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Daily Digest: July 08, 2013

"If we can just get them in the door, we can tell them that Jesus was the first Transformer because with everyone he met and everywhere he went, lives were changed." - Susan McLain, children's director at Shalimar United Methodist Church in Shalimar, Fla.

Arizona firefighter families receive devotional

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) - Responding to the recent loss of 19 members of the Arizona Granite Mountain Hotshots, killed while fighting the Yarnell Hill fire, the Commission on United Methodist Men is sending 100 copies of the Strength for Service devotional booklets to the grieving community. Family members of the fallen firefighters and Prescott Fire Department personnel will receive the devotionals, according toLarry Coppock, who heads civic youth-serving ministries for the men's organization.

VBS programs keep up with times

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) - For decades, vacation Bible school has been a staple of summer programming for local churches. Not only does it keep the church bustling at a time when attendance traditionally decreases, it also fills a niche in the community by providing God-centered fun for children who might never set a foot inside a Sunday school door.
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9/11 memorial garners Good Samaritan Award

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) - In 2009, Jeff Cox was looking for an Eagle project when the idea of a 9/11 memorial was mentioned at a summer Boy Scout camp. With a tenacious spirit, 2,000 volunteer hours and the support of the Windermere, Fla., Town Council, his plans unfolded into the first official World Trade Center memorial in Florida. Now he is the recipient of a Good Samaritan Award, the highest youth award presented by United Methodist Men.
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N.Y. small-group ministry 'moves mountains'

SALEM, N.Y. (UMNS) - If Donna Alexander had her way, she would have fought side by side with U.S. forces against the North Vietnamese. But she was only 12. So she started sending packages to the soldiers. Decades later, she still serves active and retired military personnel through a small-group ministry at the Salem United Methodist Church. Christian Vischi, communications associate for the Upper New York Annual (regional) Conference, tells the story.
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UMTV: Beekeeping benefits Liberia

TUNUKUK PUYE, Liberia (UMNS) - The United Methodist Committee on Relief is empowering farmers through sustainable agriculture projects which supplement nutrition and income in rural communities. Projects include crop management and raising livestock. See how farmers in Liberia are turning beekeeping into a successful business.
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Bees, snails, Moringa trees boost Liberians

Looking ahead

Here are some of the activities ahead for United Methodists across the connection. If you have an item to share with others, email

Free webinar on "Ambassador Advocacy" training, July 9 - 8 p.m. ET, the informational webinar is in advance of the Healthy Families, Healthy Planet Ambassador Advocacy Training on Oct. 27-30, aimed at reducing maternal mortality. Sponsored by United Methodist Board of Church and Society. Details.

"Inside Out for the Glory of God," July 12-14 - 11th national gathering of United Methodist Men at Belmont University in Nashville, Tenn. Details.

Lunch and lecture "Has the Dream Been Fulfilled? Race, Freedom and Economic Empowerment," July 18 - 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. CT, Scarritt-Bennett Center in Nashville, Tenn. Speakers are Kate Savage of the Worker's Dignity Project and Keith Caldwell of the Urban Epicenter, $12. To register.

Deadline for World Methodist Conference logo submissions, July 22 -The World Methodist Council is accepting submissions for the official logo for the 21st World Methodist Conference, which will be in September 2016 in Houston. The conference theme is "One." Details.

Free webinar "Spiritual, But Not Religious - Adult Faith in a Post-Christendom World," July 23 - 6:30 p.m. CT, tips on ministering in the current U.S. social context from the United Methodist Board of Discipleship.

United Methodist Conference on Ministry with Children, July 23-26 - The conference, "Make a Joyful Noise to the Lord," at Buncombe Street United Methodist Church in Greenville, S.C., for church leaders and workers engaged in children's ministry, focuses on helping children grow in faith. United Methodist Board of Discipleship is the sponsor. Details.

Free webinar "Is Your Church Ready for a Capital Funds Campaign?" July 25 - 6:30 p.m. CT, indicators of whether churches can make fundraising work, from the United Methodist Board of Discipleship. 

Festival of Wisdom and Grace Conference, July 29-Aug.1 - Includes Bible study and workshops at Lake Junaluska Conference and Retreat Center, Lake Junaluska, N.C, sponsored by the Southeastern Jurisdiction Association of Older Adults. Details

SHIFTS: Guiding the Congregation toward Health, Effectiveness and Vitality, July 30-Aug. 1 - Seminar sponsored by the Intentional Growth Center at the Foundation for Evangelism, Lake Junaluska, N.C. Details

From Membership to Discipleship, Aug. 1-3 - Seminar sponsored by the Intentional Growth Center at the Foundation for Evangelism, Lake Junaluska, N.C. Details.

School of Congregational Development, Aug. 15-18 - Hosted at Denver Marriott Tech Center, sponsored by the United Methodist Board of Discipleship, Path1 and Board of Global Ministries. Theme is "Encountering God at the Edge." 

School of Congregational Development, Satellite Experience, Aug. 17 - Offsite participation is available from satellite congregations within the five U.S. jurisdictions. Registrants will participate remotely through live and tape-delayed interactive streaming. 

Free webinar "Generosity in Emerging Generations," Aug. 22 - 6:30 p.m. CT, examining how emerging generations make decisions about generosity, from the United Methodist Board of Discipleship. 


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