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UMNS Weekly Digest - August 23, 2013


UMNS Weekly Digest

Aug.23, 2013

NOTE: This is a digest of news features provided by United Methodist Communications for Aug.20 - Aug. 23. It includes summaries of United Methodist News Service stories and additional briefs from around the United Methodist connection. Full versions of the stories with photographs and related features can be found at

News around conferences

Joining 50th celebrations of March on Washington

WASHINGTON (UMNS) - United Methodists will be speaking, teaching, marching and more as they join in the 50th anniversary celebration of the Aug. 28, 1963, March on Washington. Two major anniversary rallies are planned in Washington, one for Saturday, Aug. 24, and the other for Wednesday, Aug. 28. Read story and post a comment

UMTV: Bishop fought slavery

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMTV) - Fifty years after the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I have a dream" speech, discover a 19th-century bishop who tried to end slavery and allow interracial marriage. Watch video

Mentoring vital to keep ministry alive

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) - For pastors juggling many tasks, even the silliest criticisms can sting. The presence of mentors in the lives of new clergy can help put things in perspective. Read story and post a comment

Hazelwood applies mission skills to Memphis Conference

JACKSON, Tenn. (UMNS) - The Rev.Tom Hazelwood, former U.S. disaster coordinator for the United Methodist Committee on Relief, is using his experience in mission as the new director of connectional ministries for the denomination's Memphis Annual (regional) Conference. Tracie Simer of the Jackson Sun reports. Read story

United in faith in Sacramento

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (UMNS) -South Sacramento has become a proverbial global village, including multiple generations from Pacific Island, African, African-American, Latino and European-American heritages. Centennial United Methodist Church is celebrating the change. Read story

Ga. elementary student collects glasses for others

DUBLIN, Ga. (UMNS) - Ten-year-old Sierra Patisaul thought collecting eyeglasses for hundreds of people around the world was "a really good idea." So far, she has collected more than 500 pairs of glasses for Project 20/20, a ministry that began in the Memphis Annual (regional) Conference. Read story

Fire destroys Oklahoma church

OKAY, Okla. (UMNS) - Okay United Methodist Church, a 100-year-old landmark, burned to the ground early Aug. 18. While authorities have not ruled the fire as arson, some residents believe it is the latest in a spate of vandalism incidents in the town of 600.

Read the story
Find out how to protect your church

UMCOR, GNJ get 'Sandy' grants

NEW YORK (UMNS) - In August, the United Methodist Committee on Relief was one of eight groups to get grants from the American Red Cross for programs and services for people affected by Superstorm Sandy. UMCOR's $2.5 million grant will provide financial or housing help to 700 households in New York, Connecticut and Maryland. Earlier this summer, the United Methodist Greater New Jersey Annual (regional) Conference got $1.5 million from the Red Cross for Sandy recovery work.

Read Red Cross news release
Read New Jersey story

Church pushes back on bullying

CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) - A United Methodist congregation is taking on the issue of bullying by hosting a "Back to School Bully Bustin' Bash." Read story in the Leaf Chronicle

Clergy couple offers advice on coping

BINGHAMTON, N.Y. (UMNS) - For the Revs. Nick and Carmen Perry, 2012 was a year of momentous changes and a lot of "firsts." He was commissioned, she was ordained, they both had new appointments in a new district - and they had a baby on the way. Beth DiCocco of the Upper New York Annual (regional) Conference gleaned some advice on coping with transition for clergy couples. Read story

It's all about mission

DALLAS (UMNS) - Before his death from osteosarcoma at age 19, Willie Tichenor found great meaning in mission trips with his United Methodist church. His parents, Mac and Lisa Tichenor, established a foundation in his honor that is funding a United Methodist pastor's effort to give college-age students an intensive experience with missional Christianity. The summer internship program expanded from Mobile, Ala., to Kansas City this summer. Read story and comment

Church drives Mississippi health effort

DURANT, Miss. (UMNS) - Representatives from the United Methodist Board of Church and Society, local and state governments and the surrounding community gathered July 26 to celebrate the unveiling of John Wesley United Methodist Church's Health Education Center headquarters with a ribbon-cutting ceremony. Jasmine Haynes reports that the center is a response by members of John Wesley UMC to take action at "ground zero" of the state's health crisis. Read story

