Daily Digest - April 19, 2016

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“We are currently seeking help both nationally and internationally to stand in solidarity with those most in need and with those places where help has not been able to reach.” — Bishop Silvio Cevallos, Evangelical United Methodist Church, on the earthquake in Ecuador.

Bishop seeks help for Ecuador

QUITO, Ecuador (UMNS) — Bishop Silvio Cevallos called for prayer for Ecuador in the wake of a 7.8-magnitude earthquake that struck the country on April 16. The Evangelical United Methodist Church bishop said there is damage and injuries in several places where the church has congregations. He said the church will be seeking help both nationally and internationally. Joey Butler and Michelle Maldanado have the story.

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Trying to avert famine in Africa

NEW YORK (UMNS) — In a normal year, this would be harvest time in Malawi. But the effects of the El Niño weather pattern — bringing floods and then drought — disrupted the 2016 planting season, says Daniel Mhone, United Methodist superintendent for the Malawi Missionary Conference. Assisted by the United Methodist Committee on Relief, United Methodists are responding to food shortages in Malawi and Zimbabwe. Linda Bloom reports.
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Survey: United Methodist church starts stand out

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) — United Methodist new church starts outpaced other Protestant church starts in three of five key benchmarks — average worship attendance, new decisions for Christ and reaching previously unchurched people. LifeWay Research, part of the Southern Baptist Convention, offered these findings based on a survey of 17 U.S. evangelical denominations and church-planting networks. United Methodist Discipleship Ministries, which includes Path1 New Church Starts, has the report.
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Interfaith call for new drug policies

NEW YORK (UMNS) — In conjunction with the 2016 Special Session of the United Nations' General Assembly on the World Drug Problem, the United Methodist Board of Church and Society joined its interfaith colleagues in a call for fundamental moral change to drug policies across the globe. The social justice agency and United Methodist Women are sponsoring a “Faith Forum on Advancing Moral and Humane Drug Policies” April 20 at the Church Center for the United Nations.
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French president lauds Protestants

PARIS (WCC) — French President François Hollande praised Protestant churches and organizations for their work in such areas as health, social inclusion and support for refugees and migrants. He spoke during an April 13 meeting at the presidential Elysée Palace with 300 Protestant leaders and representatives. About 2 percent of the country's 64 million people are Protestants. Stephen Brown reports for the World Council of Churches.
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Churches respond to historic Texas floods

NEWTON, Texas (UMNS) — In the aftermath of spring floods, The United Methodist Church’s “bucket brigade” has come eagerly to the aid of affected families and regional responders. The Texas Conference reports on United Methodist response to the deluge.
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Looking ahead

Here are some of the activities ahead for United Methodists across the connection. If you have an item to share, email [email protected] and put Digest in the subject line.


Monday, April 25

World Malaria Day — Imagine No Malaria is The United Methodist Church's campaign to fight this disease in Africa. The church's efforts include providing insecticide-treated bed nets and funding for United Methodist hospitals, clinics and health boards across Africa that work to prevent and treat the disease. To learn more about Imagine No Malaria


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