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UMNS Weekly Digest - January 19, 2018


Top viewed stories from Jan. 12-18 See all United Methodist News Service stories at


United Methodists join in Trump rebuke

DALLAS (UMNS) — Many United Methodists, including the Council of Bishops, joined in the widespread criticism of President Trump for his reported remarks about African countries and Haiti during a recent White House meeting. Sam Hodges reports.
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Bishops condemn Trump's remarks

Center will offer safety to Congo rape survivors

KINDU, Democratic Republic of Congo (UMNS) — Three United Methodist conferences are collaborating with the East Congo Conference to build the Mama Lynn Center. They are nearing their goal of providing safety in a place where rape is used as a weapon of war. Kathy L. Gilbert reports.
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Auschwitz survivor, United Methodist dead at 92

WARSAW, Poland (UMNS) — A faithful and committed United Methodist who was one of the last surviving inmates of the infamous Auschwitz-Birkenau Nazi concentration camp died on Dec. 19, 2017. Jadwiga Bogucka-Regulska was 92. Kathy L. Gilbert reports. 
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The Detroit News 
Albanian man takes sanctuary at Detroit church 

DETROIT — Central United Methodist Church has given sanctuary to an Albanian man facing deportation. The church is one of many declared sanctuaries for undocumented immigrants facing expulsion under stronger enforcement of U.S. immigration laws. Leonard N. Fleming reports. 
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Judicial Council 
Judicial Council cancels spring meeting

CHICAGO — The executive committee of the United Methodist Judicial Council has canceled the council’s April meeting in Atlanta. To be good stewards of church funds, the council will defer the two docket items that had been submitted for April to its October meeting, said the Rev. Luan-Vu “Lui” Tran, council secretary.
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Going a little batty at Ganta Hospital

GANTA, Liberia (UMNS) — Contrary to some media reports, flying bats did not disrupt operations recently at Ganta United Methodist Hospital. However, hunters firing stones at the bats roosting in trees on the hospital grounds did cause some problems, said Patrick Mantor, hospital administrator. Julu Swen reports.
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CBS News
Fifth-graders help right 60-year-old wrong 

POCONOS, Pa. — About 60 years ago, the Rev. Gilbert Caldwell and his wife, Grace, were denied their reservation at their honeymoon destination because they are black. Fifth-graders heard about the United Methodist couple’s experience and began a letter-writing campaign to right the wrong. Steve Hartman reports. 
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The Daily Times 
Church assumes larger role in homeless ministry

MARYVILLE, Tenn. — Maryville First United Methodist Church found more room at the inn to help participants in Family Promise, a program where churches give homeless families a place to stay at their houses of worship. When two churches dropped out of the program upon learning of a same-sex couple seeking shelter, Maryville First offered to house additional families to make up for the loss. "This is what we do," said the Rev. Catherine Nance, senior pastor. Melanie Tucker reports.
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Blind artist beats odds, gives back

LEAWOOD, Kan. ( — A legally blind artist who taught himself to paint while undergoing chemotherapy as a child has raised millions for charity with his art. Celebrities like Elton John and Billy Joel are among those who have bought paintings by Jeff Hanson, a young United Methodist.
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Higher Education and Ministry
Agency names leadership development director

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The United Methodist Board of Higher Education and Ministry announced the appointment of Sarah E. Bollinger as the director of leadership development in collegiate ministry. 
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Lifewatch holds annual worship service 

WASHINGTON — The annual Lifewatch worship service was held Jan. 19 at the United Methodist Building, 100 Maryland Ave. The Rev. David F. Watson, professor of New Testament and vice president for academic affairs and academic dean at United Methodist United Theological Seminary in Dayton, Ohio, gave the sermon. Following the March for Life, Lifewatch also held its board meeting in the United Methodist Building. Lifewatch is an unofficial United Methodist group that advocates against abortion.  
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Justice for Our Neighbors
Immigration ministry protests Trump action

SPRINGFIELD, Va. — National Justice for Our Neighbors, a United Methodist ministry that provides legal services to immigrants, has issued a statement denouncing the Trump Administration’s decision to revoke Temporary Protected Status for some 200,000 El Salvadorans in the U.S. 
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World Council of Churches
Observing Week of Prayer for Christian Unity

GENEVA (WCC) — Christians across the world will pray and worship together Jan. 18-25 during the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. Churches in the Caribbean have prepared resources for the 2018 observance, with a text jointly published by the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity and the World Council of Churches.
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United Methodists asked to join prayer for Christian unity
Download 2018 booklet in 5 languages 

Bread for the World
New devotional guide honors King's legacy

WASHINGTON — A new weekly devotional guide for 2018, “In Times Like These: A Pan-African Christian Devotional Guide for Public Policy Engagement,” honors the 50th anniversary of the martyrdom of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and the rise of the Poor People’s Campaign. United Methodist Women is among the partners supporting this downloadable resource from Bread for the World.
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Be fruitful and multiply like Jesus

CASPER, Wyo. — Being fruitful like Jesus, writes the Rev. Rebekah Simon-Peter, means knowing when to delegate. “Doing it all is not Christ-like, and it’s not leadership,” the church consultant writes.
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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, Jan. 22-Friday, Feb. 23

Lord, it’s boring in my prayer closet: Online study on revitalizing your prayer life

Monday, Jan. 22-Friday, Feb. 2 

Online lay servant workshop: Teach adults


See more United Methodist events