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UMNS Weekly Digest - November 18, 2016


Top viewed stories from Nov. 11 - Nov. 17. See all United Methodist News Service stories at


Churchgoers call for unity, action post-election

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) — While many United Methodists offered prayers and messages of unity after the election of Donald Trump as the 45th president of the United States, others called on Christians to hold leaders accountable and take action against hate. Julie Dwyer reports.

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What counts as Wesleyan orthodoxy?

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) — For as long as people have sought to follow Christ, they have argued about just what being a true follower entails. That was no different in John Wesley’s day. Heather Hahn talks to Wesleyan scholars about what Methodism’s founder deemed Christian essentials.
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Pastors, laity briefed on gun violence

WASHINGTON (UMNS) — The memory of the sounds a parent makes when the casket closes on a child killed by a gun brought one Chicago-area pastor to a United Methodist forum on reducing gun violence. Sam Hodges reports.
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'Hostile actions' mar North Carolina youth event

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (UMNS) — A few hundred people walked out of a North Carolina youth event during a session dealing with pain and racism felt by young Hispanic-Latinos who had earlier been victims of intimidation, conference officials said. The Rev. Gustavo Vasquez reports.
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Ebola vaccines declared safe in Liberia

MONROVIA, Liberia (UMNS) — Ebola trial vaccines that were first administered in February 2015 have been declared safe and ready for use in an Ebola outbreak as an intervention tool, according to a United Methodist doctor who took the vaccine.

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Church holds domestic violence workshops

HARARE, Zimbabwe (UMNS) — The United Methodist Church has taken an active role in the campaign to reduce incidences of domestic violence in the country. In observance of Domestic Violence Awareness Month in October, the church sponsored two workshops, where 145 clergy and church leaders from the 13 districts in the Zimbabwe Episcopal Area were educated about gender-based violence and how they can be involved in fighting it. Eveline Chikwanah reports.
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Commentary: Pastors can help heal after election

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) — In the aftermath of the most contentious U.S. presidential campaign in recent memory, pastors will play a crucial role in healing the deep divide in the country. The Rev. Junius B. Dotson, top executive of United Methodist Discipleship Ministries, offers advice about how pastors can help.
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Preparing for GC2020

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (UMCom) — A new Commission on General Conference began organization for the 2020 General Conference to be held in Minneapolis. The commission selected new officers and a new secretary.
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Commentary: Why the Wesleyan Covenant Association?

WILMORE, Ky. (Good News) —The Rev. Bill Arnold, professor of Old Testament studies at Asbury Theological Seminary, writes in a commentary for Good News Magazine that for him, the Wesleyan Covenant Association is a way of embracing Methodism and recommitting to his ordination vows.
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​17 clergy, laity file complaint against Bishop Trimble

DES MOINES, Iowa (UMNS) — Seventeen lay and clergypersons from the Iowa Conference have filed a formal complaint against Bishop Julius C. Trimble. The complaint concerns his handling of an earlier complaint against a campus minister who came out as homosexual. The Rev. Arthur McClanahan reports.
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Wisconsin releases credentialing statement

SUN PRAIRIE, Wis. (UMNS) — The Wisconsin Conference board of ordained ministry said in a statement that sexual orientation and gender identity are not sufficient reasons to deny clergy candidates’ call to ministry. The conference joins at least five other boards that have issued similar statements.

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Giving Tuesday is coming

ATLANTA (UMNS) — Giving Tuesday, a charitable response to “Black Friday” post-Thanksgiving sales, will be Nov. 29. Once again, United Methodist Global Ministries welcomes contributions through The Advance, the denomination’s designated giving program that allows donors to support various kinds of ministries around the globe.

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United Methodists provide flood relief to North Korea

WILLIAMS BAY, Wis. (UMNS) — Heavy flooding in North Korea has left 138 dead, 400 missing and more than 140,000 displaced. The Peace Committee of the Korean Association of United Methodists is working with the North Korean government to deliver $100,000 worth of relief items.
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Mission partnership brings hope to East Angola

QUESSUA, Angola (UMNS) — What was supposed to be a one-time mission trip in 2010 has blossomed into an ongoing partnership between a missionary couple, the Florida Conference and a tiny village.
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Plan to observe United Methodist Student Day

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) — Offerings on United Methodist Student Day support scholarships for United Methodist students in college and seminary. Student Day is usually observed on the Sunday after Thanksgiving (Nov. 27 this year). Churches can choose another Sunday to celebrate, too.
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Commentary: Taking our theology seriously

ADRIAN, Mich. (UMNS) — “The present crisis in The United Methodist Church is not over those who value the theological tradition and those who do not,” writes the Rev. Christopher P. Momany, chaplain at United Methodist-related Adrian College.

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Renovation uncovers treasures for old church

DALLAS (UMNS) — Wheatland United Methodist Church’s historic sanctuary had fallen into such disrepair that engineers declared it potentially unsafe. A renovation project yielded remarkable discoveries, such as a fireplace and stained glass hidden behind a wall. Jackie Blalock Robinson reports for the North Texas Conference.

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Video tells the stories of women clergy

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (UMNS) — The North Alabama Conference has collected the stories of clergy and lay women who have experienced abuse, harassment and discrimination based on their gender. The result is the video “#HerTruth: Women in Ministry Break Their Silence,” put together by the conference’s Commission on the Status and Role of Women. The hope is the video will help the church live into its promise of recognizing God’s gifts in all people.

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Looking ahead

Here are some of the activities ahead for United Methodists across the connection. If you have an item to share, email and put Digest in the subject line.


Thursday, Dec. 1

World AIDS Day — The United Methodist Global AIDS Fund invites people to participate in the Just Save One initiative, which aims to prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV through an international grant-making process. To donate


Webinar "Cradle Roll Ministry" — 7 to 8 p.m. EST. Research has shown that the everyday activities of infants and toddlers form the foundation for their later development, so it’s important for the church to minister to these youngest members of the congregation. This webinar will talk about ministry that focuses on children from birth until age 3. Debbie Kolacki, a certified Christian educator and United Methodist lay servant, will lead. Details


More upcoming United Methodist events