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UMNS Weekly Digest - August 31, 2012


NOTE: This is a digest of news features provided by United Methodist Communications for Aug. 27-31. It includes summaries of United Methodist News Service stories, UMTV video reports and additional briefs from around the United Methodist connection. Full versions of the stories with photographs and related features can be found at

News Stories:


Churches help homeless, others in Isaac's wake

BILOXI, Miss. (UMNS) - In the hours leading up to Hurricane Isaac's landfall, two United Methodists on Mississippi's Gulf Coast were hard at work ensuring the area's homeless got to safety. That was just one of the ways United Methodists are reaching out in this disaster.
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Isaac pushes Dillard U. to temp space

NEW ORLEANS (UMNS) - In the wake of Hurricane Isaac, United Methodist-related Dillard University has closed its campus and moved all classes to United Methodist-related Centenary College in Shreveport until at least Sept. 4.
For updates

Zimbabwe volunteers give care to HIV-positive

HARARE, Zimbabwe (UMNS) - Zimbabwean volunteers provide relief for HIV/AIDS patients through counseling, support and palliative care for those who are not mobile. "At times, I am compelled to take a little maize meal from my home in order to make a little porridge for their sustenance. I am not a rich person, but love forces me to do that," said one volunteer.
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Mission agency supports hearing on Pakistan

NEW YORK (UMNS) - The arrest of a young Pakistani Christian girl on charges of blaspheming Islam is adding incentive to an international ecumenical effort to protect religious minorities in Pakistan. The United Methodist Board of Global Ministries has given a $6,000 grant toward the Sept. 17-18 hearings in Geneva, organized by the World Council of Churches.
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Providing help to those in Isaac's path

PADUCAH, Ky. (UMNS) - In a journey that took almost 24 hours, Bill Carr braved lashing rain, unforgiving wind and a tree branch-strewn interstate to deliver a truckload of requested relief supplies to people in hurricane-ravaged Mississippi.
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Church gets unemployed 'job ready'

ROSWELL, Ga. (UMNS) - Katherine Simons sees hopelessness on the faces of the thousands of out-of-work people who walk through the doors of the Job Networking Ministry that Simons organizes twice a month at Roswell United Methodist Church in the Atlanta suburb. The church is working to change that look.
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Tennessee auctioneer sells to help others

NASHVILLE, Tenn.(UMNS) - If Danny Cotton had his way, no one would really make a fuss. He's just part of this story, reports The Tennessean. "It's really amazing to watch," said Cotton's pastor, Tom Pierce of Wesley Chapel United Methodist. "It absolutely is a gift."
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Woodlands church offers special-needs ministry

THE WOODLANDS, Texas (UMNS) - The Woodlands United Methodist Church wants everyone to have a relationship with Christ at whatever level they are capable of, reports the WoodlandsOnline. That's why the church started Special Blessings, which pairs special-needs children with a "shadow" who takes them to Sunday school class and a self-contained classroom for students unable to attend the mainstream class.
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Garrett names dean of students

EVANSTON, Ill. (UMNS) - The Rev. Cynthia Wilson, an ordained deacon in the United Methodist Kansas West Annual (regional) Conference and well-known church musician, has been appointed dean of students at Garrett-Evangelical Seminary.
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After Haiti impact, U.S. prepares for Isaac

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (UMNS) - For a U.S. volunteer team from Louisiana visiting Haiti, the impact of Hurricane Isaac has shifted from the disruption of a work assignment on the island to concern for family members back home. On the anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, Isaac is forecast to pound the southern Louisiana and Mississippi coasts.
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Acts of Repentance guide stresses healing

WHITNEY POINT, N.Y. (UMNS) - The Act of Repentance service at General Conference was only the beginning of The United Methodist Church's work toward healing relationships with indigenous peoples around the globe. Church leaders have prepared a new guide including Scripture, video and discussion questions for annual (regional) conferences and local churches.
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Angola radio called 'symbol of democracy'

LUANDA, Angola (UMNS) - Radio Kairós, a new United Methodist radio station in the capital of Angola, was launched Aug. 28. The station "represents the vitality of the country's young democracy and the work of the Angolan government toward plurality and diversity" in social communication, said Media Minister Carolina Cerqueira, in a statement through Angop, the Angolan government's press agency. The minister was on hand for the launch of the station, which has a commercial license and is operating at 98.4 FM locally. The station is operated by the West Angola Episcopal Area of The United Methodist Church and was started with assistance from United Methodist Communications.
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Pastor sees race issue in bishop's retirement

DALLAS (UMNS) - "I am an ashamed United Methodist! The action of the South Central Jurisdiction to force Bishop W. Earl Bledsoe into retirement was a sad and shameful day for me," writes the Rev. Henry L. Masters Sr. in a commentary for the United Methodist Reporter. Masters, the senior pastor of St. Luke "Community" United Methodist Church, observed that the action "was a painful reality that race is still an unresolved matter in The United Methodist Church."
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Tips to grow worship attendance

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) - In a blog, Jessica Miller Kelley offers congregations five strategies for filling up the pews at worship. Miller Kelley is the managing editor of Ministry Matters, part of the United Methodist Publishing House.
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Loan break for United Methodist students

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) - The United Methodist loan program is offering a new option with lower interest and earlier repayment to help United Methodist college students struggling with increasing debt.
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New business manager for General Conference

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) - The Rev. Alan J. Morrison, who for seven years has been travel and meeting planning manager/ General Conference business manager, is taking on expanded responsibilities. Sara Hotchkiss, who has been assistant business manager to Morrison for seven years, will take over Morrison's General Conference position.
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Summer literacy program model for success

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) - After working as a college student for Project Transformation in Dallas, Courtney Aldrich felt a calling to replicate the program in her hometown.
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Lon Morris College cancels fall semester

JACKSONVILLE, Texas (UMNS) - Lon Morris College will suspend its fall semester as it seeks a purchaser or new financial partner, Bloomberg/BusinessWeek News reports. The 158-year-old United Methodist school in East Texas already has filed for bankruptcy.
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Church program calendar available

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) - With a theme of Changing the World One Life at a Time, the official 2013 United Methodist Program Calendar is now available from United Methodist Communications. It is available in a variety of formats, including an electronic version that updates your favorite calendar application and turns it into an official United Methodist church calendar. To place an order, call toll free (888) 346-3862 or go to

Volunteers bag 20,000 pounds of green beans

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (UMNS) - More than 300 people showed up Saturday, Aug. 25 at Asbury United Methodist Church to help bag more than 20,000 pounds of green beans destined to feed the hungry. The Huntsville Times reported that the effort coordinated by the Society of St. Andrew looked like the biggest green bean casserole of all time in the making.
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UMTV: Act of Repentance

TAMPA, Fla. (UMNS) - The United Methodist Church at three General Conferences since the year 2000 has sought to acknowledge a history of racism and work toward healing. Preparations for the GC2012 Act of Repentance included listening sessions with indigenous peoples in Norway, the Philippines and the United States.
Watch video

Category: Weekly Digest
Tags: News Summaries