UMNS Weekly Digest - February 08, 2013
Feb. 8, 2013
NOTE: This is a digest of news features provided by United Methodist Communications for Feb.4 -Feb. 11. It includes summaries of United Methodist News Service storiesand additional briefs from around the United Methodist connection. Full versions of the stories with photographs and related features can be found at http://umns.umc.org.
NEWS FROM AROUND THE CONNECTION
Men's leader affirms Scout decision delay
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) - A United Methodist Men leader welcomed news that Boy Scouts of America will delay making a decision on whether to have gay members and leaders until after "a more deliberate review." Larry Coppock, United Methodist Men's national director of Scouting ministries, said, "This is what we were hoping for, an opportunity to have further dialogue and meaningful discussions."
Apportionment payments reach highest level since 2001
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) - The General Council on Finance and Administration reports 20 annual conferences paid 100 percent of their general church apportioned funds in 2012 and overall apportionment payouts reached 90 percent, the highest payout level the general church has reached since 2001. Read news release
Nominations sought for evangelism awards
LAKE JUNALUSKA, N. C. (UMNS) - The Foundation for Evangelism, a United Methodist ministry, is seeking annual (regional) conference nominations for the Harry Denman Evangelism award. The award honors United Methodist clergy, laity and youth who possess a passion for bringing others into a relationship with Christ. Download nomination materials
Central conferences developing sustainable resources
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) - United Methodists in developing nations, who for years have lacked basic Christian education materials, are using seed money and newly learned entrepreneurial skills to write and produce their own resources for learning and making disciples for Christ. Read story
Hispanic caucus urges advocacy on immigration issue
NEW YORK (UMNS) - Methodists Associated Representing the Cause of Hispanic Americans issued a statement on the recent actions by President Barack Obama and some U.S. senators working on changes to immigration laws. "We call on every United Methodist and on all persons of faith to seize this moment and openly and forcefully advocate before the U.S. Congress for changes that will reunify families, must protect separated children and do recognize the gifts and the contributions that immigrants are making to our nation," said the statement from the Hispanic caucus of The United Methodist Church.
Teen sells M&Ms for Imagine No Malaria
NOLENSVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) - Seventh-grader Steven Errico fights malaria, quarter by quarter. "It's the right thing to do," he says. "What we have isn't ours. It belongs to God." Read the story
NEWS FROM AROUND CONFERENCES
Bringing clean water to Appalachia
SNEEDVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) - While many churches are raising money to dig wells in Africa, Jubilee Project wants to bring clean water to poor families in Hancock County, Tenn. In fact, "access to clean water" is one of the five basic needs Jubilee Project is tackling under a new set of core values and leadership. Annette Spence of the Holston Annual (regional) Conference shares the work of this United Methodist ministry.
Candidacy mentoring supports those called to support
JACKSON, Miss. (UMNS) - The Rev. Amanda Gordon is embracing a first-time opportunity to serve as a clergy candidate mentor in the Mississippi Annual (regional) Conference. Tamica Smith-Jeuitt of the Mississippi Conference explains that the mentors have a dual goal to serve the candidate and the church. Read story
Sunglasses Sunday helps people get to 20/20 vision
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (UMNS) - United Methodist churches in the Memphis Annual (regional) Conference will celebrate Sunglasses Sunday on Feb. 10. As part of the lay-driven conference ministry Project 20/20, churchgoers are asked to bring new and used sunglasses and eyeglasses. Emmanuel United Methodist Church operates a recycling center that cleans, refurbishes and repairs the specs for mission teams that provide free vision care for the poor. Lane Camp of the Memphis Conference has the story.
