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UMNS Weekly Digest - February 23, 2018


Top viewed stories from Feb. 16-23. See all United Methodist News Service stories at


Graham influenced many United Methodists

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) — United Methodists were among the many remembering the influence, including on their own lives, of evangelist Billy Graham, who died Feb. 21, at 99. “No voice or message in the past half century has been more powerful and faithful in pointing clearly to Christ,” said the Rev. Eddie Fox, retired leader of World Evangelism for the World Methodist Council. Tom McAnally and Sam Hodges report.
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Commentary: The Billy Graham I know       
Blog: 'A gift to the world'

British Methodists open doors to stay relevant

LONDON (UMNS) — Like their U.S. counterparts, British Methodist churches face both challenges and opportunities in an increasingly secular society. This is the first of an occasional series of stories, “British Methodism: Staying Relevant in Wesley’s Homeland.” Linda Bloom has the story and Mike DuBose has the photos.
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British church stays alive through service

LITTLE HULTON, England (UMNS) — Nearly a decade ago, Cleggs Lane Methodist Church was about to close. Then, the formation of a weekly men’s health group led to new life. This is the second of an occasional series of stories, “British Methodism: Staying Relevant in Wesley’s Homeland.” Linda Bloom has the story and Mike DuBose has the photos.
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Read sidebar: Cleggs Lane as a case study 

Irma survivors grateful for church’s help

THE EVERGLADES, Fla. (UMNS) — The news crews are long gone, but The United Methodist Church is still helping Floridians recover from the historic storm. “It lets us know someone out there really does care about us,” said one resident. Joey Butler reports.
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Next week: United Methodists are committed to Irma recovery work for the long haul.

Mission workers briefly detained in Philippines

ATLANTA (UMNS) — Two mission personnel with the United Methodist Board of Global Ministries were among five people detained briefly Feb. 22 at a police checkpoint in Koronadal City, Philippines, the agency said. Linda Bloom reports.
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Michigan Conference
Church response to Flint water crisis enters 3rd year

FLINT, Mich. — Water delivery is still an important part of the response to the Flint water crisis, but relief doesn’t just come in a bottle. As The United Methodist Church’s involvement enters its third year, Greg Timmons, executive director for Flint Restoration for The United Methodist Church, is developing a broad model of sustainability and growth. Kay DeMoss has the story. 
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Church gives doctors in DRC technology tools

KAMINA, Democratic Republic of Congo (UMNS) — The North Katanga Conference is helping improve health care here with support from the United Methodist Board of Global Ministries. Conference executives delivered computers, mobile phones, modems and motorbikes to doctors in the area to elevate patient care. The mission agency’s Global Health unit provided funding for the equipment. The Rev. Betty Kazadi Musau reports.
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New UMW training center opens in Sierra Leone 

BO, Sierra Leone (UMNS) — The Sierra Leone Conference is celebrating the opening of a new United Methodist Women’s Training Center. The United Methodist Church in Germany donated $142,000 to build the new center, which will offer more space to provide skills training to disadvantaged women and girls. Phileas Jusu reports.
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Africa University's top fundraiser endows scholarship

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) — Growing up on a small farm in South Carolina, James H. “Jim” Salley never dreamed of becoming the top fundraiser for United Methodist-related Africa University. Nor did he expect to give more than $130,000 to establish an endowed scholarship to honor his parents and ensure exemplary education for students from across Africa. Barbara Dunlap-Berg has the story.
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University in Liberia opens nursing school 

GANTA, Liberia (UMNS) — United Methodist University in Liberia has opened its new nursing school campus. The nursing school is the first department of the College of Health Sciences to be relocated from Monrovia. The United Methodist Board of Global Ministries’ Global Health unit provided more than $100,000 for the relocation project. E Julu Swen reports.
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World Council of Churches
Day of prayer for Sudan, DRC

GENEVA (WCC) — The South Sudan Council of Churches is welcoming a call by Pope Francis for a worldwide day of prayer and fasting on Feb. 23 for South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo. The World Council of Churches is encouraging all to join in prayer for the two countries, which are plagued by conflict, unrest and famine.
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Test your knowledge of Lent

NASHVILLE, Tenn. ( — How were ashes distributed by the early church? Test your knowledge with a 10-question quiz about the season before Easter.
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Church separation calmly considered

DALLAS (UMNS) — A breakup of The United Methodist Church could produce surprising realignments and defections, and could well have “deeply adverse effects” on accomplishing missional priorities, writes the Rev. Ted A. Campbell. He’s an elder in the Texas Conference, professor of church history at Southern Methodist University’s Perkins School of Theology and a self-professed “Wesleyan nerd.”
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Board of Church and Society
#MeToo shows how women and girls are harmed

WASHINGTON — Not everyone can share their stories about sexual harassment or assault. “But, the #MeToo movement is creating spaces for some voices to be heard,” writes Susan Greer Burton of the United Methodist Board of Church and Society. “And it’s absolutely making a difference.”
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Here are some of the activities ahead for United Methodists across the connection. If you have a United Methodist event to share, you can add it to the calendar with this submission form.

Monday, Feb. 26-Saturday, March 17

Online Lay Servant Workshop: Life Together in the United Methodist Connection

Tuesday, Feb. 27

Live Q&A: Social Media for Churches


See more United Methodist events