Camp opens doors for kids with serious illnesses

LAKE TEXOMA, Okla. (UMNS) - Twelve-year-old Carly Woods was a bit uncertain about whether to go to the Oklahoma Annual (regional) Conference's Camp Cavett. But, five days at the camp designed for young people with life-threatening or chronic illnesses has left her eagerly awaiting next year. Read story and comment

News around connection

UMCOR responds to Philippines flooding

CAVITE, Philippines (UMNS) - Since Aug. 19, torrential rains have flooded the 10 provinces of the Philippines, forcing more than a million people to evacuate. Staff and volunteers for the United Methodist Committee on Relief managed a rapid assessment in the Cavite area, just outside of Manila. Accessibility by road has proved challenging to respond to the overwhelming number of requests. Read story

Health care remains a struggle in Haiti

NEW YORK (UMNS) - Since the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, the Methodist Church of Haiti has fought to bring its health clinics back to providing a basic level of care. United Methodists can help by making a donation. Read story

Young Africans explore leadership skills

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) - A growing group of young United Methodists in Africa are being encouraged with annual gatherings and monthly Internet sessions to apply their leadership skills in church work. The 2013 Young Africa Leaders Summit, conducted in May by the Young People's Ministries division of the United Methodist Board of Discipleship, brought together young leaders from 17 annual conferences in Africa. Read story and comment

Discipleship directors meet in Denver

DENVER (UMNS) - The board of directors of the United Methodist Board of Discipleship joined Denver-area church leaders in mission work and conversations about the agency's service to local congregations during an Aug. 1-3 meeting. Read story

News of interest

'That's Church' shows United Methodists' faith in action

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) - United Methodist Communications' Rethink Church effort is debuting an advertising campaign called "That's Church," which highlights the denomination's work on such social issues as immigration, education and food insecurity.

Read news release
See ad

Jerusalem churches issue joint prayer

WASHINGTON (UMNS) - In advance of the World Week for Peace in Palestine Israel, Sept. 22-28, Christian churches in Jerusalem are issuing a joint prayer to be used in services of worship on Sunday, Sept. 22, and during the week after. People and parishes around the world are invited to send prayers for peace by email to Palestinian Christians. Read story

Hymn caused stir in committee

DALLAS (UMNS) - C. Michael Hawn's latest "History of Hymns" column looks at "Have Thine Own Way" by Adelaide A. Pollard, the original wording of which caused controversy within the Hymnal Revision Committee of The United Methodist Church. Read story

What every college freshman should know

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) - Administrators and students from United Methodist-related colleges and universities are offering advice for those hitting campus for the first time. Read story and post a comment

Life goes on for college parents

BRENTWOOD, Tenn. (UMNS) - Pam Thompson has had a lot of practice waving goodbye and holding back tears when summer's end means she must send her children down the road to college. Read story and post a comment

United Methodists in the news

Bonner elected to interfaith board

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) -Byrd Bonner, executive director of the United Methodist Church Foundation, was elected to a three-year term on the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility governing board. The group's members are involved in shareholder advocacy from a faith perspective in an effort to transform corporate practices on a host of issues that promote a more just and sustainable world. Learn more about Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility

Blogs and commentaries

Reflections on the March on Washington

WASHINGTON (UMNS) - While progress been made since the 1963 March on Washington, much still ails the world, creating "the need to renew our commitment to King's dream and heed a call to action," writes the Rev. C. Anthony Hunt of the United Methodist Baltimore-Washington Annual (regional) Conference. Read commentary

An opportunity to remember and act

WASHINGTON (UMNS) - For Bishop Marcus Matthews, the Rev. Martin Luther Jr.'s greatest legacy was that he never lost focus on the main thing in life keeping Jesus Christ at the center of all he did. Read commentary

Why I'm called to be a mentor

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (UMNS) - In a UMNS commentary, the Rev. Melissa Pisco writes that being a mentor has given her "the privilege of helping people listen for and discern their calling - be it into licensed or ordained ministry, or a calling into the laity." Read commentary and post a comment

College student feels 'inspired and sustained'

KALAMAZOO, Mich. (UMNS) - Jenna Johnson, a Western Michigan University student and worship coordinator for the local Wesley Foundation, says it's important for ministers as well as musicians to have a good ear. The attention she got from a United Methodist pastor has made a huge difference. Read commentary

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.

Deadline to register for Welcoming Ministry 100 online course, Aug. 28 - Sept. 4-Oct. 16, help for becoming welcoming and hospitable congregations, sponsored by United Methodist Communications.$29.99. Details.