Camp leaders retreat from business of retreating
FRUITLAND PARK, Fla. (UMNS) - More than 300 out-of-state camp staffers, along with vendors, presenters and Florida Conference employees, turned out for the biannual National United Methodist Camp and Retreat Leaders Gathering. Susan Green of the Florida Annual (regional) Conference provides details. Read story
Bishop Swanson meets with congressman
BOLTON, Miss. (UMNS) - Mississippi Area Bishop James E. Swanson Sr. on Jan. 29 met for the first time with fellow United Methodist, U.S. Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss. The pair spent more than an hour sharing stories about their ties to The United Methodist Church and the challenges they face as leaders with a responsibility to help strengthen the lives of others. Tamica Smith-Jeuitt of the Mississippi Annual (regional) Conference writes about the meeting. Read story
LOCAL CHURCHES IN THE NEWS
Mississippi church plants Congo radio station
OCEAN SPRINGS, Miss. (UMNS) - St. Paul United Methodist Church of Ocean Springs is planting a gospel and information radio station in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in central Africa as part of its outreach mission, Sun-Herald.com reports. St. Paul is contributing through United Methodist Communications. The radio station is to be a resource for getting out "good, reliable information" on health and news and a means of evangelism, the Rev. Chris Cumbest told the Sun-Herald.com. Read story
Youth plan 30 hours without food
GLEN MILLS, Pa. (UMNS) - Elam United Methodist Church is inviting the public to join them as their youth fight to end world hunger. The Delaware County News Network reports that the participants, who are middle school and high school students, will go hungry for 30 hours to raise awareness of hunger issues while they also participate in community projects.Read full story
Church, Locks of Love help girl
ROCK HILL, S.C. (UMNS) - Some members of Aldersgate United Methodist Church have decided to donate their hair to Locks of Love in honor of Tatum Brewer, 10, who has been living with a hair-loss condition since she was a toddler. Aldersgate has designated Locks of Love as its February mission emphasis and will collect donations in honor of Tatum. Jessica Connor of the South Carolina United Methodist Advocate tells the story of Tatum and her church family. Read story
The deaf will hear
SPARTANBURG, S. C. (UMNS) - Since late January, Central United Methodist Church has been reaching out to the large deaf community in its area near the S.C. School for the Deaf and the Blind. Read story
UNITED METHODISTS IN THE NEWS
Remembering a Harlem church, community leader
NEW YORK (UMNS) - Friends and colleagues are remembering the Rev. William "Bill" Marcus James as a mentor who guided some 400 youth into higher education and meaningful lives. James helped abolish the segregated "Central Jurisdiction" of the Methodist Church and mentored several future United Methodist bishops and denominational leaders. Read story and post a comment
Four chaplains remembered
PHILADELPHIA (UMNS) - On Feb. 3, as they do each year on the first Sunday in February, American Legion posts nationwide honored four military chaplains who were aboard the USAT Dorchester, an Army transport ship that was sunk Feb. 3, 1943, by a German submarine. Lt. George L. Fox, a Methodist, and his three chaplain colleagues spread out across the boat as it sank to comfort the men. The chaplains removed their own life preservers and gave them to four men without their own and prayed together as the ship went into the water.
United Methodists respond to flooding in Mozambique
MAPUTO, Mozambique (UMNS) - The United Methodist Church in Mozambique, UMCOR and the Mozambique Initiative are teaming up to help more than 140,000 families affected by flooding caused by heavy rainfall in January. The government is predicting the number of flood survivors will continue to increase as isolated communities are reached. Read story
Mozambique flood relief needs grow
MAPUTO, Mozambique (UMNS) - "At this stage, food is the priority No. 1," wrote the Rev. Joao Sambo, pastor of Liberdade United Methodist Church in Maputo in an email Feb. 8. "Rain is still devastating... . The media is showing frightening images of desolation. Lives are being lost; crops, houses and public infrastructures destroyed while fewer are the resources to cope ... the number of affected grows daily." Mozambique has been hard-hit by flooding since late January. The United Methodist Church in Mozambique, in partnership with the Missouri Conference's Mozambique Initiative, is working to help the more than 140,000 families affected.
UMCOR planting seeds of growth in Haiti
NEW YORK (UMNS) - When the 2010 earthquake struck Haiti, it destroyed the business that Richmond Gela Pierre Paul had been running for more than a decade. After a dissatisfying period working odd jobs, Paul became a participant in a pilot program of the United Methodist Committee on Relief that focuses on women's business development. Read story
DEVOTIONS, WORSHIP AND CHURCH ISSUES
New devotional studies for Lent
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) - From meditations on miracles by Jesus to giving up something "bad," five books offer ways to experience the season from a different perspective. Interpreter OnLine offers an overview. Read story
Chuck Knows Church: Shrove Tuesday
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) - Ever wonder why there's almost always a pancake breakfast at church some time before Lent? The United Methodist Board of Discipleship's Chuck Knows Church offers the skinny on Fat Tuesday. Watch video
What's the Christian connection with St. Valentine's Day?
