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UMNS Weekly Digest - February 9, 2018


Top viewed stories from Feb. 2-Feb. 8. See all United Methodist News Service stories at


'A Methodist Requiem' offers analysis, hope

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (UMNS) — In a new book, the Rev. William B. Lawrence writes about the death of the small Methodist church he grew up in, the history of schism in American Methodism and the current schism threat facing The United Methodist Church. Lawrence finds hope amid the challenges and tensions. He is a former dean of Perkins School of Theology and former president of the Judicial Council. Sam Hodges reports.
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Chaplains reunited on PBS special 

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) — In the midst of overwhelming grief, a Navy chaplain helped a young Army chaplain during one of the darkest hours of his life four days after the 9/11 terrorist attack on the Pentagon. The reunion of the United Methodist Navy chaplain and the Army chaplain is featured on a PBS special airing Feb. 13. Kathy L. Gilbert reports. 
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Yellowstone Conference back on solid financial footing

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) — The financial woes of 2017 are in the rearview mirror for the Yellowstone Conference. More than $100,000 was raised in a special Harvest Time Legacy campaign, and for the first time in a long time, the United Methodist conference is paying 100 percent of general church giving. Kathy L. Gilbert reports. 
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Great Plains Conference, Reconciling Ministries 
Former pastor turns in credentials, joins UCC

TOPEKA, Kan. — A former United Methodist pastor who told her congregation two years ago that she was a lesbian has turned in her credentials and is serving a United Church of Christ church. “I no longer have any formal relationship to The United Methodist Church,” the Rev. Cynthia Meyer said in a statement.
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Read Meyer's commentary for Reconciling Ministries 
UMNS coverage 

Ask the UMC: First African-American bishop

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (InfoServ) — The first African-American bishop served as a missionary bishop of the Methodist Episcopal Church in Liberia in 1858. He also was the youngest person elected bishop. InfoServ, a ministry of United Methodist Communications, shares more historical fun facts in the latest installment of Ask the UMC.
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Ask the UMC 

Volunteers offer free haircuts to Native families

CLINTON, Okla. (UMNS) — With a snip and smile, Native children were able to start 2018 with a new look and a lot of confidence thanks to free haircuts offered by volunteers from Brock, Texas. Ginny Underwood has the story.
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South Carolina Conference 
United Methodist studying religion and Olympics

PYEONGCHANG, South Korea — A United Methodist college student from South Carolina is in South Korea researching what effect Christian outreach has on the 2018 Winter Olympics. Jessica Brodie reports.
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Marshall News Messenger
Denzel Washington renews gift to Wiley College

MARSHALL, Texas — Two-time Academy Award winner Denzel Washington pledged to renew a $1 million gift to the debate program at United Methodist-related Wiley College, one of the denomination’s historically black colleges. Washington directed the 2007 film, “The Great Debaters,” about Wiley’s debate team.
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Church in Zimbabwe helps women start businesses

HARARE, Zimbabwe (UMNS) — The United Methodist Church in Zimbabwe is helping empower female members to start their own businesses. During a five-day workshop, the women learned how to draft proposals and secure loans from financial institutions. Kudzai Chingwe has the story. 
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Children's home in Liberia gets bus, mattresses

DUAHZON, Liberia (UMNS) — Field trips for young ones living at the Bishop Judith Craig Children’s Village will be much easier thanks to the gift of a 16-seat bus. The bus, 64 mattresses and various other items, worth more than $20,000 total, were given to the village by the Detroit Conference of The United Methodist Church, and by Maple Grove United Methodist Church in Columbus, Ohio. E Julu Swen has the story.
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New scholarships to help children in rural Liberia

TAPPITA, Liberia (UMNS) — United Methodist Women in Liberia is reaching out to rural children with a new scholarship program approved at the group’s 71st annual meeting. The women also inducted a new president at the gathering. E Julu Swen reports.
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Board of Global Ministries
Celebrating mission initiatives in Asia

