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UMNS Weekly Digest - March 8, 2013

UMNS Weekly Digest
March 8, 2012

United Methodists in the news

Bishop Carcao speaks to Obama on immigration

WASHINGTON (UMNS) - Los Angeles Area Bishop Minerva G. Carcao was among a small group of faith leaders invited by President Barack Obama to a private meeting at the White House March 8 to discuss immigration reform. Read story and post a comment

United Methodist teen's immigration documentary on C-SPAN

SPANISH FORT, Ala. (UMNS) - Trevor Warren, a high school senior and member of Providence United Methodist Church in Spanish Fort, is a third-prize winner in C-SPAN's national 2013 StudentCam competition. He will receive $750 for his documentary, "The Strangers: Illegal Immigration in America," which will air at 6:50 a.m. ET April 14 on C-SPAN. Warren's documentary focuses on immigration from both biblical and law-enforcement perspectives. The documentary includes an interview with retired Bishop William H. Willimon, who in 2011 joined a lawsuit to attempt to stop Alabama's immigration law.

Read news release
Watch documentary

Rising stress boosts clergy depression

DURHAM, N.C. (UMNS) - "Clergy worry if they have not been living faithfully to God," Rae Jean Proeschold-Bell tells the Associated Baptist Press. "For them, it can take on divine significance that can resonate more deeply with them." Proeschold-Bell is the research director of the Clergy Health Initiative at United Methodist-related Duke Divinity School. She is among those offering tips for relieving the multi-denominational problem of clergy stress. Read story

Women making history

Women's History Month: We need each other

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) - "God calls Christian laywomen and clergywomen, like all Christians, to model the biblical reality that each of us has gifts," writes M. Garlinda Burton, retired executive of the United Methodist Commission on the Status and Role of Women in a commentary. She adds that ministries suffer "when degenerated into misogynistic clichs of backbiting and catfighting." Read commentary and post a comment

Women who make history: Meeli Tankler

TALLINN, Estonia (UMNS) - In Estonia, being involved in different United Methodist ministry areas as a laywoman is not difficult, but the attitude is different toward women clergy, says Meeli Tankler, president of Baltic Methodist Seminary. She is the second leader profiled in a series during March - Women's History Month - looking at women in the church today. Read story and post a comment

Conflicts raise concerns for women around globe

NEW YORK - Rusudan Kalichava knows firsthand that significant mineral resources can be a mixed blessing for a country. The oil reserves in her native Republic of Georgia have become entangled in conflicts. What happened in Georgia is one example of how "violence, economics and war" can affect women, a topic explored in a March 5 panel organized by United Methodist Women.

Read story and post a comment
Women making history

Women discuss violence, economics and war at U.N.

NEW YORK (UMNS) - A United Methodist Women delegation is participating in events this week related to the 57th session of the U.N. Commission on the Status of Women, including a UMW-organized panel discussion on violence, economics and war, co-sponsored by the United Methodist boards of Global Ministries and Church and Society, the Global Network of Women Peacebuilders and the International Civil Society Action Network. See stories on UMC Connections

United Methodists rally for women's day

NEW YORK (UMNS) - A wet snowfall failed to dampen the spirits of United Methodists and other women who marched near the United Nations March for International Women's Day. Read story and post a comment

News around conferences

Walking with the hungry

COLUMBIA, S.C. (UMNS) - Some people give up chocolate or Facebook for Lent. Some vow renewed commitment to meditation, prayer or evangelism. Matt Brodie, communications director of the South Carolina Annual (regional) Conference, has embarked on a more extreme Lenten journey. Jessica Connor, editor of the South Carolina Advocate, explains that Brodie will live only on the meal packets that the food-relief group Stop Hunger Now provides to hungry people worldwide. Read story

Church's school break program a blessing

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (UMNS) - A week off from school ... For students, it means no homework and sleeping in. For parents, it means trying to find supervision. And for Erwin First United Methodist Church, it is an opportunity to reach out and fill a need in its neighborhood. Beth DiCocco of the Upper New York Annual (regional) Conference has the story. Read story

March against gun violence planned in Colorado

DENVER (UMNS) - The Rocky Mountain Annual (regional) Conference invites United Methodists to join a Silent March Against Gun Violence, organized by Colorado Ceasefire, in April. Accompanying the silent march is an empty shoes display on the steps of the state capitol building on April 18. The shoes represent victims of gun violence in Colorado. The April date corresponds to the 14th anniversary of the Columbine shooting. Read more in the Rocky Mountain Conference newsletter

