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UMNS Weekly Digest - January 26, 2018


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Way Forward fleshing out 3 possible futures

DALLAS (UMNS) — The Commission on a Way Forward is fleshing out the details of three possible models for how the denomination treats LGBTQ inclusion. Heather Hahn reports. 
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Bishops, agency respond to #MeToo movement

CHICAGO (UMNS) — As allegations of sexual misconduct rock Hollywood, the media and the U.S. government, United Methodist leaders acknowledge that the church also has seen such abuses of power. The Council of Bishops and Commission on the Status and Role of Women have released a statement responding to the #MeToo movement. Heather Hahn reports. 
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Read statement   

Faith groups put human face on migration

UNITED NATIONS (UMNS) — The head of the United Nations recently called the world’s ability to deal with record levels of global migration a profound test of international cooperation — and religious leaders, including United Methodists, agree. For the Rev. Hans Martin Hoyer, a United Methodist pastor from Germany, this global issue is a local one. Linda Bloom has the story.
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United Methodist sworn in as president of Liberia

MONROVIA, Liberia (UMNS) — New Liberian President George Manneh Weah, a United Methodist, was officially sworn in as president of Liberia at a ceremony in the country’s capital Jan. 22. Weah succeeds fellow United Methodist Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. During the induction ceremony, the former soccer star vowed to deliver on his promise to end government corruption. E Julu Swen reports.
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Agencies help fund Burundi reunification

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) — Two United Methodist factions that have long operated separately in Burundi plan to join for a special annual conference next month. The denomination’s finance and mission agencies are helping to fund the meeting in a rare move since both agencies cut funding to the East Africa Episcopal Area in 2012 over still unresolved auditing concerns. Heather Hahn reports. 
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How do you become United Methodist?

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (InfoServ) — How does a person from another faith convert to be United Methodist? The process begins with a commitment to grow as a disciple of Jesus Christ through participation in a local congregation. Find out more in the latest installment of Ask the UMC.
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Ask the UMC   

Churches in Congo pray for peace, condemn attacks

BUKAVU, Democratic Republic of Congo (UMNS) — United Methodist churches in the Democratic Republic of Congo condemned this week’s deadly attack on anti-government protesters in Kinshasa. Local church leaders asked for prayers for a peaceful election process as fears of violence kept many away from worship services. Philippe Kituka Lolonga reports.
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New York Conference
Circuit rider's saddlebags head to Smithsonian

WASHINGTON — Saddlebags from the New York Conference archives have made the trip to the U.S. capital to be part of the “Religion in Early America” exhibit at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History. The saddlebags belonged to the Rev. Freeborn Garrettson, known as the “Father of Methodism in New York State.” The Rev. Joanne S. Utley has the story.
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South Carolina Conference
Conference collects stories of racial awakening

COLUMBIA, S.C. — Twenty people share their deeply personal accounts in “Stories of Racial Awakening,” a book published by the conference newspaper. South Carolina Area Bishop L. Jonathan Holston wrote the foreword.
To order a paperback or e-book edition  

Memphis Conference 
Purchase District responds to school shooting

BENTON, Ky. — Prayers are being lifted for those affected by the Jan. 23 mass shooting at Marshall County High School. The school is located in the Purchase District of the Memphis Conference. Lane Gardner Camp reports.
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Read statement from Bishop Bill McAlilly        
NY Times: School shooting is 11th this year 

Church in Zimbabwe introduces kids to computers 

HARARE, Zimbabwe (UMNS) — The United Methodist Church has helped roll out a program that gives children access to computers at an early age. Murewa Day Care Center, the pilot school for the e-learning initiative, recently graduated 62 young students. The goal is to have computer laboratories at all United Methodist-run schools in Zimbabwe by 2025. Kudzai Chingwe has the story. 
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Memphis Conference
Jewelry ministry supports education in Africa

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Muka Kambol shares how support from the jewelry ministry at Mullins United Methodist Church helps educate children in Zambia. Lane Gardner Camp has the story.
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Texas Conference
'Gastrochurch' cooks up conversation

HOUSTON — The Rev. Meredith Mills wondered: What if church looked more like the dinner table? A year after starting “gastrochurch,” she talks to the Texas Conference’s Sherri Gragg about the ministry’s combination of hospitality and spiritual discussion.
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United Methodist Women
UMW announces 2018 Assembly speakers

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Speakers for the 2018 Assembly of United Methodist Women will include a Nobel Peace Prize winner from Liberia, the author of a critically acclaimed book about mass incarceration, and a scientist who is bridging the gap between science and religion. The theme of the May 18-20 meeting is “The Power of Bold.” The event will mark the official celebration of UMW’s 150th anniversary.
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Higher Education and Ministry
Book explores hope, resurrection for church 

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — A new book by the Rev. William B. Lawrence explores the meaning of requiem as a voice of hope. In “A Methodist Requiem: Words of Hope and Resurrection for the Church,” the church historian writes that requiem heralds the promise of resurrection. He explores how this can help Christians be confident and remain unshaken by the challenges faced by faith communities and as a denomination. The United Methodist Board of Higher Education and Ministry published the book. 
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United Methodist Communications
Survey on Native American Ministries Sunday 

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — United Methodist Communications is looking for interesting personal stories that illustrate the benefits of Native American Ministries Sunday. Please take this short survey about helping to empower local spiritual development and educate Native American seminary students to serve God faithfully.
Take survey  

Board of Church and Society 
Apply for Ethnic Young Adult summer internship

WASHINGTON — Applications are being taken for Church and Society’s Ethnic Young Adult program. This eight-week intensive program is designed for young justice-seekers willing to work in the intersections of faith, advocacy and social change.
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5 propositions for Korean United Methodist Church

SUN PRAIRIE, Wis. (UMNS) — Wisconsin Area Bishop Hee-Soo Jung has five propositions for the Korean United Methodist Church in today’s world.
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Lewis Center for Church Leadership
4 ways to engage busy people

WASHINGTON — The Rev. F. Douglas Powe, director of the Lewis Center for Church Leadership, suggests ways to help those with significant time constraints serve as church leaders.
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John Wesley could have been a Jedi

NASHVILLE, Tenn. ( — You could say the Force is strong with John Wesley. Christopher Fenoglio reflects that the founder of Methodism and the noble knights of “Star Wars” share many traits meant to avoid the Dark Side.
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Duke Divinity's Faith and Leadership 
Taking issue with Wendell Berry

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — The Rev. Allen T. Stanton has written an essay titled “Why I Hate Wendell Berry.” Stanton, pastor at Merritt’s Chapel United Methodist Church, admires much about the poems, essays and novels of Berry, which are often quoted in sermons. But he thinks Berry’s work can lead others, especially those from the city, to a dangerous idealizing of rural life. Stanton wrote about Berry for Faith & Leadership, a Duke Divinity School website. 
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Rio Texas Conference
Hurricane didn’t stop Texas churches

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — The Rev. Robert Lopez, superintendent of the Coastal Bend District, has written about his gratitude for the churches he supervises. Since getting battered by Hurricane Harvey, they’ve paid their apportionments and continued to do ministry.
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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. 5-Friday, Feb. 9

Online course: A daily dose of hope, faith and love

Monday, Feb. 5-Friday, March 2

Online lay servant workshop: Your ministry of leading worship 101


See more United Methodist events