Skip Navigation

UMNS Weekly Digest - June 07, 2013


June 7, 2013

NOTE: This is a digest of news features provided by United Methodist Communications for June 4 - June 10.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

Disaster relief

Oklahoma climbs back after multiple tornadoes

MOORE, Okla. (UMNS) - United Methodists in Oklahoma extend relief work to areas hit by massive May 31 tornado, the widest on record, as they continue recovery work after the May 20 tornado.

Read story and post a comment
Oklahoma Conference's relief updates

Bishop urges prayer in wildfire path

PASADENA, Calif. (UMNS) - Bishop Minerva Carcao has called for prayer for those in the communities of Palmdale and Antelope Valley affected by the recent Southern California wildfires. She also spoke of how United Methodists are reaching out. Read statement

United Methodists reach out in Central Europe floods

HALLE, Germany (UMNS) - Flooding in Central Europe, especially in Germany, the Czech Republic and Austria, has caused extensive damage in the last week. The United Methodist Committee on Relief has reached out to Bishops Rosemarie Wenner, Germany Central Conference of the United Methodist Church and president of the United Methodist Council of Bishops, and Patrick Streiff, Southern and Central Europe Episcopal Area, to offer assistance. Read story and post a comment

5 ways to help tornado survivors

OKLAHOMA CITY (UMNS) - The human spirit shines in times of disaster, and that's certainly been true in the aftermath of the May 20 tornado that destroyed parts of Moore, Okla., and surrounding towns. One Great Hour of Sharing, a program of The United Methodist Church, has put together the following list of how you can continue to help in Oklahoma and future disasters. Read list

United Methodists in the news

Myrlie Evers to honor UM clergy

JACKSON, Miss. (UMNS) - Myrlie Evers, the wife of slain civil rights activist Medgar Evers, will honor a group of Mississippi ministers who stood against discrimination in 1963 after unrest during the desegregation of the University of Mississippi. The Rev. Maxie Dunnam, retired president of Asbury Theological Seminary, was one of those clergy and recounts the background of the "Born of Conviction" statement he helped write.

Read commentary
Read story from the Mississippi Annual (regional) Conference

News around the connection

Civil rights veteran dies at 88

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) - The Rev. Will D. Campbell, a giant in the civil rights movement, died June 3 in Nashville from complications after a stroke. He was 88. A Baptist, he worked on race relations for the National Council of Churches from 1956 to 1963. The Methodist Church was a member of the National Council of Churches from its inception.He was the only white person invited to the founding of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference in 1957. Months later, he helped escort nine black students through angry crowds in an attempt to desegregate Central High School in Little Rock, Ark.

Read New York Times obituary
Obituary from The Tennessean

United Methodist Reporter to continue as digital resource

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) - CircuitWriter Media LLC announced today that it has entered into an agreement with UMR Communications Inc. to purchase the rights and digital assets of the United Methodist Reporter with the intention of continuing the work of the Reporter on the Internet and through other digital means. Read news release

New church movement plans road trip

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) - New church strategists and congregational developers will fan out across the United States this summer to visit and learn from many of the 684 new places for new people that United Methodists started during the last four years. The Summer Road Trip, an adventure of modern-day circuit riders in the Wesleyan tradition, is being organized by New Church Starts (Path1), a division of the United Methodist Board of Discipleship. Read news release

Small church makes 'big difference' for refugees

ATLANTA (UMNS) - Inman Park United Methodist Church sets a great example of how a small church can make a big difference in the lives of refugees, do so with imagination - and in the process, involve its neighborhood and a lot of other churches. Carol Fouke-Mpoyo of Church World Service reports. Read story

Relief-supply network needs your help

NEW YORK (UMNS) - The Relief-Supply Network of the United Methodist Committee on Relief, the denomination's disaster-response agency, is making an urgent call for relief-supply kits to deliver into the hands of disaster survivors. Read story

National Council of Churches seeks top leader

WASHINGTON (UMNS) - The National Council of Churches is seeking candidates for the top staff leadership position in the 63-year-old ecumenical organization. Learn more

