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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


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."

Read story and post a comment
Read statement from Boy Scouts of America

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.

Real full statement

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


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.

Read story
Learn more about the Jubilee Project

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.

Read story
Read more about Project 20/20

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


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, 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 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


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.

For more information about the four chaplains
For more information about how The United Methodist Church is in ministry with those who serve


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.

Contributions can be made through UMCOR
or the Missouri Mozambique Initiative

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


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


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.
Watch video


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

Category: Weekly Digest
Tags: News Summaries