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UMNS Weekly Digest - November 10, 2017


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Bishops consider 3 models for church future

LAKE JUNALUSKA, N.C. (UMNS) — United Methodist bishops are exploring three possible models for the church’s future. Heather Hahn reports.
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Pastors become chaplains after massacre

DALLAS (UMNS) — The mass shooting at First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs, Texas, turned local United Methodist pastors into community chaplains and special prayer service leaders. They also had to console members of their own congregations who knew victims of the horrific event. Sam Hodges reports.
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A United Methodist balm for Sutherland Springs

DALLAS (UMNS) — Mark R. Mitchell, lay leader of Floresville (Texas) United Methodist Church, has organized lawyers and accountants who are ready to work pro bono for survivors of the Nov. 5 massacre at First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs. That's one example of how United Methodists close to the tragedy are trying to be of practical help. Sam Hodges reports.
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African bishops: Support Way Forward work

LAKE JUNALUSKA, N.C. (UMNS) — In a pastoral letter, African bishops call on United Methodists in their areas to support the ongoing work of the Commission on a Way Forward with prayer and fasting. Heather Hahn reports on the letter issued during the Council of Bishops meeting.
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Bishops called to navigate 'off the map'

LAKE JUNALUSKA, N.C. (UMNS) — Bishop Bruce R. Ough, president of the Council of Bishops, likened his colleagues to explorers of old as they seek to navigatethrough the denomination’s rocky challenges. He spoke as the bishops were about to embark on discussing the work of the Commission on a Way Forward. Heather Hahn reports.
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First story in a series
Refugees find community with United Methodists

BREMEN, Germany (UMNS) — United Methodist churches in Germany are helping refugees and migrants — providing sanctuary, classes and help with negotiating bureaucracy. The bishop and other members say the work is benefitting the churches, too. Vicki Brown and Mike DuBose have the story and photos.
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Second story in a series
Bremen church embraces refugees, migrants

BREMEN, Germany (UMNS) — A United Methodist church in Bremen, Germany, that welcomed refugees and migrants has found blessing and new life through the work. Vicki Brown and Mike DuBose report with story and photos. 
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Call for 'bold action' at Bonn climate summit

BONN, Germany (UMNS) — Leaders of four United Methodist general agencies are calling for “bold action to protect God’s people and God’s planet” as world leaders gather here for the Nov. 6-17 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. A joint delegation from the denomination’s Boards of Church and Society and Global Ministries is participating in the conference’s first week. Linda Bloom has the story.
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'Talanoa': Storytelling for climate justice  

Building bridges with Methodist Church in India 

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) — Bishops from the Methodist Church in India traveled to the U.S. this month to learn more about The Upper Room’s programs and resources. They also took part in a five-day Academy for Spiritual Formation in partnership with the Wisconsin Conference. The visit was a learning experience for both churches, said the Rev. Im Jung, who helped organize the initiative. Julie Dwyer has the story. 
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Bishop: Puerto Rico rises with church's help

LAKE JUNALUSKA, N.C. (UMNS) — Puerto Rico is rising up from the devastation of Hurricane Maria, Bishop Hector Ortiz told the Council of Bishops. He and other bishops of hurricane-ravaged areas offered updates on how the church is helping recovery. Heather Hahn reports.
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Norway Church lights Liberian children's village

MONROVIA, Liberia (UMNS) — Thanks to The United Methodist Church in Norway, the Bishop Judith Craig Children’s Village in Liberia now has solar-powered electricity. “The United Methodist Church of Norway has lifted our village from the backwardness we once experienced without electricity,” said the Rev. Robert N. Sieh, director of the church-supported home for orphans. Julu Swen has the story.
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Crossing borders without leaving a country

KAPOSVÁR, Hungary (UMNS) — The Rev. Bence Vigh, 31, is a young pastor in The United Methodist Church in Hungary. The charge conference he is serving also includes the Roma church Kürtöspuszta. His work with youth gives him a unique view into how the digitalization of the world shapes the lives of people in Hungary who have technology and the sharp differences for those who do not. Urs Schweizer has the story.
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Liberians asked to pray for peaceful election

