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Daily Digest: June 17, 2013

"Often, we're strongly moved by our colleagues, by their dedication and sacrifice." - She Hongyu, Amity Foundation executive in China on the group's disaster relief.

The Church in China: Focus on disaster relief

NANJING, China (UMNS) - When disaster strikes in China, the Amity Foundation - a United Methodist Committee on Relief partner - goes to the front lines. That dedication is helping to grow support for Christianity.
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Path1 hits the road to visit new church plants

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) - The folks at Path1 New Church Starts have hit the road to visit the new plants of the last year in the United States. They will report from the road on what they find. Follow and talk with them as they travel.
Blog reports from the road
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Pastor in school funding case wants to help children

WICHITA, Kan. (UMNS) - The Rev. Jeff Gannon, pastor of Chapel Hill Fellowship, a United Methodist congregation, has his name attached to one of the most divisive public policy issues in Kansas. In Gannon v. State of Kansas, the Kansas Supreme Court is expected to rule by the end of the year on whether to increase public-school funding cut by the state legislature. The Wichita Eagle profiles the pastor, highlighting his church's ministry with the poor.
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Pension board's Bullock-Mixon to retire

GLENVIEW, Ill. (UMNS) - Vidette Bullock-Mixon, who "made a significant contribution" in building the reputation of the United Methodist Board of Pension and Health Benefits as a socially responsible investor, is retiring after 31 years with the agency.
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Claremont to Offer 2-Year Master of Divinity

CLAREMONT, Calif. (UMNS) - United Methodist Claremont School of Theology is restructuring its curriculum to allow students to complete a Master of Divinity degree in two years. Historically, the M.Div. degree could not be completed in fewer than three years. The new format also will allow students to complete the M.A. in Ministry, Leadership and Service in 18 months.
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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, email newsdesk@umcom.org.

Lake Junaluska Summer Worship Series, Sundays through Aug. 11 - The series includes Holy Communion at 8:30 a.m. ET and worship at 10:45 a.m. ET at Lake Junaluska Conference and Retreat Center in North Carolina. The Africa University Choir kicks off the series on June 16. Guest preachers also will include United Methodist bishops and the general secretary of the World Methodist Council. Details

Faith and Service Unite Summit luncheon, June 19 - 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. ET, Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, featuring the Rev. Kirbyjon Caldwell, senior pastor of Windsor Village United Methodist Church in Houston. $25 for luncheon. Details about luncheon and summit. Details

Juneteenth, June 19 - The United Methodist Board of Discipleship offers worship resources for the oldest known African-American celebration, which recognizes the date slaves in Texas received word of the Emancipation Proclamation. Resources

Free webinar "The New Senior: Boomers," June 20 - 6:30 p.m. CT, tips on ministering to this large generation from the United Methodist Board of Discipleship. 

Free webinar "2013 Clergy Health Implications for the Church," June 20 - 6:30 p.m. CT, how congregations can positively influence the health of clergy and laity from the United Methodist Board of Discipleship and the Center for Health. To register

Deadline to register for pension board listening session, June 24 - The United Methodist Board of Pension and Health Benefits will have a listening session on July 12 in Glenview, Ill. To place your name and topic on the agenda and for specific presentation requirements, contact Colette Nies at 1-800-269-2244, ext. 4296, or email cnies@gbophb.org. Details

Deadline to register for online course "Web Ministry 100: What is Web Ministry," June 26 - July 3-Aug. 14, sponsored by United Methodist Communications. Limited seats are available. Cost is $49. Details

Deadline to register for online course "Welcoming Ministry 100," June 26 - July 3-Aug. 14, sponsored by United Methodist Communications. Limited seats are available. Cost is $29. Details

Native American Summer Conference, June 28-30 - Workshops and worship, sponsored by the Southeastern Jurisdictional Association on Native American Ministries, at Lake Junaluska Conference and Retreat Center, Lake Junaluska, N.C. Details

Deadline to register for SOULfeast, June 30 - The Upper Room 's spiritual retreat, July 14-18, Lake Junaluska Conference and Retreat Center, Lake Junaluska, N.C. The Rev. Trevor Hudson of South Africa is the keynote speaker. 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

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

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