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Weekly Digest - November 26, 2014

NOTE: This is a digest of news features provided by United Methodist Communications for Nov. 24-26. It includes summaries of United Methodist News Service stories and additional briefs from around the United Methodist connection. Full versions of the stories with photographs and related features can be found at

Top Stories

United Methodists to observe Sand Creek 150th
NEW YORK (UMNS) — When United Methodists join with Native Americans and others in Colorado this weekend to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Sand Creek Massacre, their participation will mark another step in a denominational process of "setting the historical record straight." Linda Bloom reports.

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Bishops to get a 3 percent raise in 2015
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) — Most United Methodist bishops will see a 3 percent salary boost next year, a higher raise than they’ve seen in five years. The board of the denomination’s finance agency decided on the pay increase based on a bishop compensation study and trends in the secular workforce. Heather Hahn reports.

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Bishops face penalties for auditing issues

Many United Methodists praise president’s immigration order
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) — President Barack Obama’s immigration plan offers “a word of mercy and a measure of justice,” said United Methodist Bishop Minerva Carcaño, co-chair of the denomination’s interagency task force on immigration reform. Kathy L. Gilbert and Sam Hodges have the story.

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A history of welcoming the immigrant

Filipino church members walk for accountability
CABANATUAN CITY, Philippines (UMNS) — Some 500 church members and students from The United Methodist Church in the Philippines, led by Manila Area Bishop Rodolfo A. Juan, gathered Nov. 17 to express their indignation about graft and corruption. Gladys P. Mangiduyos reports.

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BMCR response to Missouri grand jury decision
FERGUSON, Mo. (UMNS) — In the wake of the violence that followed the grand jury decision not to indict a police officer in the shooting death of Michael Brown, the Rev. Cedrick D. Bridgeforth, chairperson of Black Methodists for Church Renewal, writes about what can be done now.

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Pastor in Ferguson, Missouri, writes about responding in faith.

NCC: 'Deep disappointment' in Missouri decision

Police shooting: What do you tell the kids?

Kassig remembered for humanitarian service
INDIANAPOLIS (UMNS) — During an interfaith memorial service at Butler University, Abdul-Rahman Peter Kassig was remembered for his dedication to serving others. The 26-year-old Indianapolis native lost his life while providing humanitarian aid in Syria. Skyler E. Nimmons has the story for the Indiana Conference.

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UMNS story on Kassig

Take part in #GivingTuesday on Dec. 2
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) — On Dec. 2, United Methodists will be part of #GivingTuesday, a growing global movement focusing on giving to help others to begin the holiday season. United Methodist entities - local churches, annual conference-related missions, general agencies and others - encourage using the day as a time to extend the spirit of Thanksgiving into Advent. Several denominational agencies are seeking support for projects and ministries on #GivingTuesday, Dec. 2.

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In Jamaica, PAPA’S faithful do hard work of mission
KINGSTON, Jamaica (UMNS) — Last year, United Methodists donated more than $15,000 to Pastors and Priests Available for Service (PAPA’S) Ministries, Advance #3021286, on UMC #Giving Tuesday. Those gifts helped support the work of local preachers and lay speakers in Jamaica who have been funding ministries out of their own pockets. Sandra Brands has the story.

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Rethink Church offers resources for ministry with prisoners
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) — Currently, there are more than 2.3 million people incarcerated in the U.S. prison system. United Methodists are called to be peacemakers and healers. Rethink Church shares information on how to be in relationship with prisoners and returned citizens.

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African women earn money via cellphone subscription
ABIDJAN, Côte d’Ivoire (UMNS) — Cellphone subscriptions are generating income that women of The United Methodist Church in Côte d’Ivoire hope to use to start small businesses. The Côte d’Ivoire United Methodist Women received a check this month for $1,000 U.S., earnings on a social media network. Isaac Broune reports.

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Religious groups support EPA rules on carbon pollution
WASHINGTON, D.C. (UMNS) — The United Methodist Board of Church and Society was among the 17 religious organizations whose representatives met Nov. 18 with Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy to show support of the EPA’s proposed rules to address carbon pollution from power plants. Wayne Rhodes has the story.

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Advocacy group calls for boycott of settlement products
WASHINGTON (UMNS) — United Methodist Kairos Response, an unofficial advocacy group, has announced its global boycott of six product lines produced in Israeli settlements of the West Bank. The United States has criticized such settlements in the Occupied Territories as an obstacle to peace, the group said.

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History of Hymns: ‘Let All Things Now Living’
DALLAS (UMNS) — Katherine Kennicott Davis is best known for the Christmas carol “The Little Drummer Boy.” But in 1939, she also wrote the words of the anthem “Let All Things Now Living” and set it to a buoyant Welsh tune. The result is a Thanksgiving tradition at many churches. C. Michael Hawn of Southern Methodist University’s Perkins School of Theology shares Davis’ story.

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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.


Sunday, Nov. 30- Wednesday Dec. 24
Celebrate the start of the Christian year and prepare for Christ's birth with:

Tuesday, Dec. 2
#GivingTuesday — The United Methodist Board of Global Ministries will match up to $1 million in gifts made online to any project through The Advance, the designated giving program to United Methodist-supported mission and ministries. See resources.

You can see more educational opportunities and other upcoming events in the life of the church here.