Lynchburg church rises from ashes

LYNCHBURG, S.C. (UMNS) - A groundbreaking ceremony last weekend for the new Shiloh United Methodist Church was a big step forward for the congregation that lost its structure in a 2012 fire. "God can make anything work for good," the church's pastor, the Rev. John Bolin, told The State newspaper. "It's a sense of relief to see the church being built back. It gives people hope." Read story

One congregation leaves, another enters

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (UMNS) - Fairview United Methodist Church, a landmark overlooking the fairgrounds, has held its last service and the congregation will be disbanded after 120 years, although there are plans for a Hispanic United Methodist congregation to take over the building. reports that the Fairview congregation is one of nine churches scheduled for official closure during the North Alabama Annual (regional) Conference meeting, which concludes today, June 4. Read story

Asian-American United Methodists elect officers

OAKLAND, Calif. (UMNS) - Delegates to the 2013 National Federation of Asian American United Methodists mini-convocation in Oakland, have elected the federation's new set of officers for a term of four years. The Rev. Jacob S. Dharmaraj of Shrub Oak, N.Y., was elected president. The federation is the recognized ethnic caucus for Asian Americans in The United Methodist Church, which includes 10 sub-ethnic groups: Cambodian, Chinese, Filipino, Formosan, Hmong, Japanese, Korean, Lao, South Asian and Vietnamese. Learn more

Church works with school to teach values

CORDOVA, Tenn. (UMNS) - Heartsong United Methodist Church in Cordova has teamed up with Macon-Hall Elementary, a school just outside Memphis, to teach students the value of virtue. Casey Northcutt of the Memphis Annual (regional) Conference has the story. Read story

Gleaning: Ancient practice feeds hungry

COLUMBIA, S.C. (UMNS) - The South Carolina United Methodist Advocate has the story of the Society of St. Andrew, a special ministry and United Methodist partner that collects produce left after harvest. "If we gleaned all the edible food that we right now waste, we wouldn't have hunger," said the Rev. Ashley McCoy-Bruce. Read story

Festival of Young Preachers inspires

INDIANAPOLIS (UMNS) - A group of 18 young people took to the mic to preach the gospel at the Indiana Annual (regional) Conference Festival of Young Preachers in Indianapolis. Here is a Storify page that organizes Tweets and pictures from the event. Read story

Kansas church honored for cultivating leaders

LAKE JUNALUSKA, N.C. (UMNS) - The Foundation for Evangelism is pleased to recognize First United Methodist Church in Winfield, Kan., with the 2013 Culture of the Call Church Award. This award is given annually to recognize one United Methodist congregation with a history of helping young people age 35 or younger experience God's call to full time Christian service as a result of affiliation with that church. Read news release

Oilfields ministry garners more than $250,000

BISMARCK, N.D. (UMNS) - United Methodists from across North Dakota and South Dakota offered more than $250,000 to start a ministry in the Bakken region of North Dakota, where the oil rush is leaving thousands of people homeless and disconnected. More than 600 United Methodists, gathered for annual conference in Bismarck, collected the "Miracle Offering" for the Bakken. Key startup activities of the ministry will be sending kids to camp, summer programs for kids and setting up an outreach center in Watford City. Learn more

Central Conference news

Fostering interreligious work in Philippines

CABANATUAN CITY, Philippines (UMNS) - During the Marcos years, Phebe Gamata Crismo, a young United Methodist deaconess in the Philippines, spent two years searching for her missing husband, Romy. The still-active deaconess told her story as an example of an ecumenical faith journey during a May 28-30 training event for United Methodists at Wesley Divinity School of Wesleyan University-Philippines. Read story and post a comment

EU leaders meet church and faith leaders

BRUSSELS (UMNS) - Germany Area Bishop Rosemarie Wenner, president of the United Methodist Council of Bishops, was among 18 religious leaders who met with the top leaders of the European Union. At the invitation of the President of the European Union, Wenner and 17 other high-level Christian, Jewish, Muslim and Hindu leaders from across the continent met May 30 for talks on European citizenship issues. Read story

A call for peace on the Korean peninsula

ATLANTA (UMNS) - More than 130 participants representing 10 denominations and including 22 delegates from South Korea worshipped and prayed, engaged in workshops, and came together to develop an ecumenical "Call for Peace and Reconciliation on the Korean Peninsula." United Methodist Bishop Hee-Soo Jung of the Wisconsin Annual (regional) Conference chaired the conference.