United Methodists join interfaith service following vandalism

JACKSON, Tenn. (UMNS) - Jackson area United Methodists turned out in support of a community interfaith service at Congregation B'nai Israel, on Feb. 9. The service occurred in reaction to vandalism of religious and sacred objects belonging to Margolin Hebrew Academy while students from the Memphis school were staying at a hotel in Jackson. Lane Gardner Camp of the Memphis Annual (regional) Conference shares the story. Read story

Serbia/Macedonia kicks off annual conference season

SKOPJE, Macedonia (UMNS) - Serbia/Macedonia Provisional Conference met Feb. 7-10 for one of the earliest annual conference sessions of 2013. At that gathering, voters also took up four proposed amendments to The United Methodist Church's constitution. More annual conference reports will be posted by United Methodist News Serviceas they come in.

Read report
See proposed constitutional amendments

News from around the connection

Young people make big impact in Las Vegas

LAS VEGAS (UMNS) - To take church outside the four walls of a building and into the community, those who attended the young adult conference Relevance X helped clean up parts of the city as part of Impact Las Vegas. Read story and post a comment

Devotionals to go to Newtown first responders

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) - Responders who rushed to the mass shootings in Newtown, Conn., will be the first to receive a new daily devotional designed specifically for first responders but patterned after a manual that has given comfort to countless U.S. military since World War II. Read story and post comment

Computers feeding minds and bodies in Haiti

THOMAS, Haiti (UMNS) - United Methodist Communications has a partnership with Inveneo, a business with a social purpose to provide a network of local IT partners in Haiti and throughout Africa. That partnership has already led to one solar-powered computer lab that is opening worlds and changing lives. Read story and post a comment

Pastors shoot baskets to fight malaria

LAWRENCE, Kan. (UMNS) - Five United Methodist pastors stepped out of the church and onto the basketball court on March 2 to raise money to fight malaria. The churches collaborating in the event - United Methodists Shoot for No Malaria, raising money for the Imagine No Malaria campaign - decided to work together to make it easier to raise money for the cause. The Lawrence Journal-World has the story. Read story

Vital Congregations launches Team Vital

FORT WORTH, Texas (UMNS) - Team Vital, the newest phase of the Vital Congregations Initiative, launched at First United Methodist Church in Fort Worth, Texas, on Feb. 21-22. Eleven conferences of The United Methodist Church began a two-year journey of learning together last month, using unique and innovative strategies to grow more highly vital congregations. Read news release

Praying to fix immigration system

WASHINGTON (UMNS) - United Methodists in 32 states and the District of Columbia so far have held more than 250 family unity prayer vigils to draw attention to the brokenness of the U.S. immigration system. The vigils have been gatherings to share stories, acknowledge the system's brokenness and pray for legislative change. Read story

UMC Cyber Campus education just click away

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) - Training materials for boards of ordained ministry, presentations from a churchwide sexual ethics summit and a lecture by a well-known civil rights activist are among the materials available through the UMC Cyber Campus. The Cyber Campus is a joint project of the United Methodist Board of Higher Education and Ministry and United Methodist Communications.

Read story
Download Cyber Campus materials

Statement on North Korea nuclear test

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (UMNS) - The Working Group for Peace and Demilitarization in Asia and the Pacific has released a statement in response to the third Democratic People's Republic of Korea nuclear explosive test. The statement emphasizes that peace is possible, but through diplomacy, rather than threats and sanctions. Mark Harrison and the Rev. Liberato Bautista, staff with the United Methodist Board of Church and Society, are members of the working group. Read story

Churches recovering, investigating after fires

STOKES COUNTY, N. C. (UMNS) - Franklin Burcham is in charge of firefighting in this western North Carolina county. The Winston-Salem Journal reports he has spent the past couple of weeks visiting churches near the Stokes-Rockingham county line, specifically United Methodist churches.

