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UMNS Weekly Digest - January 5, 2018


Top viewed stories from Jan. 2-4 See all United Methodist News Service stories at


Liberia’s president-elect is United Methodist 

MONROVIA, Liberia (UMNS) — Liberia Area Bishop Samuel J. Quire Jr. is calling on all Liberians, especially United Methodists, to support President-elect George Manneh Weah. A United Methodist and former soccer star, Weah is expected to be sworn in Jan. 22, replacing President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, who also is a United Methodist. Julu Swen reports.
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The blessings of presence

NASHVILLE, Tenn. ( — When United Methodists stand in the company of those in need, they are living into their membership vows, specifically the promise to participate in a local congregation through their presence. Julie Dwyer reports in the final piece in a five-part series on membership vows. 
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Partnering on maternal health in Congo

BUKAVU, Democratic Republic of Congo (UMNS) — The Irambo Health Center Maternity will allow pregnant women to get health care and give birth without walking up to 15 miles to the nearest hospital. Philippe Kituka Lolonga has the story.
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18 ways to be more United Methodist 

NASHVILLE, Tenn. ( — From riding a horse to studying the Bible, here are some ways to connect with your United Methodist heritage in 2018. Joe Iovino has the list of 18 United Methodist activities.
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Great Plains Conference 
Ministry ideas, not gadgets in this 'Shark Tank'

TOPEKA, Kan. — Presenters entering the second round of “Shark Tank” for the Great Plains Conference weren’t showing off gizmos and gadgets for big-money backing. Instead, they brought ideas for expanding ministries and reaching out for new disciples in sessions at First United Methodist Church. David Burke reports for the Great Plains Conference.
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Church provides medicines for jail inmates

BULACAN, Philippines (UMNS) — Members of New Hill Burning Bush United Methodist Church distributed medicines to inmates at Camalig Meycauayan City Jail as part of their mission and service to the overcrowded jail. Gladys Mangiduyos has the story. 
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Dayton Daily News 
Ohio church surprises servers with big tips

CELINA, Ohio — Five workers at the Wapakoneta Waffle House got a big surprise from a Celina church on Christmas Eve. Grand Lake United Methodist Church’s lead pastor, the Rev. Mick Whistler, had each family save $1 a week during Advent. The church took the money collected — $3,577, almost all in $1 bills — to the nearest restaurant open for Christmas. That was the Waffle House in Wapakoneta. The Dayton Daily News has the story. 
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A prayer box grows in Brooklyn

NEW YORK — A prayer request box on the streets outside Brooklyn’s Grace United Methodist Church is an effort by the congregation to serve its changing neighborhood. Serena Solomon and Jonathan Cortizo have the story.
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Council of Bishops
Council of Bishops letter for 2018

WASHINGTON — Bishop Bruce R. Ough, writing on behalf of the Council of Bishops, thanks United Methodists for their continued prayers for the Commission on a Way Forward and encourages renewal of covenant. 
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North Georgia Conference
Wesley Woods receives $3.3 million grant

ATLANTA — The O. Wayne Rollins Foundation has awarded a $3.3 million grant to the Foundation of Wesley Woods, which provides senior living services across north Georgia. Wesley Woods plans to use the grant to provide pastoral care for 1,800 senior adults, with an ordained United Methodist pastor at each of its 10 communities. 
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5 quantum leaps of faith for 2018

CASPER, Wyo. — A new year brings fresh opportunities for spiritual growth. The Rev. Rebekah Simon-Peter, a United Methodist consultant, offers five “quantum leaps of faith” Jesus invites disciples to take.
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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. 8-Monday, Jan. 22 

Online workshop: Developing a dynamic praise and worship experience

Monday, Jan. 8-Wednesday, Jan. 31

Online workshop: Crossing the bridge — life after loss


See more United Methodist events