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September 25, 2012

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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
Tuesday, September 25, 2012

"He is spreading the gospel in a very real sense when he goes abroad. This is another form of a mission project, I guess, in our view and a very important one." -Paul Davis on his congregation's pastor and military chaplain, the Rev. John Mark Branning.

Top award given for chaplain support

CRYSTAL SPRINGS, Miss. (UMNS) - In 2007, when the Rev. John Mark Branning decided to answer a call for military chaplains, he had the support of his United Methodist congregation in Mississippi behind him. On Sept. 20, that congregation was one of 15 U.S. employers recognized with the 2012 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award, the nation's highest honor for employer support of Guard and Reserve.
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Learn more about how The United Methodist Church is in ministry with members of the U.S. military and their families at http://umc.org/military.

UMTV: Battle Buddies Mentor Veterans

PRINCE FREDERICK, Md. (UMNS) - A third of the troops returning from Iraq and Afghanistan will struggle with post-traumatic stress disorder. The Veterans Administration offers free mental health services in many cities, but 40 percent of veterans return to rural areas. Battle Buddies is a peer-counseling program that helps vets get the support they need.
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Pastor recalls tough trip home to Plaquemines Parish

BURAS, La. (UMNS) - Even after Isaac's winds passed, the Rev. Dave Carlton faced a harrowing journey from a hospital in Mississippi to his congregation in Plaquemines Parish. Seeing a United Methodist Committee on Relief truck arrive in his church parking lot was an emotional moment for Carlton.
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Concern over religious minorities in Iran

GENEVA (UMNS) - Two U.N. Special Rapporteurs have expressed their deep concern at the situation of minority religions in Iran, calling for a "thorough and independent review" of "all cases against individuals arrested and prosecuted on charges related to the enjoyment of the right to freedom of religion and belief."
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Retired pastor seeks to restore boyhood church

TOPEKA, Kan. (UMNS) - In July, the Rev. Francis Stockton took over as pastor of Oakland United Methodist Church, at the request of the Rev. Evelyn Fisher, district superintendent for the Kansas East Annual (regional) Conference. This time, it is personal, the Topeka Capital-Journal reports: Stockton attended the church during his childhood years and doesn't want to see it fold.
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Scarritt-Bennett names new executive

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) - Scarritt-Bennett Center, a United Methodist Women conference and retreat center, has named Jocelyn Briddell as its new executive director. She will start on Jan. 1, 2013.
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UMW joins rally at New York City Hall

NEW YORK (UMNS) - Representatives of United Methodist Women were among those planning to gather at 9 a.m. Sept. 25 on the steps of City Hall to denounce anti-Muslim hate advertisements posted on New York City subway platforms. The rally was organized by the New York Interfaith Coalition.
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