Read story
Church fires: Damage, recovery, prevention

Parishioners look ahead after January church fire

WHITESVILLE, Va. (UMNS) - The pastor of Adams Memorial United Methodist Church says blessings are to be found even amid the devastation after a fire destroyed the historic Whitesville (Parksley) church in January. "The beauty that has come out of the fire is it... has expanded our idea of what is community," the Rev. Carl Perez, told Read story

Religion and race agency works on new ministry model

BALTIMORE (UMNS) - The board of the United Methodist Commission on Religion and Race gathered to lead the agency in carrying out a new ministry model for the next four years. The ministry model, officially adopted by the board last fall, encompasses three strategic areas of focus: vital congregations, institutional equity and intercultural competency. Read news release

World Methodists, Anglicans conclude 5-year dialogue

OCHO RIOS, Jamaica (UMNS) - After five years of work mandated by the World Methodist Council and Anglican Communion, the final meeting of the Anglican-Methodist International Commission for Unity in Mission concluded March 1. A report on key points of agreement concerning the interchangeability of ordained ministries and the awareness of each communion's need of the other has been prepared for both bodies. Read story

Don't forget to spring forward clocks on March 10

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) - In most of the United States, March 10 is the start of daylight saving time. The United Methodist Board of Discipleship has offered a "Time Change Song" to help choir members and other United Methodists remember to spring their clocks forward an hour. The song is to the tune of "God of Grace and God of Glory," also known as "Cwm Rhondda." See song

Chuck Knows Church: Why the obsession with candles?

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) - Why does it seem there are candles everywhere in the church? The United Methodist Board of Discipleship's Chuck Knows Church series shows why. Watch video

Disaster Relief

Hour to support UMCOR approaches

PITTSBURGH (UMNS) - Pittsburgh Area Bishop Thomas J. Bickerton, who leads the Western Pennsylvania Annual (regional) Conference, is encouraging local churches to give to One Great Hour of Sharing on Sunday, March 10. The special offering pays for the administrative costs of the United Methodist Committee on Relief, the denomination's disaster-response and relief agency. Local churches also can set an alternative date for the special offering.

Watch video
Learn more about One Great Hour of Sharing

UMCOR helps with Mississippi tornado recovery

HATTIESBURG, Miss. (UMNS) - The United Methodist Committee on Relief, the denomination's relief agency, has issued a $10,000 emergency grant to the Mississippi Annual (regional) Conference to help support relief efforts in Hattiesburg, Petal and other communities affected by a February tornado and flooding. UMCOR is also part of a long-term recovery committee called "Recover, Rebuild, Restore Southeast Mississippi." To support the recovery efforts, give to US Disaster Response, UMCOR Advance #901670. Read story

Two years of relief after Japan's disasters

FUKISHIMA CITY, Japan (UMNS) - The United Methodist Committee on Relief has expanded its reach after two years of working with partner agencies, including Church World Service, to meet immediate needs for the people affected by the tsunami and nuclear plant disaster. One of UMCOR's new efforts involves sending sunflower seeds to growers outside of Fukushima to gain five to 10 tons of seeds produced in non-contaminated areas. Read story

University and seminary news

Busy first semester for freshman, president

INDIANAPOLIS (UMNS) - Robert Manuel has had quite a first semester at the helm of the University of Indianapolis; so has freshman Andy Wegg. Manuel has announced the school's partnership with Richard Lugar, the now-retired U.S. senator, and taken a pie to the face. Wegg has kept busy feeding a singing plant as lead in the university's production of "Little Shop of Horrors." Read story and post a comment

Adrian College releases new anti-trafficking video

ADRIAN, Mich. (UMNS) - United Methodist-related Adrian College and the Rev. Christopher Momany, the college's chaplain, have put together a new video on Adrian's anti-trafficking efforts. The college was founded by veterans of the Underground Railroad, which in the 19th century helped slaves in the United States escape to freedom. Watch video

Methodist Theological Seminary honors 2 alums

DELAWARE, Ohio (UMNS) - The Rev. Emanuel Cleaver III and the Rev. Gwen Purushotham have received the John and Ruth Mount Alumni Awards, highest honor for former students at United Methodist-related Methodist Theological Seminary in Ohio. Cleaver is senior pastor of the 2,600-member St. James United Methodist Church in Kansas City, Mo., and Purushotham is an executive in the United Methodist Board of Higher Education and Ministry's Division of Ordained Ministry. Read story

Clark Atlanta business school takes prize

ATLANTA (UMNS) - For the second consecutive year, a team of students from the United Methodist-related Clark Atlanta University School of Business has won first place and a $5,000 cash prize in the Institute for Supply Management's annual Black Executives in Supply Management Summit's Case Competition, held Feb. 7 in New Orleans. Read news release


The future in present tense

ON A MOUNTAINSIDE, Haiti (UMNS) - "The digital future is becoming the digital present," writes the Rev. Larry Hollon, top executive of United Methodist Communications. Hollon was observing children work with solar-powered tablets and laptops that pick up Wi-Fi signals beamed across the mountains. The effort is a partnership with the communications agency to provide community-based information technology centers. Read commentary