WASHINGTON (UMNS) - The American University United Methodist Community shares the story of the two early church leaders named Valentine, who might be at the heart of this holiday for lovebirds. Read story
Bread sets 'A Place at the Table'
WASHINGTON (UMNS) - On March 1, Bread for the World will be involved in setting places at two tables, one through its 2013 Offering of Letters and the other through a new, feature-length documentary, "A Place at the Table," which shows the persistence of hunger in the United States. The projects represent a united effort to end hunger by raising awareness and advocating for policy changes. Read news release
COLLEGE AND SEMINARY NEWS
Graduating into church
MISENHEIMER, N.C. (UMNS) - Many United Methodist congregations watch helplessly as their high school graduates fade from view, "graduating out of the church" as they leave high school behind, says the Rev. Dana McKim, pastor of The Village Church at Pfeiffer University. The United Methodist-related university and McKim's United Methodist congregation are reversing that trend. Read how they're doing it. Read story
New Central Methodist University president
FAYETTE, Mo. (UMNS) - Roger Drake has been named the next president of United Methodist-related Central Methodist University and will take office July 1. Drake will become the 26th president in Central Methodist history, which dates to 1854. He will replace Marianne Inman, who will retire in June after 18 years as president. Read news release
Iliff honors two with Courage Awards
DENVER (UMNS) - United Methodist-related Iliff School of Theology will honor Lee Everding, founder and director of Denver Eclectics, and R.J. Ross, president and chief executive officer of the Samaritan Institute, with Courage Awards. A concert and awards presentation is scheduled at 8:30 p.m. MT March 7 at the University of Denver's Newman Center for the Performing Arts. Read news release
Auction complete for Lon Morris College
JACKSONVILLE, Texas (UMNS) - The auction of Lon Morris College property ended with a local school district and office supply company as major purchasers, according to United Methodist Reporter. Lon Morris, a two-year, United Methodist-affiliated college that has been a gateway to higher education for generations of East Texas Methodist pastors, filed for bankruptcy last summer after years of running deficits. Read full story
UMTV: Worship and workout
ENGLEWOOD, Ohio (UMNS) - Most of us start a new year with resolve to eat right and exercise. An enterprising United Methodist church has found a way to foster spiritual and physical fitness. On Sunday mornings, Stillwater United Methodist meets at the Kleptz YMCA near Dayton. For an hour, the basketball court is transformed from a place for hoops into a holy sanctuary. Watch video and post a comment
UMTV: Bowling church hits a strike
MAUMEE, Ohio (UMNS) - An unusual approach to church became an instant hit for Maumee United Methodist Church near Toledo. The "bowling church" attracts all ages and those unsure about traditional church.
Safe sanctuaries and freedom from fear
INDIANAPOLIS (UMNS) - Indiana Area Bishop Michael Coyner offers some suggestions for churches seeking to prevent violence. His main purpose, he writes, "is to start the conversation, or perhaps to move the conversation along beyond fear and a sense of paralysis. There is no way that anyone can guarantee our safety at all times. However, we must do all that we can to make our churches safe and secure, and we all must help our people not to live in fear." Read blog
An overlooked issue in the Boy Scouts debate
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) - Scouting offers boys interaction with a male figure, provides them with opportunities for learning and for skills that they likely would not have otherwise, writes the Rev. Larry Hollon, the top executive of United Methodist Communications and a former Boy Scout. "What church would not want to host a meeting each week in which half the folks present do not have a church home?" he asks in his blog "Faith, Media & Culture." Read blog and post a comment
Initiatives of Hope in Cambodia
GLEN ALLEN, Va. (UMNS) - The Virginia Annual (regional) Conference has expanded its Initiatives of Hope world ministry to include Cambodia. Neill Caldwell, editor of the Virginia Advocate, joined a Virginia United Methodist Volunteers in Mission team as the group visited congregations and schools in the Methodist Church of Cambodia. He writes about the group's experiences including meeting a group of children who flash the peace sign, "which takes on new meaning in this war-ravaged country." Read blog about the team's journey