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UMNS Weekly Digest - June 2, 2017


Top viewed stories from May 26-June 1. See all United Methodist News Service stories at

Methodist educators gather in Mexico

PUEBLA, Mexico (UMNS) — Methodist educators and others with a commitment to following Charles Wesley’s call to unite “knowledge and vital piety” gathered for the once-every-three-years conference of the International Association of Methodist-related Schools, Colleges and Universities. This major pan-Methodist event, which United Methodists help to put on, featured academic presentations, networking, worship and more. Sam Hodges reports.
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Hospitality, Methodist history offered in Puebla   

Immigration, environment lead discussions

PUEBLA, Mexico (UMNS) — Bishop Minerva Carcaño’s keynote address on immigration drew a standing ovation and local press coverage at the International Association of Methodist-related Schools, Colleges and Universities conference, which wrapped up May 31. Environmental protection also drew considerable discussion. Sam Hodges reports.
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Connecting worldwide as indigenous peoples

NEW YORK (UMNS) — When United Methodist native peoples of other countries joined the indigenous Sami people of Norway to share their stories at a meeting near the Arctic Circle this winter, the similarities of their experiences were no surprise. Now a newly formed United Methodist Global Working Group on Indigenous Peoples will make connections throughout the denomination. Linda Bloom has the story. 
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Indigenous people celebrated in Trondheim, Norway   

Church and Society launches new website

WASHINGTON (UMNS) — A clear identity, different look and more easily navigated content are features of a new website launched this week by the United Methodist Board of Church and Society. The site also will encourage viewers to take action on social justice issues. Linda Bloom has the story.
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Celebrating 250 years of American Methodism

OAK, Pa. — In 1767, Captain Thomas Webb and Joseph Pilmore led the push to establish the first Methodist classes in Philadelphia and along the East Coast of the new colonies. At the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference June 15-17, United Methodists will celebrate 250 years of Methodism with special commemorative performances, publications and displays. Conference members wearing colonial-era garb will portray several early ancestors of The United Methodist denomination. John W. Coleman reports. 
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LGBTQ candidate not recommended for ordination

WASHINGTON — The Baltimore-Washington Conference board of ordained ministry didn’t recommend a married lesbian candidate for deacon for ordination after taking a recent Judicial Council ruling into consideration. After the decision not to recommend T.C. Morrow — who was recommended in 2016 — Philip Wogaman, an elder for nearly 60 years, turned in his clergy credentials. He said his “heart breaks” for Morrow and others “who have been excluded as a result of bad church law, applied legalistically and hurtfully.” Erik Alsgaard has the story.
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Court says review all clergy qualifications  
Boards reaffirm stand for LGBTQ clergy candidates  

Conference announces church's departure

JACKSON, Miss. — The Mississippi Conference has reached an amicable separation with The Orchard congregation, conference leaders announced. The appointed clergy at The Orchard have voluntarily surrendered their credentials and are no longer United Methodist ministers.
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Northern Illinois responds to Judicial Council

CHICAGO — The Northern Illinois Conference Board of Ordained Ministry has responded to the Judicial Council ruling instructing it and other boards to examine all qualifications of ministerial candidates — including whether they practice “fidelity in marriage and celibacy in singleness.” The board has voted to form a task force “to review our procedures and policies to ensure that we are appropriately examining our candidates.”
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Counter Kabul attack with unity, love

GENEVA (WCC) — In the wake of a large bomb attack that killed at least 80 people and injured 350 more in Kabul, Afghanistan, the top executive of the World Council of Churches called for prayers, continued faith and conscious actions that lead to peace. “What if we counter every act of violence with correspondingly larger acts of unity and love?” asked the Rev. Olav Fykse Tveit.
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80 years, 1 bike and 35,000 miles

CONCORD, N.H. — The Rev. Dwight Haynes didn’t learn to ride a bike until he was 13 — no training wheels in those days, he points out. But he’s made up for that slow start: At age 80, Haynes has ridden more than 35,000 miles. Beth DiCocco has the story.
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Teen washes Loads of Love

MACON, Ga. ( — Everyone needs clean clothes, but for some families, a trip to the laundromat can mean making financial sacrifices in other areas. A teenager and her church started giving people the gift of free laundry and now other congregations are washing their own Loads of Love.
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Inmate art inspires new ministries

HILLSVILLE, Va. — When the letters started coming from the jail, the Rev. Ronnie Collins was amazed by the artwork decorating the envelopes and pages. The first was a sketch of Jesus. Annette Spence of the Holston Conference reports on Out of the Box United Methodist Church’s creative jail ministries. 
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Church fundraising ideas beyond bake sales

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMCom) — For congregations grown weary of the same old events, United Methodist Communications offers some variations on familiar ideas.
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Interim leader for Reconciling Ministries 

CHICAGO — Jan Lawrence is the interim executive director of Reconciling Ministries Network, an unofficial United Methodist group that advocates for the full inclusion of LGBTQ individuals in the denomination. Lawrence, who has led the LGBTQ Inclusion Advocacy Team at Foundry United Methodist Church in Washington.
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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, June 5-Friday, June 30 

Surviving the Caregiver Marathon with Grace: Training for Serving in the Long Run — This online workshop from gives caregivers the tools and support needed to maintain physical, emotional and spiritual health while caring for others. This course is eligible for 2.0 CEUs. Price: $45. Details

Sunday, June 11

Peace with Justice Sunday — Congregations around the country will join together to help break down barriers so that all God’s children have equal access to jobs, education, food, clean water, health care and much more. For a collection of resources to help celebrate, download the Peace with Justice Pastor and Leader’s Kit. Download resources 

See more United Methodist events