty difficult but essential

WASHINGTON (UMNS) -Tackling poverty "is incredibly challenging," Jim Winkler, top executive of the United Methodist Board of Church and Society, said during a recent interagency meeting on ministry with the poor. However, he concluded, if the denomination is not "doing everything we can" for that ministry, "we're not going to grow our church here in the United States."
Read his remarks

One city's Christmas story airs on CBS

NEW YORK (UMNS) - A story of hope in Reading, Pa., is the focus of "One Christmas Story: People Rich in Spirit," a new production from Odyssey Networks. CBS will air the one-hour program, without commercials, starting at 11:35 p.m. ET/PT on Christmas Eve.
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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 with others, emailnewsdesk@umcom.organd put Digest in the subject line.

Advent - United Methodist Communications has a collection of Advent and Christmas resources at www.umc.org/advent.

Dec. 24-25 - Christmas Eve and Christmas. The United Methodist Board of Discipleship has worship resources and musings on popular Christmas hymns.

Dec. 31-Jan. 1 - Prefer your New Year's Eve sacred not stirred? The United Methodist Board of Discipleship has Watch Night and devotional resources in English and Spanish to start the year.

Jan. 2-5 - 2013 Congress of Evangelism, Crowne Plaza at Ravinia, Dunwoody, Ga. Speakers include Bishop Lindsey Davis, the Rev. Sharma D. Lewis and the Rev. H. Eddie Fox. Details.

Jan. 6 - Epiphany, the celebration of the magi's visit to Christ, lands on a Sunday in 2013. The United Methodist Board of Discipleship has worship resources and blessings.

Jan. 10 - Free webinar "Stewardship and Finance: Getting It Right at the Starting Line," 6:30 p.m. CST, for stewardship team, finance committee and church council members from the United Methodist Board of Discipleship. To register, visit www.gbod.org/webinars and scroll toward the bottom of the webpage.

Jan. 10 - Deadline to apply forHuman Relations Day grant from the United Methodist Board of Church and Society. To download an application form.

Jan. 10 - Deadline to apply for a Peace with Justice grant from the United Methodist Board of Church and Society. To download an application form.

Jan. 10 - Deadline to apply for an Ethnic Local Church grant from the United Methodist Board of Church and Society. To download an application form.

Jan. 15 - Free webinar "SPRC Plans the Year," 6:30 p.m. CST, for staff-parish relations committees from the United Methodist Board of Discipleship. To register, visit www.gbod.org/webinars.

Jan. 17 - Free webinar "Lay Leader: What Do I Do?" 6:30 p.m. CST, from the United Methodist Board of Discipleship. Includes advice from lay leaders of congregations, large and small. To register, visit www.gbod.org/webinars.

Jan. 21-23 - "Winter Retreat: Feeding the Soul" at Scarritt-Bennett Center in Nashville, Tenn. Costs range from $100 to 235. Details.

Jan. 22 - Free webinar "Trustees Plan a Year of Ministry," 6:30 p.m. CST, from the United Methodist Board of Discipleship. To register, visit www.gbod.org/webinars.

Jan. 29 - Free webinar "Church Council Leads Discipleship," 6:30 p.m. CST, for church leadership teams, from the United Methodist Board of Discipleship. To register, visit www.gbod.org/webinars.

Jan. 31 - Free webinar "Nominations Committee Develops Leaders," 6:30 p.m. CST, from the United Methodist Board of Discipleship. Learn how to identify, train and support leaders within your congregation. To register, visit www.gbod.org/webinars.

Feb. 14-17 - Registration is now open for the United Methodist young adult event Relevance X 2013: Making New Disciples and LEAD 2013 in Las Vegas. Relevance Ministries, in partnership with United Methodist-related Claremont School of Theology, hosts the event for young clergy, leaders of young-adult ministries and young adults. To learn more and register.

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