Read story
Call for peace, reconciliation

University and seminary news

Africa U. to offer palliative care degree

MUTARE, Zimbabwe (UMNS) - Early detection, access to treatment and pain control are key factors in surviving cancer, and all those factors are in short supply in many African countries. Auxilia Chideme-Munodawafa, professor and assistant dean at the Faculty of Health Sciences at United Methodist-related Africa University, is working to bring training in palliative care to the continent. Read story and post a comment

Dukegives $5.74 million for clergy health research

DURHAM, N.C. (UMNS) - The Duke Endowment has committed $5.74 million to Duke Divinity School to extend the work of its Clergy Health Initiative, an effort to study and improve the health and well-being of United Methodist clergy in North Carolina. The gift also will support the continued implementation of Spirited Life, a multi-year health intervention program that the Clergy Health Initiative offers to pastors in the North Carolina and Western North Carolina annual (regional) conferences.

Read news release
Learn more

Conference gives to Birmingham-Southern

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (UMNS) - The North Alabama Annual (regional) Conference, meeting at United Methodist-related Birmingham-Southern College, voted June 3 to donate $1 million to the college, reports The conference last year approved a donation of $323,363. "It is a remarkable recognition of this inextricable link between this church and your college," said Charles Krulak, the Birmingham-Southern College president, after the vote. Read full story

McCord Scholar prepares to give in return

NEW ORLEANS (UMNS) - Bridget Sisney graduated from United Methodist-related Dillard University this spring with a degree in biology and a minor in chemistry, but her next step in life is taking her far away from the academic framework of science. Read story and post a comment

Blogs and commentaries

Blog: Boy Scouts move not much change

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) - Some Scout leaders are disappointed in the Boy Scouts of America decision to allow gays to participate in the scouting program while continuing the prohibition of gay Scout leaders. In truth, there will be no significant change, writes Rich Peck, communications coordinator for the Commission on United Methodist Men. Read blog and post a comment

Yet alive

HOUSTON (UMNS) - Since the beginning of the year, thousands of United Methodists have begun their annual conference sessions singing the words of Charles Wesley's famous hymn "Are We Yet Alive?" The Rev. Chappell Temple, presiding pastor of Lakewood United Methodist Church in Houston, offers a meditation on the hymn's history and why it still resonates today. Read blog and post a comment

The 'Go-To' church

TUPELO, Miss. (UMNS) - "The Go-To church lives by a different set of questions and rules," writes the Rev. Bryan Collier, founding pastor of The Orchard: A United Methodist Congregation in Tupelo. He offers insights on becoming a "Go-To" church in an excerpt from his book by the same name on the website of the Lewis Center for Church Leadership. Read commentary

Music directors should listen before singing

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) - Nick Chrisohon says worship leaders are teachers of theology and must understand a church's beliefs when choosing its music. He's not a big fan of songs that simply repeat "Jesus, Jesus, hallelujah" eight times over. Read blog and post a comment


UMTV: Young clergywoman's call

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (UMNS) - Fresh out of seminary and in her 20s, the Rev. Tiffany Thomas is thriving where God has planted her. Thomas says she's learning valuable life lessons while serving an urban church in a challenging neighborhood. Watch video and post a comment

UMTV: Young pastor's fresh ideas

DENVER (UMNS) - The Rev. Stephanie Price is a young mother and United Methodist pastor who believes churches should promote physical health alongside spiritual fitness. Price has developed a program that links local farmers to churches in their communities. Watch video and post a comment

Video shows dedication of medical mission plane

DAYTON, Ohio (UMNS) - After a two-year campaign that has to date raised more than $2.1 million and involved United Methodists from around the global denomination, blessing events celebrating and commissioning the new Wings of the Morning Cessna Caravan airplane took place in the West Ohio Conference last month. The plane will be used for medical mission work in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. A video shows the blessing. Watch video

Does your church have stained glass?

