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UMNS Weekly Digest - July 26, 2013


UMNS Weekly Digest

July 26, 2013

NOTE: This is a digest of news features provided by United Methodist Communications for July 23 - July 29. It includes summaries of United Methodist News Service stories and additional briefs from around the United Methodist connection. Full versions of the stories with photographs and related features can be found at

United Methodists in the News

Henry-Crowe to lead Church and Society

WASHINGTON (UMNS) - The Rev. Susan Henry-Crowe, dean of the Chapel and Religious Life at Emory University in Atlanta, has been elected to succeed James E. Winkler as chief executive of the United Methodist Board of Church and Society. The appointment will be effective at the February 2014 board meeting of the agency.

Read story and post a comment

Bishop to talk sports ... and faith

JACKSON, Miss. (UMNS)- Many Mississippi United Methodists will hear a familiar voice coming from an unexpected place next week as Bishop James E. Swanson is the in-studio guest on "Talking Sports with Ray Jay and Willie Richardson" on ESPN's The ZONE, 105.9 FM. Swanson, episcopal leader of the conference, played college basketball and is a "huge fan of the sport," said Tamica Smith-Jeuitt, communicator for the Mississippi Annual (regional) Conference. "The bishop loves sports so I thought we could use the format to reach people where they are," she said. Swanson will be on July 30 starting at 5 p.m. ET on The ZONE and will be the celebrity guest in "Tee to Green," a weekly Jackson WLBT-TV program.
To tune-in live streaming
Check the conference site for updates

Deaconess Nazgul William is remembered

NEW YORK (UMNS) - Friends and colleagues are remembering Nazgul "Naz" William, a United Methodist deaconess who died July 17 in Beijing, China, after what was reported to be a random act of violence by a mentally ill man. Read full story

United Methodists celebrate passage of Nevada sex trafficking bill

LAS VEGAS (UMNS) - Nevada took a big step against child sex trafficking, and the governor said the support of an inter-faith community, which includes many United Methodists, made a difference in the passage of Assembly Bill 67. The bill strengthens support for victims of sex trafficking. The support of Bishop Robert Hoshibata and the Rev. Candance Lansberry has been and will be important as future plans develop, reports the Rev. Art Gafke, president of Las Vegas Valley Interfaith Sponsoring Committee. Read full story

United Methodist 'green roof' on Capitol Hill

WASHINGTON (UMNS) - The new 572-square-foot "green roof" on the United Methodist Building provides environmental and energy benefits for the building, its tenants and the urban community around Capitol Hill. Michelle Whittaker of the United Methodist Board of Church and Society has the story. Read story

News around the connection

Missionary appointments announced

NEW YORK (UMNS) -Longtime United Methodist missionaries Gordon and Maria Tereza (Teca) Greathouse have been selected as the new missionaries in residence at the United Methodist Board of Global Ministries. Read full story

Forgiveness and ministry priorities in Congo

KINSHASHA, Democratic Republic of Congo (UMNS) - Recounting the loss of her husband and four children, Vava Ilombelombe recently challenged African United Methodists to forgive, even when it is difficult. She shared her personal struggle to forgive during a July meeting of leaders from the denomination's Western Congo Annual (regional) Conference, organized by the United Methodist Board of Church and Society. Story of forgiveness

In a May roundtable meeting with overseas partners, hosted by the Central Congo Episcopal Area, other Congo episcopal and conference leaders assessed ministry priorities. There will be an East Congo Area round-table meeting early in 2014.
DRC priorities

New orphanage in South Sudan

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (UMNS) -Libby Dearing's dream of a United Methodist orphanage in South Sudan will come true in September, thanks to a special offering from Christ United Methodist Church in Chattanooga. Read story

Louisiana ordination service binds 3 women

SHREVEPORT, La. (UMNS) - This year's ordination service during the United Methodist Louisiana Annual (regional) Conference was a bit special: the first candidate, a woman, who was ordained by Louisiana's first woman bishop, had been mentored by the first woman ordained in the conference more than 40 years ago. Read story

Ministering to young people in Europe

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) - To further youth and young adult ministry among Methodists in Europe, the Young People's Ministries division of the United Methodist Board of Discipleship has entered into a cooperative partnership with the European Methodist Youth and Children's Council. Read story

Cherokee citizens get assist from Missouri United Methodists

VIAN, Okla. (UMNS) - With the help of United Methodist volunteers from Missouri, dozens of Cherokee citizens in Sequoyah County now have wheelchair-accessible homes, new roofs and spruced-up yards. Read story

