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UMNS Weekly Digest - December 07, 2012


NOTE: This is a digest of news features provided by United Methodist Communications for Dec. 4 -10. It includes summaries of United Methodist News Service stories, blogs, 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

Malaria News Stories:

Other News Stories:



Conferences push malaria goal past $26 million

WASHINGTON (UMNS) - As Imagine No Malaria advocacy days on Capitol Hill began Dec. 3, Bishop Thomas Bickerton, chair of the Global Health Initiatives, told morning worshippers that the campaign is well on its way past the $26 million goal by Jan. 31, 2013, and moving toward surpassing $40 million by June 2013. Read story

Malaria fighters knock at Capitol Hill doors

WASHINGTON (UMNS) - More than 100 Imagine No Malaria advocates from across the connection pounded the pavement and doors of Capitol Hill Dec. 4 to rally support among members of Congress for continued global health funding. "We cannot underestimate the power of the connectional system," wrote Glen Simpson, coordinator of young adult ministries for the Desert Southwest Conference. Read story

Having malaria means waiting and waiting

WASHINGTON (UMNS) - It's the long waits that Rose Farhat remembers most about the times she contracted malaria as a child growing up in Liberia. She spoke to more than 100 advocates for the United Methodist initiative Imagine No Malaria on Dec. 4. Liberia is a poor country, she said, and a mother dreams that her child will do better than she has done. "So thank you for making my mother's dream come true," she said. Read story

Bishop Hoshibata shapes vision for malaria fight

WASHINGTON (UMNS) - Before the day was over Dec. 4, Bishop Robert T. Hoshibata and members of the Imagine No Malaria delegation had visited 13 Senate and House offices on Capitol Hill to advocate for continued support of the fight against malaria. The bishop shares his thoughts on the United Methodist campaign against malaria and his conference's goal to raise $2 million for that fight. Read story

Finance agency lowers salary of East Africa bishop

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) The General Council on Finance and Administration, meeting Nov. 27-30 in Tampa, Fla., set the salary of East Africa Bishop Daniel Wandabula at $1,000 per month. Other bishops outside the United States will receive about $5,500 per month for 2013. The unprecedented action follows three audits conducted by the United Methodist Board of Global Ministries. Finance agency executive John Goolsbey said Wandabula's salary will be reset when he and the East Africa Annual Conference are in full compliance with issues raised by the audits. Read story

'Queen' reigns over Liberian hospital

GANTA, Liberia (UMNS) - Ester Deline is "Queen of Ganta United Methodist Hospital," a title she earned because she was the top fundraiser for the hospital. She supports a hospital that has overcome years of civil war and today serves more than 450,000 people. Read story and post a comment

Bishop's reinstatement moves forward

HOUSTON (UMNS) - Bishop Janice Riggle Huie, president of the South Central Jurisdiction College of Bishops, announced Dec. 5 the next steps in following the ruling decision by the denomination's top court to reinstate Bishop W. Earl Bledsoe, who was involuntarily retired this summer. Read story and post a comment

Ethnic diversity critical to church future

CHICAGO (UMNS) - Just about everyone agrees that The United Methodist Church needs to draw more people and younger people to reverse decades of declining membership in the United States. Add to the list the need to bring more people of color into the United Methodist fold. That was an overarching theme of a Nov. 29-Dec. 1 meeting hosted by the United Methodist Commission on Religion and Race. Read story and post a comment Cyber Monday sales set record

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) - Cokesbury, the retail division of The United Methodist Publishing House, announced Dec. 3 that its Cyber Monday event set a record as the biggest sales day in the website's history.

Read story and post a comment
Visit Cokesbury online

5 tips to promote church giving

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) - A United Methodist Communications video offers ideas and inspiration to motivate your congregation to contribute - and be an active part of the United Methodist connection. Watch video

Chicago pastor to run for Jackson's congressional seat

CHICAGO (UMNS) - A United Methodist pastor in Chicago has decided to run in the special election to fill Jesse L. Jackson Jr.'s seat in Congress. The Rev. Larry Pickens, pastor of Southlawn United Methodist Church, discussed his candidacy with his congregation Dec. 2 and told United Methodist News Service he would make a public announcement this week. The primary for the special election is set for Feb. 26. Read story and post a comment

Road to hospital chaplaincy took many turns

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (UMNS) - How do you go from a degree in biology to a career as a United Methodist hospital chaplain? For Kathy Steen, that road held many twists and turns, but she says there was one constant: God's presence and companionship. Read story

Handicapable ministry serves special needs

LARGO, Fla. (UMNS) - "We have a purpose of being able to be the voice of God, and share with &ellipsis; special needs adults what salvation is about," said Horton Townes, director of the Handicapable Ministry, which has been a part of St. Paul United Methodist Church for more than a decade. "We've been able to position ourselves to take this and share it with the world." The ministry is open to anyone age 16 or older with cognitive or physical disabilities. Read story

Church foundation stands against human trafficking

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) - The United Methodist Church Foundation, meeting Nov.14-16, voiced a commitment to thwart the human-trafficking epidemic through its shareholder advocacy program. The foundation is an active member of the Interfaith Center for Corporate Responsibility, which works on issues of accountability with publicly traded companies. Read news release

Remembering Pearl Harbor

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) - United Methodists and others in the United States will fly their flags at half-staff and in some cases, hold services, in remembrance of the 1941 attack on the U.S. Naval Base at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii. United Methodist Church of New Lenox (Ill.) will hold a "Pray for our Nation" service.

