April 12, 2013

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"There's a lot of heartache, and a lot of issues going on here. When I can hand them their card and say, 'You know, call Pastor Jeffry Bross and he could talk to you if you would like, and maybe can help you.' I just don't even know how to almost put it into words how important a pastor is." - The manager of the storage facility where the Rev. Jeffry Bross started Flowing Grace, a portable 'church in a box,' affiliated with Batavia United Methodist Church.

UMTV: Ministry in a storage facility

BATAVIA, Ill. (UMNS) - The Rev. Jeffry Bross, United Methodist pastor, leads a congregation known as Flowing Grace, a community that has moved out of the church and offers support in an unusual location. Bross opened an office at a local storage facility, where he counsels people in many stages of moving on.
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Choctaw Mission feeds body, soul, mind, spirit

PHILADELPHIA, Miss. The Rev. Al Styron, executive director of the Mississippi Choctaw Mission, ministers "to people's body, soul, mind and spirit." The program, like many others, benefits from the annual Native American Ministries Sunday offering. The churchwide special Sunday is April 14.
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About Native American Ministries Sunday

Ministry with - and by - the poor

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) - The Rev. Paul Slentz says the poor can be very effective in ministry because the "least of these" are people they know and understand. He is the pastor of Sixty-First Avenue United Methodist Church in Nashville, a small congregation whose membership mostly have incomes below poverty level. Almost all members are engaged in ministries of service.
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Celebrating 80 years at the church keyboard

MADISON, Ind. (UMNS) - For 80 years, Norma Croxton has played the piano. The recently turned 89-year-old great-grandmother has spent nearly every Sunday since she was 9 - more than 4,000 Sundays - playing the old standard hymns in church, reports the Madison Courier.
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The controversial, yet popular, Rev. Cecil Williams

SAN FRANCISCO (UMNS) - Michel Martin, host of National Public Radio's "Tell Me More," interviews the Rev. Cecil Williams and his wife, poet Janice Mirikitani, about their ministry at Glide Memorial Church, a United Methodist congregation of some 10,000 members in San Francisco. The congregation is known for its extensive homeless ministry and its advocacy on behalf of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals. Williams is celebrating 50 years as a pastor at Glide. The couple has published a new memoir, "Beyond the Possible."
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Cokesbury consultants now available

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) - Cokesbury is building a staff of community resource consultants across the United States to offer customers personal support, even as its stores close their doors. So far, the United Methodist Publishing House's retail arm has hired 43 consultants and ultimately plans to have 50 on call. Many will work near the locations of former stores. "Because it is less expensive to place a community resource consultant in a market than a store, we took the opportunity to significantly expand the personal support we can provide touching more markets than we could hope to do with stores," said Amy Smith of the United Methodist Publishing House.
To find a consultant near you

Africa U. graduate reflects on importance of university

MUTARE, Zimbabwe (UMNS) - Walter Suza reflects on the difference United Methodist-affiliated Africa University has made in his life and that of other students. "Today, I am glad that I am using my God-given gift to help others learn how to improve agricultural crops and produce more food," he writes. The Tanzania native is now on the faculty of Iowa State University.
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