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March 04, 2013

"Every day, I remind myself that I am just a girl from Big Spring, Texas, called by God to live out a life of faith. I never prayed to become a bishop; I prayed that God would use me as God saw fit." - Louisiana Area Bishop Cynthia Fierro Harvey.

Women making history: Cynthia Fierro Harvey

BATON ROUGE, La. (UMNS) - "Women's History Month is a time to learn about the women that have gone before us, who have blazed the trails and been true pathfinders of the faith. I know that I stand on the shoulders of giants," says Louisiana Area Bishop Cynthia Fierro Harvey. This is the first in a series during March - Women's History Month - looking at women in the church today.
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Dying well according to John Wesley

WILMORE, Ky. (UMNS) - What did John Wesley and the early Methodists know that allowed them to die with such grace and assurance? Christine Johnson, a Ph.D. student in Wesley Studies at the University of Manchester and visiting Ph.D. student at United Methodist-related Asbury Theological Seminary, reflects on what John Wesley learned and passed on to us.
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Our Wesleyan heritage

New Jersey rebuilding teams for Sandy start in April

OCEAN, N.J. (UMNS) - The United Methodist Greater New Jersey Annual (regional) Conference will begin its rebuilding assistance for Hurricane Sandy survivors with work on four homes in April. "We will use these first four homes to test our volunteer enrollment, host sites, material acquisition and delivery, construction management, orientation and safety procedures, and logistics," said Bishop John Schol in a Feb. 28 letter. Online registration for volunteer opportunities for work teams and staffing or supporting a host site will open March 15.
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UMW to participate in U.N. women's event

NEW YORK (UMS) - A delegation sponsored by United Methodist Women will spend the week of March 3 focusing on education and advocacy around the theme of the Commission on the Status of Women's 57th session - to eliminate and prevent all forms of violence against women and girls. UMW has a long association with the U.N. Commission on the Status of Women. Last year, the organization brought in nine international participants to join the discussion of the challenges facing rural women.
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Watch for updates each day from the gathering

Methodists, Episcopalians celebrate heritage

HONESDALE, Pa. (UMNS) - Grace Episcopal Church in Honesdale was to be the host March 3 for a service of Holy Communion as The United Methodist Church and the Episcopal Church move toward full communion. The News Eagle reports on the event, which traces its heritage to Methodist movement founders John and Charles Wesley, who remained priests in the Church of England throughout their lives.
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Who was John Wesley, anyway?

Caucus joins Prop. 8 action at U.S. Supreme Court

WASHINGTON (UMNS) -The Methodist Federation for Social Action, an unofficial caucus of The United Methodist Church, has joined in friends-of-the-court actions involving California's Proposition 8 ban on gay marriages and the U.S. Defense of Marriage Act cases. The U.S. Supreme Court will hear the cases March 26 and 27. The caucus said in a news release that while The United Methodist Church does not support same-sex ceremonies, Social Principles of the denomination "see a clear issue of simple justice in protecting ... rightful claims ...that involve ... equal protection under the law." The U.S. Justice Department has urged the Supreme Court to strike down the California ban on same-sex marriages and has stopped defending the 1996 law that bans the federal government from defending same-sex marriages.

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 and put Digest in the subject line.

March 7 - Workshop "Spokesperson Skill Development Training, Communicating Through the News Media," United Methodist Communications, Nashville, Tenn. Cost is $249. Details.

March 8-10; March 15-17; April 5-7; April 12-14; April 19-21; Nov. 8-10 - Confirmation Retreat Weekends at Lake Junaluska Conference and Retreat Center. Details.

March 9 - In Mission Together, part of the United Methodist Board of Global Ministries, will hold a 50/50 Partnership Roundtable at Morning Star United Methodist Church, 1600 Feise Road, Dardenne Prairie, Mo. The gathering is for U.S. congregations interested in partnering with United Methodist faith communities in Honduras. Details.

March 10 - Daylight savings time. In most of the United States, remember it's time to spring the clocks forward an hour.

March 10 - One Great Hour of Sharing Sunday, which benefits the operations of the United Methodist Committee on Relief so 100 percent of designated gifts can go to their specific cause. Details.

March 10 - Deadline for early-bird discounts for the retreat "Caring for God's Creation," April 3-7, Lake Junaluska Conference and Retreat Center, N.C. Details.

March 14 - Deadline to register for online course "Welcoming Ministry 100," March 20-May 1, offered by United Methodist Communications. Cost is $29.99. Registration.

March 14 - Free webinar "Including Children with Special Needs," 10 a.m. CT, from the United Methodist Board of Discipleship. To register.

March 14 - Free webinar "Moving Your Church Toward Vitality," 6:30 p.m. CT, learn how churches have changed to successfully reach new people, from the United Methodist Board of Discipleship. To register.

March 19 - Benefit for Day1 radio ministry, 6:30 p.m. ET, Cherokee Town and Country Club, Atlanta. United Methodists Lillian and Buddy Darden among those honored. Details.

March 21 - Free webinar "Consumerism and the Christian," 6:30 p.m. CT, from the United Methodist Board of Discipleship. To register.

March 24 - Palm/Passion Sunday. United Methodist Board of Discipleship has worship ideas.

March 25-30 - Holy Week. United Methodist Board of Discipleship has worship resources.

Category: Daily Digest