HOUSTON — Forty-eight United Methodists gathered recently to celebrate — and imagine the future for — the church’s mission initiatives in Cambodia, Laos, Mongolia, Thailand and Vietnam. The consultation was organized by the United Methodist Board of Global Ministries. Cathy Kupsky reports.
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Holston Conference
Church helps preserve historic slave cemetery

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. — Community members joined with Hurst United Methodist Church recently to clean up a historic cemetery for slaves and their families in celebration of Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Beck Knob Cemetery was founded by Joshua Beck, a staunch abolitionist. Sherryl Appleberry reports.
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Endow F-TECC
International giving exceeds expectations

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — A recent pledge of $100,000 from Connexio, the Network for Mission and Diaconia of The United Methodist Church in Switzerland and France, added to the growing number of gifts that the Endowment Fund for Theological Education in the Central Conferences has received from around the world. The combined total from international donors is $330,000, nearly 15 percent of the total Endowment Fund financial commitments to date of $2.6 million.
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Discipleship Ministries 
Lent worship series includes study, podcast

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The new Lent worship resources produced by Discipleship Ministries include complete services, presentation graphics, a companion small-group study, a podcast series and sermon helps around the theme, "Rehab."
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Where in the world are United Methodists? 

NASHVILLE, Tenn. ( — In what U.S. state can you attend a United Methodist church by kayaking down a river? Test your knowledge of the places where United Methodists live, work, play and pray with this short quiz
Take the quiz  



Church should do more to fight racism

ASBURY PARK, N.J. (UMNS) — The Rev. Gilbert H. Caldwell writes that fairness should motivate The United Methodist Church to do more to fight racism in the church and the world. Caldwell writes about the effort of a group of fifth-graders to right a wrong that occurred in 1957. That’s when Caldwell and his wife were turned away from a lodge in the Poconos on their honeymoon because of their race. 
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Mascot change first step in right direction

OKLAHOMA CITY (UMNS) — The Rev. David Wilson, superintendent of the Oklahoma Indian Missionary Conference, applauds the Cleveland Indians’ decision to stop using the Chief Wahoo logo on their uniforms in 2019. He calls the move a step in the right direction and urges The United Methodist Church to follow suit.
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Wisconsin Conference 
Olympics represent powerful dream

SUN PRAIRIE, Wis. — Wisconsin Area Bishop Hee-Soo Jung, a native of Korea, asks United Methodists to pray and hope with him that the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, “will result in a fundamental change in the tensions between the two countries” on the Korean peninsula. He sees a lesson for the U.S. in Koreans’ Olympic plans.  
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Christianity Today 
Personality types among pastors

DALLAS — Suzanne Stabile, wife of a United Methodist pastor, often speaks and writes on the personality type identification tool called the Enneagram. She’s written an essay titled “The Enneagram for Pastors,” and lays out nine different personality types.
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United Methodist Forum: Many Voices, One Faith

Proclaim Christ by loving our indigenous community 

MANILA, Philippines (UMNS) — Bishop Ciriaco Q. Francisco, who presides over the Manila Episcopal Area, compares passages from Luke where Jesus becomes an outcast in his own community to the situation of the Lumads, an indigenous community in the Philippines that has faced discrimination and violence. His commentary is part of “Many Voices, One Faith,” a forum for sharing theological perspectives on topics of interest in the church. 
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The mystery of loving others

WASHINGTON (UMNS) — The Rev. Susan Henry-Crowe, chief executive of the United Methodist Board of Church and Society, believes that God made us to seek companionship, and developing relationships often means looking past differences to form a bond. “The mystery of loving others increases our love for God,” she writes. 
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What does it mean to love my neighbor?

FORT MYERS, Fla. (UMNS) — For the Rev. Jorge Acevedo, there is no better example of Jesus’ command to love your neighbor than the well-known parable of the Good Samaritan. “All throughout the Bible, God’s people are challenged to be a voice for the voiceless,” Acevedo writes. 
Read commentary  
Many Voices, One Faith landing page



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. 12

Early bird registration ends — Lewis Center conference, live-stream on best practices for handling church money

Wednesday, Feb. 14

Ash Wednesday resources


See more United Methodist events