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UMNS Weekly Digest - May 18, 2012


UMNS Weekly Digest

May 18, 2012

NOTE: This is a digest of news features provided by United Methodist Communications for May 14-18. It includes summaries of stories and additional briefs from United Methodist News Service. Full versions of the stories with photographs and related features can be found at

Stories this week:

Pastor mixes faith, life online 'Change the World' this weekend'Tis the season -- for meetingsTrucking out sweet potatoesPeace with Justice SundayProviding more than a roofCommunicating in real timeJoint paper on Eucharist and EarthShockley named to Colorado ChurchCongo siblings to capture hearts73 years of General ConferencesPainting a painful journeyNew bishops' president a pioneerGeneral Conference and 'The Avengers'New missionaries sent forthMissionaries: In their own wordsMore help needed to fight AIDSLeadership change at IliffOpening for women's advocateVirtual MethodismTop 10 sign blundersU.S. shift reflects global change

Pastor mixes faith, life online

PONTIAC, Ill. (UMNS) - The Rev. Scott Carnes wants to see how authentically he can share his life and faith through online media. The 32-year-old associate pastor at First United Methodist Church in Pontiac considers such communications tools to be an essential part of the ministry of a connectional church. Read full story and post a comment»

'Change the World' this weekend

BAGUIO CITY, Philippines (UMNS) - Don't just go to church. Be the church! That's the message on May 19-20, when - for the third year - it's Change the World weekend. Baguio City First United Methodist Church will kick off this weekend's annual Change the World campaign with a run. Actually, three runs - 3K, 5K and 10K. Read full story and post a comment»

See images»

'Tis the season - for meetings

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) - With General Conference 2012 in the rearview mirror, the focus moves to a virtual traffic jam of regional and jurisdictional meetings ranging from consolidating three annual conferences to electing more than a dozen new bishops. In the United States, Annual (regional) Conferences began May 17 in Detroit and continue through June 24 in Roanoke, Va. In July, jurisdictional conferences will meet to elect and assign new bishops, and several central conferences will elect bishops later in the summer and fall. Meanwhile, reports from annual conference sessions around the globe are being posted on The United Methodist Church website. Read full story and post a comment»

To see reports»

Peace with Justice Sunday

WASHINGTON (UMNS) - United Methodist congregational resources are available to celebrate Peace with Justice Sunday, which will be June 3, but also celebrated other Sundays. Half of the special offering helps to provide a denominational voice in advocating for peace around the world and the other half supports justice ministries in annual (regional) conferences. Read more»

Trucking out sweet potatoes

BIG ISLAND, Va. (UMNS) - About 30 truckloads of sweet potatoes donated by a North Carolina grower have been delivered to points around the country, but more donations are needed to roll out the 36-plus additional truckloads that have been scheduled. Each truck carries 42,000 pounds of food to its destination for $1,000 to $2,500, depending on distance. That translates to only 2.5 cents to 6 cents per pound. Learn more»

Providing more than a roof

NEW YORK (UMNS) - Politeness and respect are just as important as food and shelter for refugees being resettled into U.S. communities, Alistair Ager, Columbia University Professor of Clinical Population and Family Health, told those gathered May 8-10 at Church World Service's annual national refugee resettlement conference. The importance of social networks - including simple neighborliness - for the successful integration of refugees was emphasized repeatedly during the event. Read more»

Communicating in real time

NEW YORK (UMNS) - In keeping with his philosophy that ministry is about building relationships, the Rev. Scott Carnes isn't shy about discussing his life through social media, writes UMNS reporter Linda Bloom in her "Bloombytes" blog. Read blog and post a comment»

Joint paper on Eucharist and Earth

LAKELAND, Fla. (UMNS) - For the past four years, Florida Area Bishop Timothy W. Whitaker has served as co-chair of dialogue between the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and The United Methodist Church. In his blog, Whitaker details a paper he and Catholic Bishop William S. Skylstad of Spokane, Wash., drafted on Holy Communion and ecological stewardship. "When we celebrate the Eucharist we join with the rest of creation in acknowledging our dependence on the Father," says the paper, Heaven and Earth are Full of Your Glory: The Eucharist and Ecology. Read full blog»

Shockley named to Colorado church

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) - The Rev. Gary A. Shockley, executive officer of the United Methodist Board of Discipleship's New Church Starts (Path 1), has been appointed senior pastor at St. Andrew United Methodist Church in Highlands Ranch, Colo. Denver Area Bishop Elaine J.W. Stanovsky made the appointment, which will be effective Oct. 15. Under Shockley's leadership, New Church Starts (Path 1) has assisted episcopal and conference leaders as they planted more than 600 new churches in the United States since 2009. This figure is on pace to surpass the goal of 650 new church starts set during the 2008 General Conference.