MARCHA registration deadline nears

BOSTON (UMNS)-MARCHA (Methodists Associated Representing the Cause of Hispanic Americans) will hold its annual assembly Aug. 7-10 at The School of Theology at Boston University. Caucus members will focus on the future of Hispanic/Latino ministry in the denomination. Through an "appreciative inquiry" process incorporating all participants, they will explore the question: "What will the role of MARCHA be, looking ahead into the future?" Bishop Cynthia Fierro-Harvey of Louisiana will be the guest preacher Aug. 7, and the Rev. Hctor A. Burgos, from the Greater New Jersey Annual (regional) Conference, will preach Aug. 10. Registration deadline is July 29. Details are available at

Poet's hymn reflects ethos of Chautauqua

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) - In his "History of Hymns" column, C. Michael Hawn looks at Mary Artemisia Lathbury, also known as the "Poet Laureate of Chautauqua," who wrote the hymn, "Break thou the Bread of Life," No. 599 in The United Methodist Hymnal. Read commentary

Judicial Council releases October docket

BALTIMORE (UMNS) - The United Methodist Judicial Council will consider 13 docket items when it meets Oct. 23-26 in Baltimore. Among the issues is a ruling by San Antonio Bishop James E. Dorff regarding the removal of Mary Ann Kaiser, a lesbian clergy candidate, from the ordination process in the Southwest Texas Annual (regional) Conference.

View October 2013 docket
Read story on Dorff's ruling

Wesley sermons, catalog

NEW YORK (UMNS) - On July 25, 1741, John Wesley spoke about the "almost Christian." The United Methodist Board of Global Ministries offers a list of 171 sermons of the founder of Methodism.

Read July 25, 1741 sermon
Searchable sermon list

Coffeehouse ministry fills cups and souls

TIGARD, Ore. (UMNS) - Fresh coffee and comfortable seats help make interfaith ministry a "nontraditional - and nonintimidating - introduction to church."

UMTV: Church in a Diner

LANSING, Mi. (UMNS) - "Diner Church" meets on Monday nights at dinnertime. Participants can enjoy a meal, chat with friends and listen to a brief sermon from the Rev. Tom Arthur of Sycamore Creek United Methodist Church in Lansing. Watch as the Diner Church packs every seat in the house. Watch Video

United Methodists and disaster relief

India floods bring countless losses

DEHRADUN, India (UMNS) - Since floods began to wreak havoc in India's northern state of Uttarakhand, the unofficial death toll could be as high as several thousand, with more than 5,000 still missing. The United Methodist Committee on Relief is working through an Indian partner, Church's Auxiliary for Social Action, to assist those affected by the disaster. Read story

Other news of interest

Churches beware: Liability insurance a must

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) - While a contractor can tell with some certainty the cost per square foot to rebuild a burned church building, a defense attorney cannot tell you with certainty what to expect in a serious liability lawsuit. General liability insurance is necessary for any business, including churches.

Read story and post a comment
How to protect your church

ELCA to vote by iPad

CHICAGO (ELCA) - The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America will underscore its commitment "to care for creation" at its Aug. 12-17 assembly as most of the 952 voting members will use iPads and electronic materials, saving an estimated half million pages of paper.

The 4-million-member denomination, a full communion partner of The United Methodist Church, is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year.
Read story

Use social media to connect

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) - Even if you're doing everything possible to promote your church and make it easy for new visitors to find you, it may not be enough. United Methodist Communications gives you some tips.

Learn more
Web tools for ministry

NCC Eco-Justice Program becomes independent group

WASHINGTON (UMNS) - The Eco-Justice Program of the National Council of Churches will become the independent "Creation Justice Ministries" while retaining the same focus: working through education, training and public witness to protect God's people and planet. Read story

Young 'nones,' religious progressives on the rise

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) - A recent U.S. study released by the Public Religion Research Institute and the Brookings Institution shows that though Millennials who don't identify with any religion are growing in number, they still have peers who embrace their faith. Of the 2,002 respondents, 22 percent identified as nonreligious, but 23 percent identified as "religious progressive" and 17 percent identified as "religious conservative." However, while the number of nonreligious and religious progressive Millennials are increasing compared with other generations surveyed, the numbers of religious moderates and conservatives are declining, the Washington Post reports.

Read the story
Read the study

Blogs and commentaries

Praying for Detroit

DETROIT (UMNS) - On July 18 Detroit became the largest American city in history to file for bankruptcy. In a time of uncertainty and concern, the Rev. Melanie Lee Carey, Detroit Renaissance district superintendent, reminds United Methodists, "And Still we Rise!" and of a time to connect and stand together for the city and its people.

Read story
Join Facebook group Pray for Detroit

'The Second Sentence'

INDIANAPOLIS (UMNS) - "Not all disciples are made through local congregations, but all disciples eventually must be linked to a local congregation," writes Bishop Mike Coyner, episcopal leader of the Indiana Annual (regional) Conference, about The United Methodist Church's mission statement. "Our mission statement has a second sentence." Read commentary

Immigration: It's about families

PASADENA, Calif. (UMNS) -The security of the U.S.-Mexico border has become the focus of comprehensive immigration reform and somewhere in the political process immigrants have been forgotten, writes Bishop Minerva Carcao in The Huffington Post. "They (immigrants) are not terrorists, drug dealers, or public welfare dependents. They are families whose lives have been undermined by poverty," she said. Read commentary

Looking ahead

Here are some of the activities ahead for United Methodists across the connection. If you have an item to share with others, email and put Digest in the subject line.