Deadline to register for Web Ministry 100 online course, Aug. 28 - Sept. 4-Oct. 16, help using the Web in theologically sound ways to reach new people and cultivate relationships, sponsored by United Methodist Communications. $49.99. Details.

Churchquake, Reconciling Ministries Network convocation, Aug. 30-Sept. 2 - Gathering by unofficial United Methodist caucus that advocates for greater inclusion of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people in the church. Details.

"Day1," Sept. 1 - The Rev. Sam Matthews, senior minister, First United Methodist Church, Marietta, Ga., will be the featured speaker on the nationally syndicated radio program "Day1." To listen.

"Day1," Sept. 8 - The Rev. Elaine Wilder, associate minister, First United Methodist Church, Marietta, Ga., will be the featured speaker on the nationally syndicated radio program "Day1." To listen.

Free webinar "Creative Thinking in Faith Formation: An Ancient/Future Approach," Sept. 17 - 6:30 p.m. CT, learning strategies for teaching adults using an exploration of Jesus' teaching methods, from the United Methodist Board of Discipleship. To register.

"Communicating Faith in the 21st Century" online course, Sept. 18-Oct. 30 - Based on the book "We Must Speak: Rethinking How We Communicate Faith in the 21st Century", by the Rev. Larry Hollon. Explores the importance of telling stories of faith, as well as how to create and share personal stories of faith via Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram and blogs. $29.99. To register.

Free webinar "Building a Health Ministry in your Congregation" Sept. 19 - 6:30 PM CT - UMCOR Health, Parish Nurses and the Center for Health provide resources. Learn what one congregation has done. To register.

Free webinar "Church Council: Incorporating Younger, Diverse Leaders" Sept. 24 - 6:30 p.m. CT - Healthy vital congregations bring together leaders who have different generational values and work styles. To register.

United Methodist Church of the Resurrection Leadership Institute, Sept. 25-27 - Registration open now for event aimed at helping leaders renew churches. Details.

Sojourn/ing Women, Bold Voices Then + Now, Oct. 4-5 - Conference honoring 25th anniversary of Scarritt-Bennett Center in Nashville, Tenn. Details.

Free webinar "Principles of Vitality for District Superintendents" Sept. 26 - 1 p.m. CT - Tools a D.S. can use to equip clergy for vital leadership. To register.

Free webinar "Long Range Planning as a Movement of Hope" Oct, 8 - 6:30 p.m. CT - Planning committees develop a strategic "big picture" that focuses beyond the walls of the church. To register.

Free webinar "District Superintendents: Reach diverse, younger, non-churched people in your district" Oct. 10 - 1 p.m. CT - District superintendents' role with churches to bring younger, diverse people into relationship with Christ and the church. To register.

Northeastern Jurisdiction Native American Ministries Committee meeting, Oct. 10-12 - Drew University, Madison, N.J., discussions of ministry and concerns of Native peoples, as well as time for fellowship. Details. To learn more or register, email Sharon Schmit at

Wesleyan Leadership Conference, Oct. 17-19 - Fourth annual conference, with a focus on evangelism, at the United Methodist Board of Discipleship in Nashville. Open to all lay and clergy leaders. To register.

Revitup! Event for young clergy, Oct. 28-30 - Event for clergy ages 25-39 in Atlanta, sponsored by the United Methodist Board of Pension and Health Benefits. Aims to help clergy manage debt and set boundaries. Details.

Reach New Disciples Conference, Nov. 2 - 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. ET, Wesley Theological Seminary's Lewis Center for Church Leadership, Washington. Details.

"A Killer in the Dark," NBC stations until Nov. 3 - If it isn't scheduled in your area, contact your local NBC station. If it has aired, order a free copy here. Download ideas and resources to plan a viewing party. Details.

Workshop on Advocacy, Nov. 12-14 - Training for anyone asked to be an advocate for a pastor or lay person from preventive options to facing the Judicial Council, with the Revs. Larry Pickens and Scott Campbell as two of the speakers. To register and learn the cost and location, contact the Rev. Jerry Eckert of Associates in Advocacy at Registration limited.

Exploration 2013, Nov. 15-17 - Event for young adults, ages 18-26, considering ordained ministry, Marriott Denver Tech Center, sponsored by United Methodist Board of Higher Education and Ministry. Speakers include Louisiana Area Bishop Cynthia Fierro Harvey and the Rev. Jorge Acevedo, senior pastor of the multi-campus Grace Church in Southwest Florida. Details.

Category: Weekly Digest
Tags: News Summaries