Congo siblings to capture hearts

TAMPA BAY, Fla. (UMNS) - The Kamana 5 Singers were instant hits at the 2012 General Conference, bringing delegates and visitors to their feet during the April 30 worship service. Four brothers and a sister, ranging in age from 9 to 21, make up the gospel ensemble. Their father, a United Methodist pastor in the West Congo Annual (regional) Conference, accompanied his children. Read full story and post a comment»

73 years of General Conferences

TAMPA, Fla. (UMNS) - A gallon of gas cost a dime when Louise Short began attending General Conference. That was in 1939. Over the past 73 years she hasn't missed a General Conference, a fact that earned her a standing ovation on May 1, during the United Methodist General Conference in Tampa. A gallon of gasoline costs a whole lot more in 2012, but for Short, the widow of Bishop Roy Short, one thing has held steady: "I love The United Methodist Church." Read full story and post a comment»

Painting a painful journey

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) - James Makuac recounts his horrific journey from Sudan to the United States with vivid, haunting paintings. "It's easier for me to tell the story when they see the picture," he explains. There were 35,000 Lost Boys of Sudan - ranging in age from 5 to 11 - when they began their trek. More than half of the boys died on the journey to Kenya. See the video and how you can help»

New bishops' president a pioneer

TAMPA, Fla. (UMNS) - When she was a teenager, Bishop Rosemarie Wenner was the only one in her confirmation class in the United Methodist church she attended in Germany. When she began considering going into ministry, there was only one female United Methodist pastor in her country. And, when she was elected bishop of Germany, she became the first woman outside the United States tapped for a United Methodist episcopacy. Now, Wenner is the new president of the denomination's Council of Bishops. Read full story and listen to audio excerpts»

General Conference and 'The Avengers'

ROCK HILL, S.C. (UMNS) - After an intense General Conference, United Methodists with different gifts and sometimes different convictions will need to work together to live out the gospel. It's a struggle not dissimilar to what the heroes face in the blockbuster "The Avengers," writes the Rev. Narcie Jeter in her blog. Read full blog»

New missionaries sent forth

TAMPA, Fla. (UMNS) - In a sanctuary so overflowing that a video link had to be set up in the fellowship hall, 40 men and women were commissioned April 24 to serve as missionaries, deaconesses and home missioners for The United Methodist Church. The service took place at a local United Methodist church during General Conference, the denomination's top legislative assembly. The missionaries are being assigned throughout the global denomination. The deaconesses and home missionaries will serve in the United States. Read full story and post a comment»

Missionaries: In their own words

TAMPA, Fla. (UMNS) - A video storybook posted on YouTube takes viewers into the personal stories of United Methodist missionaries. From a parish nurse in Tennessee to a pair of missionaries in Northern Ireland, they use their own words to describe how they've been called and why they've answered that call. Watch the video»

More help needed to fight AIDS

TAMPA, Fla. (UMNS) - The statistics are not for the faint of heart. Three decades into the AIDS pandemic, 30 million people have died and some 30 million are infected. Leaders of the United Methodist Global AIDS Fund, speaking at General Conference 2012, called for an end to the "genocide of indifference" by urging congregations to step up their support of the AIDS fund and increase their awareness by putting a human face on the disease. Read full story and post a comment»

Leadership change at Iliff

DENVER (UMNS) - The United Methodist-related Iliff School of Theology announces the departure of David Trickett, Iliff's 13th president, effective May 16. Trickett has led Iliff since 2006. Albert Hernandez, chief operating officer, dean of the faculty, senior vice president for academic affairs and associate professor of the history of Christianity, will fulfill the duties of the presidency on an interim basis. Read full story»

Opening for women's advocate

WASHINGTON (UMNS) - The United Methodist Board of Church and Society is seeking a director and organizer for women's advocacy. The opening is part of the board's Louise and Hugh Moore Population Project, whose mission is to work with and on behalf of women around the globe, particularly those most marginalized, by advocating for the passage of just policies by the U.S. Congress and the United Nations. The director reports to the agency's chief executive and will work at the United Methodist Building on Capitol Hill. To see full job description»

Virtual Methodism

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) - Want to stay up to speed on the news inside The United Methodist Church? Would you like to see examples of what's working elsewhere in the denomination? Looking to connect with a community of believers? Check out the social network. Whether it's an app or Facebook or Twitter or YouTube, The United Methodist Church has you covered. Check it out»

Top 10 church sign blunders

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) - All writers need editors. That includes the folks in your congregation who are designated to come up with pithy phrases for the church's outdoor sign. Take a look at the top 10 worst blunders (one example: "Love is like bread; it should be made daily"). Then read some tips for writing good messages. To learn more»

U.S. shift reflects global change

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) - We've reached a hinge-point in U.S. history, writes Larry Hollon in his blog, "Faith, Media and Culture." During the past 12 months, for the first time in history, more babies were born to ethnic families other than "non-Hispanic whites." This is part of a significant global shift that has implications for the church, Hollon says. Read blog and post a comment»

Category: Weekly Digest
Tags: News Summaries