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Daily Digest: May 22, 2013

 

Editor's note: More stories of how United Methodists are responding to the recent storm disasters can be found on Churches Dealing with Disasters and on UMConnections.

"May God bless us all as we lean upon each other and upon our Creator who is seeking to heal, restore, and bring wholeness out of this brokenness." - Oklahoma Area Bishop Robert E. Hayes Jr.

Bishop Hayes invites grief and prayer

OKLAHOMA CITY (UMNS) - "What I would like to say to the United Methodist community and beyond is that we grieve with those who have lost life and property not only in Moore and Newcastle but also on Sunday in Shawnee," Oklahoma Area Bishop Robert E. Hayes Jr. told United Methodist News Service. "These storms have devastated our state and have inflicted tremendous loss on our people ... and just affected lives in ways we can only imagine."
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Prayers from Bishop Rosemarie Wenner

Don't underestimate the need for prayer

MOORE, Okla. (UMNS) - As the Rev. D.A. Bennett, pastor of St. Andrew's United Methodist Church, waited with other anxious parents to learn what had happened to their children his son was at South Moore High School he grieved for other families who had lost children in the May 20 storm. A woman and her 5-month-old child were killed in a nearby store. "She had gone to pick up her child because she wanted to be with him in the storm," Bennett said. He got word Tuesday that her family wanted to have her funeral at St. Andrew's.
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Church protects people and pets

OKLAHOMA CITY (UMNS) - Think of United Methodist Church of the Servant as Oklahoma City's answer to Noah's Ark. Since at least 2006, the church has sheltered people and their pets in its 40,000-square-foot basement whenever dangerous storms draw near. "It's just cleanup on aisle 3 when it's all over," said the Rev. Randy Schrauner, the congregation's executive minister. "We just want to provide good care to our people and good care to our community. So (we take) all comers in a storm. We aren't going to hold anyone back."
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OKC University reaches out to those affected

OKLAHOMA CITY (UMNS) - About 20 students and faculty at United Methodist-related Oklahoma City University were affected by the May 20 tornado, including one of the university's "house moms" who lost a daughter, said Sandy Pantlik, director of communications.
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Responding to children's fear

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) - Consoling children after a traumatic event can be overwhelming to the adults caring for them. If you are looking for resources to support children following a crisis or disaster, or even during a crisis, this article has links to several helpful sites.
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How to give in response to disasters

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) - The United Methodist Church is well situated to respond to disasters because of its churches in almost every county and community across the United States and the worldwide Methodist connection with annual conferences, central conferences and autonomous partner churches on five continents.
Here is how giving works
Cash donations encouraged over clothing, other items
Volunteers urged to be patient

Church begins 3,175 new worship places worldwide

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) - The United Methodist Church established 3,175 new places for new people to worship God around the world during the past quadrennium, according to a new report. The Worldwide Church Plant Update includes 684 new churches started by annual conferences in the United States, 574 new churches and cell groups initiated by Global Mission Initiatives, and 1,917 new missions, churches, circuits and preaching points in the Central Conferences.
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Program to develop new African-American pastors

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) - A program to develop a new generation of young, visionary, effective African-American pastors and lay leaders for The United Methodist Church will pilot this fall. The chair of Strengthening the Black Church for the 21st Century, Bishop W. Earl Bledsoe, and the national director, the Rev. Fred A. Allen, said The Academy of Interns, a new initiative responding to the pressing need to develop African-American leaders in the church, has attracted six interns for the first class. The program will recruit and match dynamic and passionate candidates with leading, innovative and spirit-filled African-American pastors with demonstrated effectiveness in ministry.