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UMNS Weekly Digest - July 21, 2017


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Way Forward gets input on LGBTQ inclusion 

CHICAGO (UMNS) — The Commission on a Way Forward, meeting through today, asked various United Methodists to describe their preferences regarding the extent of the inclusion of LGBTQ people within the church. The feedback indicates the large task ahead. Heather Hahn reports.
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Yellowstone Conference facing financial crisis

BILLINGS, Mont. (UMNS) — Yellowstone’s financial problems are similar to those facing the rest of the church and having a “gay bishop is only one of many factors,” officials said. Kathy L. Gilbert has the story. 
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Roots of faith in Korea: A bishop's journey

GANGHWA ISLAND, KOREA (UMNS) — Wisconsin Area Bishop Hee-Soo Jung grew up on Ganghwa, a small Korean island with a view of North Korea. He credits U.S. missionaries and a kind neighbor for his conversion to Christianity. The Rev. Jacob Lee and Tim Tanton interviewed the bishop about his experiences. 
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Small business loans empower Malawi women

NKHAFI, Malawi (UMNS) — Mercy Chikhosi believes in empowering women through small business loans to support their families and communities. Kathy L. Gilbert writes about the women of the Dowa District and Mike DuBose photographs the women and their work.
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Albanian church holds national convention

GJINAR, Albania (UMNS) — The United Methodist Church in Albania’s first national convention provided a time of fellowship for about 140 participants from Elbasan, Durrës, Pogradec and Tirana. The day after the convention, the first United Methodist worship was held in the first-ever United Methodist church in Durrës.
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Interpreter to cease publication at year's end

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) — United Methodist Communications announced that Interpreter magazine, the official program journal of The United Methodist Church, will cease publication after the November/December 2017 issue. The action comes in response to research regarding readers’ changing needs. 
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First Fijian elder ordained in denomination

BURLINGAME, Calif. — The Rev. Tikiko Namata Lesuma once walked miles across cane fields in his native Fiji to preach as a lay speaker. At the 169th session of the California-Nevada Conference, he became the first Fijian person ordained a United Methodist elder. The conference's Larry R. Hygh Jr. has the story. 
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Growing diversity in Irish churches

DUBLIN — An assignment in Ireland led Albert Abbo Wakili, a United Methodist Global Mission Fellow from Nigeria, to a highly diverse Irish Methodist church. “The migration of people from other parts of the world to Ireland has made a significant impact on the church and on Irish Christianity in general,” he writes in New World Outlook magazine. 
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Support for right to boycott, divest

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Over the last 13 months, including this past May and June, a number of U.S. United Methodist annual conferences have approved resolutions defending the right to boycott and divest, says United Methodists for Kairos Response. The unofficial United Methodist advocacy group’s work includes support for divestment and boycotts focused on ending the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territory.
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Bishops move 2018 meeting from Philippines

WASHINGTON — For security reasons, the United Methodist Council of Bishops has decided not to hold its 2018 May meeting in the Philippines, where a militant rebellion continues on the island of Mindanao. The Philippines Central Conference College of Bishops recommended the change in venue from Manila. The meeting will take place in the Chicago area instead.
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Assisting those fleeing siege in Philippines  

Peter Cartwright: Memorable circuit rider

MADISON, N.J. ( — Peter Cartwright, a colorful, early Methodist circuit rider, called future President Andrew Jackson to repent and once challenged future President Abraham Lincoln for political office. He also spread the Christian faith. The Rev. Alfred Day of the United Methodist Commission on Archives and History shares Cartwright’s story in this video.
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Culture of the Call nominations sought

LAKE JUNALUSKA, N.C. — The Foundation for Evangelism seeks nominations for its annual Culture of the Call Award, which recognizes a United Methodist church with a history of helping young people discern a call to full-time Christian service. Nominations will be accepted through Sept. 15.
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Favorite places to pray

NASHVILLE, Tenn. ( — United Methodists share favorite places to talk with God — at home, in nature, while driving and more. Joe Iovino has the story.
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Fighting the drug crisis

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — The Revs. Darick Biondi and Cindy Briggs-Biondi are a clergy couple who faced the effects of substance abuse in their churches soon after appointments to a rural area. Erin Sears, a United Methodist Board of Church and Society board member, writes about how they put their faith in action to fight substance abuse. 
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Signing on to Atlanta Interfaith Manifesto

ATLANTA — Thomas Kemper, top executive of the United Methodist Board of Global Ministries, has had an interest in interfaith understanding since his childhood in Germany, he writes in a blog post. So when the mission agency moved from New York to Atlanta, he joined the cause represented by the Atlanta Interfaith Manifesto.
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Read more about the manifesto

A report from the 'Next Methodism'

DALLAS — Blogging United Methodists have started a conversation about “Next Methodism.” However, the Rev. Jarrod Johnston argues: “The Next Methodism is already here.” Johnston explains by sharing his experience on staff at Union, a coffeehouse that’s also a United Methodist church plant in Dallas.
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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, July 24-Sunday, Aug. 20

Timothy Circle Mentor Training  This four-week online course explores mentoring as a dynamic relationship between a mentor, a young person and the Holy Spirit — a relationship that has the power to produce great spiritual growth. Primarily intended for one-on-one mentoring relationships, the concepts covered in this class could be adapted for the small group context. The class is sponsored by The Foundation for Evangelism, the Richard and Julia Wilke Institute for Discipleship and Price: $45. Details

Monday, July 31-Friday, Aug. 25

Online Lay Servant Workshop: Your Ministry of Leading Worship 101 — This online course will focus on basic understandings of worship, gaining skills for Lay Servants planning and leading worship and fulfilling requirements for Lay Speaker Certification. This class from United Methodist is approved by United Methodist Discipleship Ministries as an advanced course in Lay Servant Ministries, and is the “worship” class required for Lay Speaker certification. This course is eligible for 1.0 CEU. Details

See more United Methodist events