Deadline to register for MARCHA (Methodists Associated Representing the Cause of Hispanic Americans) annual assembly, July 29 - Meeting Aug. 7-10 at The School of Theology at Boston University. Details.

Deadline to register for online Moodle Course, July 31 - Course Aug. 7-Oct. 2 on how to set up online Bible studies, discussion forums and polls, offered by United Methodist Communications. Limited seating. Costs $119. Syllabus. To register.

Light of the Lake, Aug. 3 - 7:30 p.m. ET, The Light of the Lake, Lake Junaluska's Centennial Celebration theatrical production, will highlight time periods of the lake's history, at Lake Junaluska Conference and Retreat Center, Lake Junaluska, N.C. Tickets $17.50-20. Details.

Black Clergy Women of The United Methodist Church 25th Anniversary Conference, Aug. 5-8 - Westin Hotel Dallas-Fort Worth Airport. Details.

Global Leadership Summit, Aug. 8-9 - 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET each day, Lake Junaluska Conference and Retreat Center, Lake Junaluska, N.C., will be host site of a telecast from Willow Creek Community Church near Chicago. Details.

Free webinar "How to Develop Policies for Children's Ministries," Aug. 8 - 10 a.m. CT, webinar from the United Methodist Board of Discipleship looks at the development process, recommends who needs to be in on the conversation and offers samples of policies that have served congregations well. To register.

"Day 1," Aug. 11 - The Rev. W. Mark Ralls, senior minister, Centenary United Methodist Church, Winston-Salem, N.C., will be the featured speaker on the nationally syndicated radio program "Day 1." To listen.

United Methodism 101 -registration deadline, Aug. 14 - Designed for new church members and anyone else wanting to know more about United Methodist history, structure, beliefs, ministries and challenges, Online.

School of Congregational Development, Aug. 15-18 - Hosted at Denver Marriott Tech Center, sponsored by the United Methodist Board of Discipleship, Path1 and Board of Global Ministries. Theme is "Encountering God at the Edge." Details.

School of Congregational Development, Satellite Experience, Aug. 17 - Offsite participation is available from satellite congregations within the five U.S. jurisdictions. Registrants will participate remotely through live and tape-delayed interactive live streaming. Details.

The Reconciliation Story: Conflict Resolution in Small Congregations, Aug. 22-24 - Workshop led by Mary Ann Lawson and Marion Crooks at Hinton Rural Life Center, Hayesville, N.C. Details.

Free webinar "Safe Sanctuaries: Children, Teachers and Media" Aug. 22 - 10 a.m. CT, webinar from United Methodist Board of Discipleship looks at ways to address the rapidly evolving media world that will properly inform leaders and protect children from abuse. To register.

Free webinar "Generosity in Emerging Generations," Aug. 22 - 6:30 p.m. CT, examining how emerging generations make decisions about generosity, from the United Methodist Board of Discipleship. To register.

Free webinar "Charting a Course for Discipleship," Aug. 27 - 6:30 p.m. CT, how to develop a pathway to help adults deepen their Christian discipleship, from the United Methodist Board of Discipleship. To register.

Free webinar "Creative Thinking in Faith Formation: An Ancient/Future Approach," Sept. 17 - 6:30 p.m. CT, learning strategies for teaching adults using an exploration of Jesus' teaching methods, from the United Methodist Board of Discipleship. To register.

United Methodist Church of the Resurrection Leadership Institute, Sept. 25-27 - Registration open now for event aimed at helping leaders revive churches. Details.

Reach New Disciples Conference, Nov. 2 - 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. ET, Wesley Theological Seminary's Lewis Center for Church Leadership, Washington. Details.

"A Killer in the Dark," NBC stations until Nov. 3 - If it isn't scheduled in your area, contact your local NBC station. If it has aired, order a free copy here. Download ideas and resources to plan a viewing party. Details.

Confirmation Retreat Weekend, Nov. 8-10 - Lake Junaluska Conference and Retreat Center. Details.

Exploration 2013, Nov. 15-17 - Event for young adults, ages 18-26, considering ordained ministry, Marriott Denver Tech Center, sponsored by United Methodist Board of Higher Education and Ministry. Speakers include Louisiana Area Bishop Cynthia Fierro Harvey and the Rev. Jorge Acevedo, senior pastor of the multi-campus Grace Church in Southwest Florida. Details.


Category: Weekly Digest
Tags: News Summaries