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UMNS Weekly Digest - January 25, 2013


Jan. 25, 2013

NOTE: This is a digest of news features provided by United Methodist Communications for Jan.22 -28. 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


Hamilton preaches at Inaugural Prayer Service

WASHINGTON (UMNS) - The Rev. Adam Hamilton, pastor of the United Methodist Church of the Resurrection in Leawood, Kan., delivered the sermon for the interfaith Inaugural Prayer Service at the National Cathedral. President Obama, Michelle Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and Jill Biden were among those who attended the Jan. 22 service. Watch the service

United Methodist takes National Cathedral post

WASHINGTON (UMNS) - The Rev. Gina Campbell, a United Methodist elder, is the first worship director at the National Cathedral who is not an Episcopal priest, and she believes that was intentional. "I think they knew this would be a departure from what people expect. And from a missional point of view, the cathedral is a house of prayer for all people," said Campbell. Read story

Syrian refugees cope in Lebanon

BEIRUT, Lebanon (UMNS) - Paul Jeffrey, United Methodist photojournalist, reports for the ACT Alliance on efforts to assist more than 200,000 Syrian refugees in Lebanon. The United Methodist Committee on Relief is supporting that work.

Read story


Thousands flee Mozambique floods

MAPUTO, Mozambique (UMNS) - In Chokwe, a United Methodist pastor, recently moved from the Northern Conference to the South, was forced to the roof of his chapel because of flooding, reports Naftal Oliveira Massela Naftal, a United Methodist communicator. In Inhambane, heavy rains that began about two weeks ago have washed away roads, and the city is isolated from the rest of the country. People are being evacuated from risky areas to safe places. The church is trying to mobilize resources, Naftal said, but the situation is critical because Mozambique is in the path of floodwaters draining from other countries. Read news report

Devastation from Mozambique floods continues

MAPUTO, Mozambique (UMNS) - Naftal Oliveira Massela Naftal, a United Methodist communicator in Mozambique, reports that almost 100,000 have been affected in two areas hard-hit earlier this week and that floodwaters now are moving into Xai-Xai, the capital city of Gaza Province. The United Methodist Church has more than 150,000 members in more than 180 congregations in the country.

Read news story
About the church in Mozambique


Society of St. Andrew's Lenten devotional

BIG ISLAND, Va. (UMNS) - The Society of St. Andrew's Lenten 2013 devotion booklet is entitled "How Beautiful" based on Romans 10:15b, "How beautiful are the feet of those who bring Good News!" The food rescue and distribution ministry group is offering an online starter kit to congregations. For more information

Churches observe Week of Prayer for Christian Unity

GENEVA (UMNS) - Churches around the world are celebrating the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, focusing on justice as integral to the unity they seek. Developed by an ecumenical group gathered by the Student Christian Movement in India, the preparatory resources for this year's week of prayer focus on the theme, "What does God require of us?" (Micah 6:6-8). The week of prayer traditionally is celebrated from Jan.18 to Jan. 25 in the Northern Hemisphere or at Pentecost in the Southern Hemisphere.

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For more information

How pastors can 'bloom where planted'

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) - While we often hear about military families moving frequently, pastors and their families often pack up their belongings and change addresses as many as three or four times during their careers. Some of those pastors find that the relocations can be really hard on their families. Read story and post a comment

Churches urged to seek money in different way

WITCHITA, Kan. (UMNS) - The Rev. Clif Christopher, author of "Not Your Parents' Offering Plate," believes most churches ask for money in completely the wrong way. Instead of showing the value of donating to the church's ministry, they give a "doom-and-gloom" picture of the budget and even how close the church is to closing the doors for good. Susan Cooper, Kansas communications associate director, for the Kansas West Annual (regional) Conference reports on Christopher's perspective. Read story

Unclutter your church, pastor says

PHOENIX, Ariz. (UMNS) - Some churches may not have literal clutter but rather institutional or habitual clutter, says the Rev. Dottie Escobedo-Frank, pastor of Crossroads United Methodist Church. "The only One we worship is God," she said. "We don't worship our stuff, our memories, our dreams, our dashed hopes, or our traditions. We worship our God. We worship the One who knows how to raise up a king from a person who starts out hiding among the baggage." Read commentary


