Daily Digest - April 16, 2013

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"In moments like this, we do not know what to say or how to say it, but will you join me in the prayer of the psalmist, 'God is our refuge and our strength, a very present help in times of trouble.'" - New England area Bishop Sudarshana Devadhar in a prayer after the Boston Marathon explosions.

Praying for those affected by Boston explosions

BOSTON (UMNS) - Boston Area Bishop Sudarshana Devadhar has written a letter to the New England Annual (regional) Conference, calling for prayer in response to the explosions Monday, April 15, near the Boston Marathon finish line. "Along with you I grieve for those that lost their lives and their families, and for those injured in this tragic event," the bishop wrote. Devadhar asks that if anyone knows United Methodists affected to contact Alexx Wood, the conference communicator. Her email is [email protected].
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Bishop urges peace in Korea

SUN PRAIRIE, Wis. (UMNS) - United Methodist Bishop Hee-Soo Jung has issued a letter urging "North and South Korea to negotiate directly through their government leaders to forge an agreement ending the nuclear threat in the Korean peninsula" for the sake of the world community.
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United Methodists invest in Sandy recovery

NEW YORK (UMNS) - Grants for Hurricane Sandy recovery work approved this month by the United Methodist Committee on Relief include $3 million to both the New York and Greater New Jersey Annual (regional) Conferences. The bishops for New York and New Jersey gave updates about their recovery efforts to directors of the United Methodist Board of Global Ministries.
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UMCOR grants support continuing recoveries

NEW YORK (UMNS) - In addition to designating some $7.3 million for Sandy recovery, directors of the United Methodist Committee on Relief made grants April 12 to the Alabama, North Carolina, Upper New York and North Dakota annual (regional) conferences for continuing tornado, storm and flood recovery work.
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18-year-old on bond in N.C. church fire

WENTWORTH, N.C. (UMNS) - An 18-year-old male from Stokesdale has been released on $50,000 bond after his arrest Friday on charges that he set the Dec. 22, 2012, fire that destroyed the Gideon Grove United Methodist Church. The News-Record.com of Greensboro reports that Rockingham County officials say Harvey Kendall Fulp is not accused in the other four fires at United Methodist churches in the area.
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Arrest saddens church community

GIDEON GROVE, N.C. (UMNS) - Members of Gideon Grove United Methodist Church thought knowing who had set the fire that destroyed their church would help them deal with the loss. But, as the News-Record.com reports, now that they know, they aren't so sure.
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Church plans how to respond to protests

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (UMNS) -. A rally that drew more than 120 people Sunday to Green Street United Methodist Church was intended to counter protests against the church's support of same-sex marriage. The Winston-Salem Journal reports that the Rev. Kelly Carpenter had urged his congregation and its supporters to rally in a loving way that would open the door for the protesters to change. Those who came to do that Sunday - from other congregations and the neighborhood - lined the steps to the sanctuary, many carrying signs embracing a message of love, but the protesters were not there.
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Methodist roots play part in Thatcher's funeral

LONDON (UMNS) - Margaret Thatcher's Methodist upbringing will play a key role at her funeral set for April 17, reports The Telegraph. St. Paul's Cathedral will echo to the rousing Charles Wesley hymn "Love Divine, All Loves Excelling." The choice reflects the wishes of the former prime minister that the faith passed down to her by her father, Alderman Alf Roberts, should be marked at the service.
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Stolen handbells return to church home

YORK, Pa. (UMNS) - Nine bronze handbells stolen from Otterbein United Methodist Church are back home again in a turn of events that caused the church's pastor, the Rev. Jason Schwartzman to tell the York Daily Record that what happened involved an "incredible network of good. ... (it's) one of those things that restores faith in humanity."
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