"I continue to call on the people of Baltimore and all United Methodists to stand up for the values that endow all of the city’s residents with dignity, pride and wholeness. I know in my heart that justice will prevail." — Bishop Marcus Matthews after a night of riots in Baltimore.
United Methodists respond to Baltimore riots
BALTIMORE (UMNS) — The Rev. Cynthia Moore-Koikoi prayed and then joined the city’s other clergy in a march for peace. The pastors put themselves between bottle-throwing demonstrators and lines of police officers with pepper spray. Their goal was to ease tensions in the wake of violence after the death of Freddie Gray, who was injured while in police custody. Melissa Lauber and Erik Alsgaard report for the Baltimore-Washington Conference.
Bishop Matthews issues statement on Baltimore riots
LEIPZIG, Germany (UMNS) — Bishop Marcus Mathews, Baltimore-Washington Conference, is in Germany for the Council of Bishops meeting, but his heart and thoughts are with the people of Baltimore. “I also know in my heart that God watches over the Gray family, Baltimore’s leaders and police, and all people trying to make sense of the death of Freddie Gray and the violence perpetrated by people taking selfish and senseless advantage of events that have unfolded in the city,” he wrote.
Read his letter
Alternative process offered for sexuality debate
PORTLAND, Ore. (UMNS) — Organizers of the 2016 General Conference, The United Methodist Church’s top lawmaking assembly, plan to offer an alternative process for considering legislation related to the denomination’s stance on homosexuality. The hope is to bring out middle voices that often go unheard. Heather Hahn reports on how the proposed process would work.
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Fire destroys church in Paris, Tennessee
PARIS, Tenn. (UMNS) — Two churches in the Memphis Conference were lost to fire last week. Trinity United Methodist Church in Paris, Tennessee, caught fire and burned three days after lightning destroyed another church in Dresden, Tennessee. Lane Gardner Camp, conference communications director, reports.
Kids Capes of Courage help sick children
CUYAHOGA FALLS, Ohio (UMNS) — Kids Capes of Courage, a ministry of Northampton United Methodist Church, sews special custom gifts for children facing tough times. When children are diagnosed with cancer or a terminal disease, those who love them often feel powerless. Kids Capes of Courage allow children to be brave in struggle.
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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.
Tuesday, May 5
Deadline to register for four online courses offered by United Methodist Communications — United Methodist Communications will offer the following courses May 6-June 17: “Communicating Faith in the 21st Century,” “Connectional Giving," "Moodle 100: Basic Training" and “Welcoming Ministry 100.” Costs vary. Connectional Giving is free. Details on most courses. Details on Moodle 100.
Free webinar "Creating Your Plan for Christian Faith and Discipleship" — 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. CDT. Christian faith and discipleship don't just happen — they must be developed, nurtured, encouraged, challenged and "grown." Participants in this webinar will receive practical suggestions about how to create a specific plan for their particular congregation and context. Details.