Bishop Trimble: Commentary on immigration

DES MOINES, Iowa (UMNS) - Iowa Area Bishop Julius C. Trimble, a member of the denomination's Immigration Task Force, applauds "those who champion a human rights approach to immigration reform." In a commentary, he notes reasons for hope for bipartisan immigration reform. Read commentary

Personnel news

Rebeck joins Board of Higher Education and Ministry

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) - The Rev. Victoria Rebeck has been appointed as the United Methodist Board of Higher Education and Ministry's director of deacon support, provisional membership and certification in specialized ministry. The appointment, effective April 8, was made on the recommendation of the agency's search team and confirmed by Bishop Bruce Ough of the Dakotas-Minnesota Episcopal Area. Rebeck is a deacon in the Minnesota Annual (regional) Conference, where she currently serves as the director of communications.

Reconciling Ministries Network hires executive director

CHICAGO (UMNS) - Reconciling Ministries Network, an unofficial United Methodist caucus that advocates for greater inclusion of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender individuals, has named its new executive director. Matt Berryman, a former United Methodist clergyperson, has served as the pastor of congregations in the Jacksonville, Fla., area and the United Kingdom. He also has led numerous groups through training seminars and workshops for The United Methodist Church and United Methodist-related institutions. He starts his new role on April 2.


Correction: Asbury not a United Methodist school

An item in the March 4 Daily Digest mistakenly referred to Asbury Theological Seminary as a United Methodist institution. Asbury Seminary is approved by the University Senate for the education of students for ordained ministry in The United Methodist Church. United Methodist News Service apologizes for the error.

Looking ahead

March 12 - Free webinar "Prayer: Oxygen for the Soul," 6:30 p.m. CT, tips on effective prayer practices in small groups and other adult settings from the United Methodist Board of Discipleship. To register.

March 14 - Deadline to register for online course "Web Ministry 100: What is Web Ministry?" March 20- May 1, offered by United Methodist Communications. Cost is $49.99. Registration.

March 14 - Deadline to register for online course "Welcoming Ministry 100," March 20- May 1, offered by United Methodist Communications. Cost is $29.99. Registration.

March 14 - Free webinar "Including Children with Special Needs," 10 a.m. CT, from the United Methodist Board of Discipleship. To register.

March 14 - Free webinar "Moving Your Church Toward Vitality," 6:30 p.m. CT, learn how churches have changed to successfully reach new people, from the United Methodist Board of Discipleship. To register.

March 15-17; April 5-7; April 12-14; April 19-21; Nov. 8-10 - Confirmation Retreat Weekends at Lake Junaluska Conference and Retreat Center. Details.

March 19, April 17 - Poet and undertaker Thomas Lynch will address "The Good Funeral and the Empty Tomb" at 5 p.m. ET March 19 in Candler School of Theology's room 252. He will present "The Feast of Language" at 7 p.m. ET April 17 at Peachtree Road United Methodist Church in Atlanta. The lectures are free, but registration is required. Details.

March 19 - Benefit for Day1 radio ministry, 6:30 p.m. ET, Cherokee Town and Country Club, Atlanta. United Methodists Lillian and Buddy Darden among those honored. Details.

March 21 - Free webinar "Consumerism and the Christian," 6:30 p.m. CT, from the United Methodist Board of Discipleship. To register.

March 24 - Palm/Passion Sunday. United Methodist Board of Discipleship has worship ideas.

March 25-30 - Holy Week. United Methodist Board of Discipleship has worship resources.

March 31 - Easter.

April 1 - Deadline for seminary students to apply for two internships at Oak Forest United Methodist Church in Little Rock, Ark. Interns, who will receive a small stipend, will live and work in Barnabas House, the church's counseling and social work center. Send a letter outlining your interest in the internship, a copy of your rsum and three letters of recommendation to: Summer Internship, Oak Forest United Methodist Church, 2415 Fair Park Blvd, Little Rock, Ark., 72204. Learn more.

April 1 - Deadline for nominations of the Foundation for Evangelism's Culture of Call Church award, which recognizes a United Methodist congregation that encourages young people to respond to God's call to full-time Christian service. Nomination forms.

April 14 - Native American Ministries Sunday, in which a special offering benefits Native American outreach within annual conferences and provide seminary scholarships to Native Americans. Details and to donate.

Category: Weekly Digest
Tags: News Summaries