Daily Digest - April 19, 2017

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Preview to the legal debate around gay bishop

NEWARK, N.J. (UMNS) — The United Methodist Church’s top court faces a number of questions about the election of the denomination’s first openly gay bishop — including whether it should weigh in at all. Heather Hahn summarizes some of the legal arguments going before the Judicial Council next week.
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Church builds lights for literacy

LOS GATOS, Calif. (UMC.org) — When the sun sets, 20 percent of the world lives in darkness. In the Silicon Valley of California, two men, with the help of their church, came up with a simple, inexpensive way to give families the gift of light and literacy.
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Shaped in creation

WASHINGTON — Finding God in nature has been a passion for Beth Norcross. She founded the Center for Spirituality in Nature, which works to reconnect people to God through nature classes and nature walks with practice of spiritual disciplines. She also is an adjunct faculty member at Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, where she has developed and teaches courses on eco-spirituality and eco-theology. Erik Alsgaard reports for Interpreter magazine.
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$1.5 million study of changing congregations 

DURHAM, N.C. — United Methodist-related Duke University will use a $1.5 million grant from Lilly Endowment Inc. to expand research on America's religious congregations to assess how they are changing over time.
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Native American Ministries Sunday on April 30

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Native American Ministries Sunday on April 30, 2017, is one of The United Methodist Church's six special Sundays designated by General Conference to recognize and support particular ministries annually with a special offering. This observation focuses the attention of church members on the gifts and contributions of Native Americans to society and the denomination. Polly House has the story for Interpreter magazine.
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Here are some of the activities ahead for United Methodists across the connection. If you have a United Methodist event to share, you can add it to the calendar with this submission form.

Tuesday, April 25

Leadership Development: Discipleship Models and Practice — 7-8 p.m., Central. This webinar from United Methodist Discipleship Ministries focuses on helping congregational leaders walk through disciple-making practices as they become a missional-focused church. Understanding how evangelism, Christian education and leadership development work together to increase congregational vitality is crucial for developing new models and practices. Details

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