UMNS Weekly Digest - September 7, 2012
NOTE: This is a digest of news features provided by United Methodist Communications for Sept.4-10. It includes summaries of United Methodist News Service stories, UMTV video reports and additional briefs from around the United Methodist connection. Full versions of the stories with photographs and related features can be found at http://umns.umc.org.
- Grandmother builds orphanage in Africa
- Maryland D.S. takes prayer bike tour
- Who cares for caregivers?
- United Methodist 'church' on a ferryboat
- Arkansas tries new job seeker, employer plan
- UMCOR's Isaac response in high gear
- New pastor also new football coach
- Wooden bank helps tell Florida church's story
- 'Best of mission' training
- Louisiana disaster responders go to churches
- Family removes tombstone after church suit
- Congo delegation presents petition to U.N.
- Dialogue crucial to conflict in Syria, WCC says
- Philippines 'still in desperate need'
- Louisiana outlines ways to help
- Alabama-West Florida asks for help
- Texas pastor 2012 distinguished evangelist
- Report: Older clergy bubble grows
- From Haiti to Louisiana in Isaac's wake
- Assessment team visits Isaac-affected area
- Connectional Table executive resigns
- United Methodist Paralympian takes gold
- Olympic gold medalist visits home church
UHEKULE, Tanzania (UMNS) - Kay Oursler could have retired comfortably back in Hot Springs Village, Ark., near her biological children and grandchildren. But retirement would not be much of a mission for Oursler - certainly not like starting an orphanage in a small African village. Read full story
FRIENDSHIP, Md. (UMNS) - "The church needs to engage itself &ellipsis; to meet people where they are," said the Rev. Evan Young, newly appointed superintendent of the three-county United Methodist Annapolis District, Baltimore-Washington Annual (regional) Conference. Young set out on a bicycle to do just that. Read story and post a comment
DOVER, N.H. (UMNS) - Harriett Marshall's husband, Bob, required 24-hour care the last five years of his life. Marshall said she is thankful she had the assistance of volunteers with the Care Team Ministry at her church, St. John's United Methodist, to do some of her chores and give her a respite now and then. Read full story and post a comment
ST. IGNACE, Mich. (UMNS) - How do you attract tourists to worship with your church during the months of summer vacation? The little Michigan towns of St. Ignace and Mackinaw City have both tourists and locals standing in line for 30 minutes for a seat at their Vesper Cruise services led by various local denominations. Read full story and post a comment
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (UMNS) - United Methodists in Arkansas are engaging in denominational matchmaking to pair potential employers with graduates of a job-training program for those recovering from addiction. A side benefit from a successful marriage: a model that others could replicate across the denomination. Read full story and post a comment
JACKSON, Miss. (UMNS) - The United Methodist Committee on Relief, the denomination's relief agency, has sent $10,000 emergency grants to both the Mississippi and the Louisiana conferences, and church leaders involved in the response reported that giving cash donations, rather than material goods, is the best way to help those affected by the hurricane. Read full story
ROCHESTER, N.H. (UMNS) - First United Methodist Church got a new pastor and Spaulding High School appointed a new assistant football coach, reports Foster's Daily Democrat. The pastor and the coach are one and the same. Read full story
PALM BEACH, Fla. (UMNS) - Little things can speak volumes about history, notes Eliot Kleinberg in the Palm Beach Post. He writes about a little wooden coin box shaped like a house that was distributed to members of a United Methodist congregation in Lake Worth to raise money for a 1916-1917 building project. Read full story
POWDER SPRINGS, Ga. (UMNS) - The mission conference "Beyond These Walls," which aims to help revitalize congregations through "best of the best" missions training, is scheduled Oct. 11-13 at McEachern United Methodist Church in Powder Springs. The United Methodist Board of Global Ministries, the Mission Society, World Methodist Evangelism and the International Leadership Institute are among the sponsors. To register and learn more
BATON ROUGE, La. (UMNS) - Bishop Cynthia Fierro Harvey of the Louisiana Area; Tom Hazelwood, head of the United Methodist Committee on Relief's U.S. disaster relief efforts, and disaster relief coordinators from the area toured for two days some of the areas hardest-hit by Isaac. Here is what they found:
GLOUCESTER, Va. (UMNS) - Salem United Methodist Church sued the family of the late Wilmer Frank Soles over his headstone that featured a photo of him playing cards and drinking alcohol with a friend. The church, which owns the cemetery where Soles is buried, said the image offended its members and other families with loved ones interred in the cemetery. The family has decided to remove the headstone. Watch NBC Channel 12 story
NEW YORK (UMNS) - United Methodist Bishop Nkulu Ntanda Ntambo, a member of the Democratic Republic of Congo Senate, was part of a delegation presenting a petition for peace, dialogue and reconciliation to the United Nations Security Council last week. Read more
KOLYMPARI, Greece (UMNS) - Calling for an immediate end to all forms of violence in Syria, the World Council of Churches Central Committee has issued a public statement saying the only solution to the conflict is for "all parties to engage in dialogue" to safeguard the country's unity. Read statement
NEW YORK (UMNS) - "The Philippines is still in desperate need," reminds Jay Rollins of the United Methodist Committee on Relief. Typhoon Saola tore into the region in early August and combined with seasonal monsoon rains to force more than 270,000 people to flee their homes in the provincial areas around Manila. Emergency teams used rafts and makeshift boats to rescue people from the city's districts of poor and cramped housing. Read what UMCOR has been able to do and what still is needed
BATON ROUGE, La. (UMNS) - Louisiana Annual (regional) Conference officials have expressed thanks for the prayers for those affected by Hurricane Isaac and ask that those prayers continue. They also provided a list of additional ways in which United Methodists can help:
- Thousands of flood buckets have been used and continue to be needed. Learn how to prepare and send these buckets.
