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February 11, 2013

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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, February 11, 2013

"The church is not the building or the facility, it's the people. So when we go outside of our facility we're still the church. We eat together, we pray together and we worship together...." - Tom Strohbeck of Maumee United Methodist Church.

UMTV: Bowling church hits a strike

MAUMEE, Ohio (UMNS) - An unusual approach to church became an instant hit for Maumee United Methodist Church near Toledo. The "bowling church" attracts all ages and those unsure about traditional church.
Watch video

Mozambique flood relief needs grow

MAPUTO, Mozambique (UMNS) - "At this stage, food is the priority No. 1," wrote the Rev. Joao Sambo, pastor of Liberdade United Methodist Church in Maputo in an email Feb. 8. "Rain is still devastating... . The media is showing frightening images of desolation. Lives are being lost; crops, houses and public infrastructures destroyed while fewer are the resources to cope ... the number of affected grows daily." Mozambique has been hard-hit by flooding since late January. The United Methodist Church in Mozambique, in partnership with the Missouri Conference's Mozambique Initiative, is working to help the more than 140,000 families affected.
Contributions can be made through UMCOR
or the Missouri Mozambique Initiative

What's the Christian connection with St. Valentine's Day?

WASHINGTON (UMNS) - The American University United Methodist Community shares the story of the two early church leaders named Valentine, who might be at the heart of this holiday for lovebirds.
Read story

Social action agency welcomes gun violence report

WASHINGTON (UMNS) - The United Methodist Board of Church and Society welcomed the findings released Feb. 7 by the U.S. House of Representatives' Gun Violence Prevention Task Force, which support Vice President Joe Biden's task force in proposing a strong plan to reduce gun violence in the United States. The agency urged Congress "to work on this issue immediately so that no more lives are lost to such unnecessary tragedies."
Read news release

Volunteers weatherize church building

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (UMNS) - Facing annual heat and electric bills of up to $38,000, Fourth Avenue United Methodist Church is looking for almost any way to reduce energy costs, the Courier-Journal.com reports. Volunteers recently spread out around the massive church to caulk windows, cover panes with plastic, insulate doors and install energy-efficient lighting in a project sponsored by Kentucky Interfaith Power and Light, a nonprofit group connecting "theology and ecology."
Read story

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 and put Digest in the subject line.

Now - Feb. 28 - Black History Month in the United States. The United Methodist Board of Discipleship has worship and devotional resources.

Feb. 11 - Early-bird deadline for the Fostering a Culture of Generosity Conference, 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. ET, March 9, Wesley Theological Seminary, Washington. Lewis Center for Church Leadership is sponsoring. Details.

Feb. 13 - Ash Wednesday, the start of the season of Lent. United Methodist Board of Discipleship has worship resources.

Feb. 14 - Deadline to register for online course "United Methodism 101," which is designed for new church members and anyone else wanting to know more about the church. The course is Feb. 20-April 3. Cost is $9.99. To register.

Feb. 14 - Deadline to register for free online course "Turning Connectional Living into Connectional Giving," Feb. 20-April 3. To register.

Feb. 14-17 -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.

Feb. 16 - Impact Las Vegas, a communitywide effort to preserve the natural resources of the city. Sponsored by RelevanceX and area United Methodist churches. Bringing together a rising generation of leaders. To volunteer.

Feb. 17 - The Rev. Brian Erickson, senior pastor, First United Methodist Church, Alabaster, Ala., will be the featured speaker on the nationally syndicated radio program "Day 1." To listen.

Feb. 19 - Free webinar "Engaging Adults in Service," 6:30 p.m. CT, from the United Methodist Board of Discipleship. Tips for increasing the impact of service on individuals' lives. To register.

Feb. 20 - Free webinar "Including Children in Worship," 10 a.m. CT, from the United Methodist Board of Discipleship. To register.

Feb. 21 - Free webinar "Gifts That Keep On Giving," 6:30 p.m. CT, from the United Methodist Board of Discipleship. Learn more about planned giving. To register.

Feb. 21 - Arlene M. Snchez Walsh, Ph.D., will present keynote lecture, 7 p.m. CT, Southern Methodist University's Perkins School of Theology. Details.

Feb. 23 - Small Church Youth Ministry Seminar, 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. CT, Weston (Mo.) United Methodist Church, $10. To register.

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