"While we're respectful of all religions, we are unashamedly a part of something much larger than us, which is Christianity." - The Rev. Terry Swan, professor of religion and dean of the chapel at Lindsey Wilson College in Columbia, Ky.
'I was in prison and you came to visit me'
LUSAKA, Zambia (UMNS) - Kevin Mulembe recounts how his life changed when he visited a 9-year-old boy behind bars in Zambia's capital. "Lewis suffered all kinds of abuse at the hands of both hardcore criminals and the police," Mulembe said. "His only crime was street vending, which carried a penalty of a simple fine. But Lewis could not afford it, so they put him behind bars."
Oscar winner keeps contact with pastor's son
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (UMNS) - Oscar winner Jennifer Lawrence still keeps up with childhood friend and fellow United Methodist Andy Strunk, the son of the Rev. George A. Strunk. Lawrence grew up attending Christ United Methodist Church in Louisville, where the elder Strunk is senior pastor. On the eve of the 2013 Academy Awards, the Louisville Courier-Journal highlighted that friendship.
A higher calling for higher education
WINFIELD, Kan. (UMNS) - Students find more to love at decidedly United Methodist-affiliated universities and colleges, reports Interpreter OnLine. The United Methodist affiliation adds spiritual depth as it translates into strong faith communities, unique opportunities and a supportive learning environment throughout the school.
Pastors step up in North Texas tragedy
SUNNYVALE, Texas (UMNS) - The Rev. Joe Ed Goolsby, a retired United Methodist pastor, officiated at the wedding of Mike and Cynthia McLelland, the district attorney and nurse who made national news when they were found dead March 30. Goolsby also delivered their eulogy. "They were more than church members; they were our good friends," Goolsby said. The Rev. Sheron C. Patterson, editor of North Texas Conference News, explains how pastors in North Texas have offered comfort since the death of the United Methodist couple.
Here are some of the activities ahead for United Methodists across the connection. If you have an item to share with others, email firstname.lastname@example.org and put Digest in the subject line.
Free webinar "Leading Group Discussion," April 16 - 6:30 p.m. CT, from the United Methodist Board of Discipleship. To register.
"The Feast of Language," lecture by poet and undertaker Thomas Lynch, April 17 - 7 p.m. ET at Peachtree Road United Methodist Church in Atlanta. The lecture is free, but registration is required. Details.
Stories by the Lakeshore with Donald Davis, April 18 - 7:30 p.m. ET, Lake Junaluska Conference and Retreat Center, Lake Junaluska, N.C. Details.
Deadline to register for free Church Planting Summit, April 18 - Event on April 20 features Nashville (Tenn.) Area Bishop Bill McAlilly, Christ United Methodist Church, Franklin, Tenn. Details.
Silent March against Gun Violence, April 18 - Rocky Mountain Annual (regional) Conference invites United Methodists to join in event organized by Colorado Ceasefire. The April date is two days before the 14th anniversary of the Columbine shooting. Details at silentmarch.org and coloradoceasefire.org.
"Light the Fire! Divine Healing," church renewal conference, April 18-19 - Ginghamsburg Church, Tipp City, Ohio. Details.
Confirmation Retreat Weekends, April 19-21; Nov. 8-10 - Lake Junaluska Conference and Retreat Center. Details.
Hispanic/Latino Church Planters' Boot Camp, April 19-21 - Northbrook (Chicago area), Ill. Designed for Hispanic church planters, churches with Hispanic ministries, and for all leaders interested in starting a ministry with their Hispanic community. Details.
Festival of God's Creation/Earth Day Sunday, April 21 - The United Methodist Board of Church and Society offers resources.
Free webinar "Meeting the Needs of Children in Poverty," April 25 - 10 a.m. CT, from the United Methodist Board of Discipleship. To register.
Free webinar "When Congregations Pray...," April 25 - 7 p.m. CT, the newest in a series of monthly webinars offered by Interpreter Magazine and The Upper Room. Register.
World Malaria Day, April 25 - Help fight the disease at imaginenomalaria.org.
In Mission Together, a 50/50 Partnership Roundtable, April 26-27 - Sponsored by United Methodist Board of Global Ministries, at Christ United Methodist Church, Memphis, Tenn., for U.S. congregations interested in partnering with United Methodist faith communities in Russia/Eurasia. Details.
Church Growth Clinic, April 27 - 8:30 a.m. CT, First United Methodist Church, Sikeston, Mo. Details.
Impact Taylor County 2013 day of service, April 27 - 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET, Campbellsville, Ky., sponsored by area United Methodist churches and United Methodist Communications' Rethink Church. Details.
Prayer Journaling Workshop, April 27 - 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. CT, Scarritt-Bennett Center, $65 includes lunch and supplies. To register.
Deadline to register for Web Ministry 100, May 1 - Online course from May 8 to June 19, sponsored by United Methodist Communications, $49. To register.
Deadline to register for Welcoming Ministry 100, May 1 - Online course from May 8 to June 19, sponsored by United Methodist Communications, $29. To register.
Mental Health Initiative training, May 3-4 - Intensive workshops for mental-health ministries, First United Methodist Church, Oak Lawn, Ill. Sponsored by Northern Illinois Annual (regional) Conference, limited to 30 participants. Details.
Older Adult Recognition Sunday, May 5 - Resources compiled by the Virginia Annual (regional) Conference.
RENEW retreat for United Methodist single clergy, May 7-9 - Selah Inn at the Ranch, Mount Vernon, Texas. Details.
Korea Peace Conference, May 15-17 - Korean United Methodist Church of Atlanta, 3205 Pleasant Hill Road, Duluth, Ga., a forum for church leaders from North America and South Korea to engage in dialogue and re-assess the current situations on the issues related to the two Koreas. To register, contact the Rev. Jong Sung Kim at the United Board of Global Ministries at (212) 870-3955 or JSkim@umcmission.org
Change the World, May 18-19 - Join the United Methodist Rethink Church event that helps build community locally and fight malaria globally. Details.