Webinar: Teach us to pray

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) - Join the conversation Tuesday, Jan. 29, at 7 p.m. CT, as the Rev. Tom Albin and other guests talk about prayer, the power of prayer and developing an active prayer life. Melanie Gordon, director of children's ministries at the United Methodist Board of Discipleship, will lead a segment on teaching children to pray. Register for this free webinar

Chuck Knows Church: The Sacristy

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) - It's probably the most unknown room in the church ... and it also has a secret name! Chuck lets you peek inside where it can smell like flowers and candles. Smile and learn with Chuck in the continuing informative weekly series about the church. Read more


Dickinson to acquire Allison United Methodist

CARLISLE, Pa. (UMNS) - United Methodist-related Dickinson College has announced it has agreed to acquire Allison United Methodist Church. The church property is contiguous with the Benjamin Rush campus of Dickinson. Read story


Joint statement on the anniversary of Roe v. Wade

WASHINGTON (UMNS) - As the 40th anniversary approached of Roe v. Wade, which legalized abortion in the United States, the United Methodist Women and the United Methodist Board of Church and Society released a joint statement on reproductive justice that emphasizes "clearly much more needs to be done." The Book of Discipline, the denomination's law book, supports "the legal option of abortion under proper medical procedures." The book also rejects abortion as an acceptable means of birth control or a means of gender selection. Read joint statement

2013 Hunger Report: Goals within reach

NEW YORK (UMNS) - An examination of what are known as the "Millennium Development Goals" regarding hunger and poverty and discussion of a framework for action in the years to come is at the heart of the 2013 Hunger Report from the Bread for the World Institute, "Within Reach: Global Development Goals." The report's "bulls-eye" recommendation: End hunger and poverty in every country in the world by 2040. Read story and post a comment

Conference creates HIV-testing manual/DVD

BATON ROUGE, La. (UMNS) - United Methodist churches and conferences can now organize an HIV-testing event with the assistance of a manual and an instructional DVD developed by the Louisiana Annual (regional) Conference. The instructional tools, produced with the help of professional editors and video producers, answer questions about volunteer recruitment and training, which agencies to get involved and how to promote an HIV-testing event. For more information

Two Illinois pastors urge gun-violence action

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (UMNS) - Two Illinois Great Rivers Annual (regional) Conference retired pastors have written a letter ongun violence and are part of an effort aimed at legislative action to address recent shootings in the United States. Read what they say


New grant helps battle diseases of poverty

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) - The United Methodist Church's efforts to battle malaria and HIV in the Democratic Republic of the Congo will get a boost, thanks to a $1.3 million grant from the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. The funding will help implement a program to reduce death and suffering from malaria and HIV, two diseases that affect millions of people in the DRC and account for billions of dollars in lost productivity in Africa. Read more

MLK's words of hope 'needed more than ever'

NEWTOWN, Conn. (UMNS) - On the eve of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the Rev. James Forbes told grieving residents of Newtown, Conn., that King's words of healing and nonviolence "are needed now more than ever." Read story and post a comment

United Methodist Men's basketball tourney

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) - Thirty-two teams from United Methodist churches across the United States will participate in a three-man basketball tournament July 12-13 at Belmont University in Nashville. The tournament is part of the National Gathering of United Methodist Men, July 12-14 at Belmont. For details

Ex-pastor convicted of killing 2nd wife

STROUDSBURG, Pa.(UMNS) - A former Pennsylvania United Methodist pastor awaiting trial in the 1999 death of his first wife was convicted Tuesday in the 2008 death of his second wife, The Associated Press reports. Read more

'Respite Day' program director makes difference

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (UMNS) - The 'Respite Day' program at The First United Methodist Church in Cloverdale brings together participants who either have some form of dementia, or in one case, Parkinson's. But, the day really is designed for the caregivers at home, reports "They (caregivers) constantly to have watch them every day, 24/7," Daphne Johnston, program director, told the television station. Read story

Category: Weekly Digest
Tags: News Summaries