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) - Ever wondered why stained glass is found almost exclusively in places of worship? Find the answer in this episode of the United Methodist Board of Discipleship series "Chuck Knows Church." Watch video

Helps for observing Father's Day

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) - It's 10 days away. If you have not made plans for Father's Day observations, the United Methodist Board of Discipleship can help you. Find ideas

Copyright 101: Top 10 myths about U.S. copyright

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) - Dean McIntyre of the United Methodist Board of Discipleship offers advice so churches don't run afoul of U.S. law.

Read list
Learn more about copyright and licensing

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.

Registration opens for Ski Lake Junaluska, June 13 - Lake Junaluska Youth Events go from December to March 2014. Speakers include Rachel Held Evans and Duffy Robbins. Details.

Father's Day in U.S., June 16 - The United Methodist Board of Discipleship offers liturgical and devotional resources.

Lake Junaluska Summer Worship Series, Sundays June 16-Aug. 11 - The series includes Holy Communion at 8:30 a.m. ET and worship at 10:45 a.m. ET at Lake Junaluska Conference and Retreat Center in North Carolina. The Africa University Choir kicks off the series on June 16. Guest preachers also will include United Methodist bishops and the general secretary of the World Methodist Council. Details.

Faith and Service Unite Summit luncheon, June 19 - 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. ET, Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, featuring the Rev. Kirbyjon Caldwell, senior pastor of Windsor Village United Methodist Church in Houston. $25 for luncheon. Details about luncheon and summit. Details.

Juneteenth, June 19 - The United Methodist Board of Discipleship offers worship resources for the oldest known African-American celebration, which recognizes the date slaves in Texas received word of the Emancipation Proclamation. Resources

Free webinar "The New Senior: Boomers," June 20 - 6:30 p.m. CT, tips on ministering to this large generation from the United Methodist Board of Discipleship. To register.

Free webinar "2013 Clergy Health Implications for the Church," June 20 - 6:30 p.m. CT, how congregations can positively influence the health of clergy and laity from the United Methodist Board of Discipleship and Center for Health. To register.

Deadline to register for online course "Web Ministry 100: What is Web Ministry," June 26 - July 3-Aug. 14, sponsored by United Methodist Communications. Limited seats are available. Cost is $49. Details.

Deadline to register for online course "Welcoming Ministry 100," June 26 - July 3-Aug. 14, sponsored by United Methodist Communications. Limited seats are available. Cost is $29. Details.

Native American Summer Conference, June 28-30 - Workshops and worship, sponsored by the Southeastern Jurisdictional Association on Native American Ministries, at Lake Junaluska Conference and Retreat Center, Lake Junaluska, N.C. Details.

Deadline to register for SOULfeast, June 30 - The Upper Room 's spiritual retreat, July 14-18, Lake Junaluska Conference and Retreat Center, Lake Junaluska, N.C. The Rev. Trevor Hudson of South Africa is the keynote speaker. Details.

"Inside Out for the Glory of God," July 12-14 - 11th national gathering of United Methodist Men at Belmont University in Nashville, Tenn. Details.

United Methodist Conference on Ministry with Children, July 23-26 - The conference, "Make a Joyful Noise to the Lord," at Buncombe Street United Methodist Church in Greenville, S.C., for church leaders and workers engaged in children's ministry focuses on helping children grow in faith. United Methodist Board of Discipleship is the sponsor. Details.

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 US jurisdictions. Registrants will participate remotely through live and tape-delayed interactive live streaming. Details.

Category: Weekly Digest
Tags: News Summaries