- Give to the UMCOR fund for Hurricanes 2012.
- Volunteer to serve on a disaster response team.
MONTGOMERY, Ala. (UMNS) - The Alabama-West Florida Annual (regional) Conference is asking for help with three homes as it continues its long-term recovery efforts from 2011 storms in the aftermath of Hurricane Isaac. "We have had a very active team from Slidell, La., who has been carrying the load of the recovery work in Choctaw County," writes Charles Walters, the tornado recovery coordinator. "Sadly, Hurricane Isaac flooded their hometown and they are busy in their own recovery at the moment. To finish the houses we are working on, we need your help!" Read how you can help
LAKE JUNALUSKA, N.C. (UMNS) - The Rev. Charles Anderson, directing pastor at University United Methodist Churchin San Antonio, Texas, is the 2012 Distinguished Evangelist of The United Methodist Church. Read full story
WASHINGTON (UMNS) - The Lewis Center for Church Leadership on Sept. 6 released its 2012 report on "Clergy Age Trends in The United Methodist Church." The report, prepared with assistance from the United Methodist Board of Pension and Health Benefits, found that United Methodist elders ages 55 to 72 represent 53 percent of all active elders. The preponderance of older clergy is a trend across all mainline denominations, the report also found. The Lewis Center is part of United Methodist-related Wesley Theological Seminary. Read full report
GRETNA, La. (UMNS) - The Rev. Tim Smith and a Volunteer in Mission team from the Louisiana Annual (regional) Conference are back home safe after first braving Isaac's wrath in Haiti on a mission trip. Smith's church in Gretna, La., was not so lucky. However, the storm has not diminished the team's passion for the church's work in Haiti.
Read Smith's testimonial
KILLIAN, La. (UMNS) - On Labor Day, the Rev. Milton Bourque, pastor of Huff Chapel United Methodist Church, guided a damage assessment team from the Louisiana Annual Conference through some of the hardest-hit areas in a southern Louisiana parish. Bishop Cynthia Fierro Harvey, former head of UMCOR, is part of the team. Read full story
PLANO, Texas (UMNS) - Bishop John L. Hopkins announced Sept. 4 that Mary Brooke Casad has submitted her resignation as the executive secretary of The United Methodist Church's Connectional Table, which coordinates the mission, ministry and resources of the denomination. Casad has provided administrative leadership to the Connectional Table since 2007.
Read full story
LONDON -United Methodist wheelchair racer Tatyana McFadden of Clarksville, Md., has won two gold medals at the Paralympic Games. She took her first gold on Sept. 3 in the 400 meters with a personal best time of 52.97, and took gold in the 800 meters on Sept. 5. "I (have) no words to describe this feeling," she wrote on Facebook. "Thank you for all of your wonderful support. I am truly blessed." She previously has taken four silver and two bronze medals from the games in Athens, Greece, and Beijing. Read full story
LENOIR CITY, Tenn. (UMNS) - Olympic gold medalist swimmer Claire Donahue returned to Central United Methodist Church on Aug. 26 to participate in her pastor's sermon and give church members a gander at her trophy. Read full story
NEW YORK (UMNS) - From Andrew to Katrina and Irene to Isaac, United Methodists have become more adept at responding to hurricane season, writes UMNS reporter Linda Bloom in her "Bloombytes" blog. Read blog
CHICAGO (UMNS)-Recent gun violence in this city has left more than 300 people dead, and Mary Long's son, Eric Williams, was among the victims. But Long is turning her anger into action by inviting others to pray for troubled youth and to walk a prayer labyrinth. Long has dealt with drug addiction and prison, and now her son's loss, but she is committed to changing things for the better. Long finds support from her home church, Ingleside-Whitfield United Methodist. She says she knows her son would want her to help end the killing. "It's like his spirit is pushing me. I hear his voice saying, 'Ma, you know what you gotta do.'"
ROSWELL, Ga. (UMNS) - The U.S. job market is tough to navigate, but one United Methodist church in Georgia offers job seekers tips for success and a strong support system. The program combines preparation and prayer, and it helps hundreds. Watch video and post a comment