Daily Digest - April 02, 2013

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"God wants us to be concerned about people who cannot defend themselves, and as a church, we need to find a way to speak to that and empower people so that they open their mouths and speak out against domestic violence." - Bishop James Swanson Sr.

Bishop's personal promise on domestic violence

JACKSON, Miss. (UMNS) - In 1968, Mississippi Area Bishop James Swanson Sr. was 18 years old when his mother's life tragically ended. After that, Swanson pledged to grow up and be part of the solution to bring awareness and end domestic violence. Tamica Smith-Jeuitt of the Mississippi Annual (regional) Conference reports on the bishop's efforts against abuse.
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For CBS producer, sharing beliefs is key

NEW YORK (UMNS) - When John P. "Jack" Blessington of CBS worked with a United Methodist congregation in Manhattan on a televised Christmas Eve service, he looked beyond the seasonal trappings to see how the church was living out the gospel. Blessington, the longtime executive producer of the CBS Religion and Culture series, will receive a special Wilbur award April 6 from the Religion Communicators Council during the council's 84th annual convention.
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Evil not last word, pastor says of slayings

TERRELL, Texas (UMNS) - On Easter, the Rev. Keith Head, pastor of First United Methodist Church, faced what he called an "elephant in the sanctuary" situation. The crowd filed in burdened by news that their fellow church members, Mike McLelland, district attorney of Kaufman County, and his wife Cynthia, were found shot to death in their home Saturday. Sam Hodges, managing editor of The United Methodist Reporter, explains what Hand reminded his congregation.
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Church opens door to mobile consulate

AURORA, Ill. (UMNS) - Nueva Vida United Methodist Church in Aurora opened its doors in February to host a mobile unit of the Mexican Consulate. The church discovered an immense need, reports Anne Marie Gerhardt of the Northern Illinois Conference.
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Churches find creative ways to raise money forMalaria

GREENBACK, Tenn. (UMNS) - United Methodists in the Holston Annual (regional) Conference are getting more creative in how they raise $1 million for the denominational goal of eradicating malaria. Pizza-baking kits, knitted scarves and a pastor's willingness to go bald all contribute to the fundraising effort for Imagine No Malaria, reports Annette Spence, editor of The Call in the Holston Conference.
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Kansas United Methodists offer support to S.C. team

HUTCHINSON, Kan. (UMNS) - The Spartanburg Methodist College Pioneers of Spartanburg, S.C., finished third in the National Junior College Athletic Associate basketball tournament, held in Hutchinson. The Kansas United Methodist community, including the Rev. Mark Conard of First United Methodist in Hutchinson, turned out to offer prayers and cheers to the team, reports GoUpstate.com.
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Methodist Church in Britain blasts U.K. welfare reforms

LONDON (UMNS) - The Methodist Church in Britain has joined three other denominations in condemning British welfare reforms that began Monday, April 1. "These cuts make April fools of us all," said Paul Morrison, public issues policy adviser. "We are witnessing what happens when we create a culture that blames poor people for their poverty."
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Registration open for Exploration 2013

DENVER (UMNS) - Registration is open for Exploration 2013 in Denver, an event for young adults age 18-26 to hear, discern and respond to God's call to ordained ministry in The United Methodist Church. Featured speakers will include Louisiana Area Bishop Cynthia Fierro Harvey and the Rev. Jorge Acevedo, senior pastor of the multi-campus Grace Church in Southwest Florida. Ordained clergy also are being recruited to write on the same topic on April 4 to promote awareness of Exploration. The topic is "Who called you on your journey of ministry?"
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