MONROVIA, Liberia (UMNS) — United Methodist Bishop Samuel J. Quire Jr. is calling on fellow Liberians to keep the peace as they prepare to vote in the country’s presidential runoff election. Liberia’s supreme court has put the election temporarily on hold. E. Julu Swen reports.
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Liberian seniors get medical help and honor

MONROVIA, Liberia (UMNS) — The Liberia Conference provided a free health clinic for hundreds of senior citizens this year on Senior Citizens Sunday. Julu Swen has the story. 
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Global Ministries
#GivingTuesday: Connect your passion with God's mission

ATLANTA — Now is the time to start thinking about where you want your UMC #GivingTuesday gift to go on Nov. 28. There are more than 600 church-related Advance projects and more than 300 United Methodist missionaries to choose from. One of the great things about The Advance is that it allows you to invest your resources where your passion answers specific needs in the world, said Thomas Kemper, top executive with the United Methodist Board of Global Ministries. 
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Give on Nov. 28  

Global Geneva
Mike DuBose: A photojournalist's journey

GENEVA — “As a photographer, I have always tried to give an honest look at the world around me, and I enjoyed taking our readers to new places or giving them a fresh view of the familiar,” said Mike DuBose, UMNS photographer. DuBose and his work are featured on the website of Global Geneva Magazine, focusing on journalism, ideas and world affairs.
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Baltimore-Washington Conference
Wesley Seminary hosts political theology conference

WASHINGTON — The need for a deeply divided country and church to communicate across that divide was the stimulus for a political theology conference held at Wesley Theological Seminary. The nine presenters and three respondents, along with more than 100 participants, tried to answer the question, “What would John Wesley do in our political climate?” Erik Alsgaard reports. 
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Commission on the General Conference 
GC2020 worship and music director selected

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Raymond Trapp has been named worship and music director for the 2020 United Methodist General Conference by the Commission on the General Conference. Trapp is director of music at Vanderveer Park United Methodist Church in Brooklyn, New York, and music director of the New York Conference.
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Board of Higher Education and Ministry
Lewis named endorsement director

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The Rev. Mitchell Lewis has been named the director of endorsement and endorsing agent in the Division of Ordained Ministry’s United Methodist Endorsing Agency.
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Migration — a personal reflection

ACRAMENTO, Calif. (UMNS) — In advance of Global Migration Sunday Dec. 3, Bishop Minerva G. Carcaño of the California-Nevada Conference shares her experiences with migrants. “I truly believe that as we walk with migrant sisters and brothers, our faith will be strengthened as we see God at work in their lives,” she writes. 
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Read more about Global Migration Sunday 

Pastor offers tips to protect churches from gun violence

CASPER, Wyo. — The recent deadly mass shooting during Sunday morning service at a Sutherland Springs, Texas, church is a reminder that while no one can ever be prepared for such an incident, churches can take steps to protect themselves. The Rev. Rebekah Simon-Peter talked with the Rev. Derrek Belase, a former police officer, about some practical tips for churches. Simon-Peter is director of Creating a Culture of Renewal.
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Dreaming of unity

MONUMENT, Colo. (UMNS) — The Rev. Bob Kaylor, pastor of Tri-Lakes United Methodist Church, believes that unity among Christians — including in The United Methodist Church — doesn't depend on denominational structure but on "humility, confession, repentance and surrender." Kaylor’s commentary is part of “Many Voices, One Faith,” a forum for sharing theological perspectives on topics of interest in the church. 
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United Methodist Forum: Many Voices, One Faith  



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.

Sunday, Nov. 12

Mourning's Dawn: Healing and Living with Grief

Monday, Nov. 13

revitup! For a Lifetime in Ministry — an event for young clergy ages 25-39


See more United Methodist events