"I really believe she’s teaching the church how a person should die." — A clergy friend says of the Rev. Shelly Nichols, associate pastor of Cross Lanes United Methodist Church in Nitro, West Virginia.
Answering the pastoral call, despite terminal cancer
NITRO, W.VA. (UMNS) — The Rev. Shelly Nichols long felt a call to be a United Methodist pastor. But two weeks after beginning the process, she was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer. Nichols, 53, didn't give up, making it through local pastor licensing school and gaining appointment as associate minister at Cross Lanes United Methodist Church. She's faced terminal illness while beginning to preach and baptize. "It's worked out more perfectly than I could ever imagine," Nichols said. Sam Hodges reports.
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Love guided church after 1995 bombing
OKLAHOMA CITY (UMNS) — St. Luke’s United Methodist Church sheltered hundreds of people displaced by the 1995 bombing of the federal building. The church assisted families desperate to locate loved ones or grieving the dead and served thousands of meals to survivors and rescue workers. Twenty years later, the Rev. Bob Long identifies that loving response as a significant lesson from a terrible time. Long spoke with Holly McCray for the Oklahoma Contact.
‘Easter miracle’ in New Jersey
RAHWAY, N. J. (UMNS) — Members from Elim United Methodist Church, Manantiales de Vida Pentecostal Church and other neighboring churches worshipped together to remember the “Easter miracle” in Rahway. A 30-square-foot section of plaster from the ceiling fell while the Pentecostal congregation, which rents the space from the Korean church, was holding a service on April 5. Though falling debris injured 14 people, none of the injuries were serious. Gustavo Vasquez reports.
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Resurrecting Native American culture in Michigan
STANDISH, Mich. (UMNS) — The Detroit Conference has joined with the Saginaw-Chippewa tribe to find a new vision for the Saganing Indian Church site, a 100-year-old United Methodist church that is no longer active. The plan includes growth opportunities, historical perspectives, Christian fellowship and activities culturally significant to the whole community, but especially those of Native American ancestry. The Native American Ministries Sunday offering provides funding for this new initiative.
Help for churches ministering to veterans
WASHINGTON (UMNS) — JustPeace, the United Methodist Center for Mediation and Conflict Transformation, has launched Soul Care. The initiative aims to help churches speak to the trauma returning veterans and their families often experience and help them re-integrate back into their communities.
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Distinguished evangelist nominations sought
LAKE JUNALUSKA, N.C. (UMNS) — The Foundation for Evangelism is seeking nominations for the 2015 Distinguished Evangelist of the United Methodist Church Award. With this honor, the foundation celebrates a United Methodist clergy or lay person whose personal ministry in evangelism is recognized throughout the denomination. The deadline for nominations is Thursday, May 14.
To make a nomination
Here are some of the activities ahead for United Methodists across the connection. If you have an item to share, email firstname.lastname@example.org and put Digest in the subject line.
Sunday, April 19
Deadline to register for Large Church Initiative conference "Imagine Limitless God. Boundless Possibilities” — April 20-22 at The Woodlands United Methodist Church, 2200 Lake Woodlands Drive, The Woodlands, Texas. The conference is for churches with a weekly attendance of at least 300. The conference is $329 for individuals or $289 per person for groups of three or more. Details.
Monday, April 20
Deadline to sign up for Creative Worship Workshop — 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. CDT Saturday, April 25 at Hot Springs First United Methodist Church, 1100 Central Ave. in Hot Springs, Arkansas. Jason Moore of Midnight Oil Productions will lead United Methodists in ways to make worship more relevant and exciting — without breaking the bank. $10 for individuals; $25 for groups of three from a single church. Details.