Garrett-Evangelical professorship receives grant

EVANSTON, Ill. (UMNS) - United Methodistrelated Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary has just received an additional $225,000 grant from the Henry Luce Foundation for the continued support of a professorship in global Christianity and world religions. Hendrik Pieterse, who has served on the Garrett-Evangelical faculty since 2010, will continue in his position as associate professor of global Christianity and world religions. Read news release

Witnessing true fellowship

FRIEND, Neb. (UMNS) - Stephanie Hyland writes in the Friend Sentinel about the true fellowship she saw among church and community members after a fire destroyed Friend United Methodist Church. Read commentary

Preparing for Christ's birth

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) - Looking for a memorable way to prepare for Christ's birth? The United Methodist Board of Discipleship offers Advent worship resources for families to use at home as they light the Advent candles each Sunday and pray each day of this anticipatory season. See resources

Finance agency listens to leaders on church mission

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) - Issues that get in the way of the church fulfilling its mission were the core topics of discussion for a group gathered by the General Council on Finance and Administration on Nov. 26. The group - comprised of 30 lay leaders, small and large church clergy, bishops, and annual conference personnel - gathered for an open discussion about denominational finances, disciple making and growth. The leaders developed recommendations for the finance agency that can help move the denominational conversation toward addressing deep spiritual issues, enhancing trust and accountability throughout the connection, and addressing needed structural changes. Read news release

Bush speaks at symposium on immigration

DALLAS (UMNS) - Former President George W. Bush, a United Methodist, on Dec. 4 addressed a group of noted economists, scholars and business leaders about immigration and its positive impact on the U.S. economy. The conference represents a new partnership between the George W. Bush Institute, which is at United Methodist-related Southern Methodist University, and the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. The gathering served to spotlight how immigration drives U.S. economic growth. "America is a nation of immigrants," Bush said. "Immigrants have helped build the country we have become and immigrants can help build a dynamic tomorrow."

Read President Bush's remarks
Read press coverage of the event

Calling young adults, youth leaders, young clergy

LAS VEGAS (UMNS) - Registration is now open for the United Methodist event Relevance X 2013: Making New Disciples and LEAD 2013. Register early for event discounts. Relevance Ministries, in partnership with United Methodist-related Claremont School of Theology, returns to Las Vegas Feb. 14-17, 2013, for Relevance LEAD and Relevance X. Young clergy, leaders of young adult ministries and young adults will gather from across the United States and Canada focused on converging, innovating and transforming young adult ministry in The United Methodist Church. Registration covers both events. For more information

Texas church in remapped flood plain

PLANO, Texas (UMNS) - Hundreds of properties in Collin County, just north of Dallas, may soon have a difficult time getting insurance because of new maps drawn up by the federal government to determine the size of flood plains along creeks, reports. The Rev. Steve Robertson, executive pastor of St. Andrew Methodist Church, told that insurance on the church's $22 million property could skyrocket, if insurance can be obtained at all. Read story

Dole, Daschle named to church-related AIDS board

CENTENNIAL, Colo. (UMNS) - Former U.S. Senate Majority Leaders Bob Dole (R-Kan.) and Tom Daschle (D-S.D.) have been named co-chairs of the International Advisory Board of the Center for the Church and Global AIDS. The center's founder and executive director is the Rev. Donald Messer, a United Methodist pastor who has played a leading role in the denomination's work on HIV/AIDS. Read story

Grant to help NCC prepare students for Korea assembly

NEW YORK (UMNS) - A grant from the Henry Luce Foundation will support a National Council of Churches initiative to prepare 25 North American students and younger pastors for an intensive ecumenical experience in conjunction with the World Council of Churches Assembly in Busan, South Korea, in the fall of 2013. Read story

Dec. 4-5 webinar focuses on long-term disaster recovery

NEW YORK (UMNS) - Emergency-response specialists from Church World Service will present a webinar focused on long-term recovery basics Dec. 4-5. The free webinar, which begins at 2 p.m. EST each day, will include a special focus on issues arising from Hurricane Sandy. Read more

BLOG: Overlooking religion's role in achieving Congo peace

NEW YORK (UMNS) - Religion has been overlooked as a force for peace in the Democratic Republic of Congo, write Mande Muyombo, an executive with the United Methodist Board of Global Ministries, and Pamela D. Couture, a professor at Victoria University in the University of Toronto, in a Council for a Parliament of the World's Religions blog. Read blog

UMTV: Missionary's Global Calling

BOSTON (UMNS) - The Rev. Romeo del Rosario, a United Methodist missionary, was named one of four distinguished alumni by Boston University School of Theology in 2012. He spent his early life in the Philippines and remembers the work of United Methodist missionaries there. Their dedication sparked his desire to serve the global church. Watch video and post a comment

UMTV: Special needs service

LENOIR CITY, Tenn. (UMNS) - Developmentally delayed adults can live independently and have jobs, but sometimes attending a church service can be too uncomfortable for them and their caregivers. That inspired one congregation to create a service with a no-shush policy. Watch video

Category: Weekly Digest
Tags: News Summaries