Daily Digest: April 30, 2014

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“ There are people in pain on all sides of this conversation, including the conservative side."
– The Rev. Mark Teasdale.
"Human sexuality is a gift from God and should never be used to evaluate others."
– Bishop Daniel Arichea.
"Conversation without changing injustice is still wicked oppression."
– The Rev. Pamela Lightsey.

United Methodist body considers change to sexuality stance
CHICAGO (UMNS) — The Connectional Table, a United Methodist governing body, on Tuesday, April 29, began a series of public discussions on human sexuality. On the same day, the body agreed to begin the process of drafting legislation that would change church law “to fully include LGBTQ persons in the life and ministry of the church.”

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Women pray, march, celebrate at Assembly 2014
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (UMNS) — More than 7,000 women from around the world merged in the hallways of the Kentucky International Convention Center in Louisville April 25-27 for “Assembly 2014––Make it Happen.”

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United Methodists respond after deadly tornadoes
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) — A second United Methodist church suffered major damage as tornadoes and other major storms moved east across the United States. St. Luke United Methodist was among a handful of places of worship in Tupelo, Miss., that took a big hit from a tornado April 28. Bishop Gary Mueller toured Vilonia, Ark., April 29, observing the destruction of Vilonia United Methodist Church from a Sunday evening tornado. Elsewhere, United Methodists dealt with lesser damage to their churches and readied themselves for relief efforts.

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WCC delegation visits Democratic Republic of Congo
KINSHASA, Democratic Republic of Congo (UMNS) — United Methodist Bishop David Yemba, president of the National Committee of Churches in the DRC, was among those meeting with a World Council of Churches delegation visiting the capital city of the central African nation April 25-May 2.

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Missionaries find challenges in U.S. oil fields
WILLISTON, N.D. (UMNS) — Jim and Kathie Konsor lead the Bakken Oil Rush Ministry, named after the formation that lies beneath northwestern North Dakota. The group's logo, emblazoned on a 29-foot camper they use to distribute clothes, blankets and household items to the disadvantaged, takes the traditional United Methodist cross and flame and warps it into a fire intended to resemble the gas flares that burn across oil country. The Associated Press has the story.

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United Methodist killed in gang crossfire in Chicago
CHICAGO (UMNS) — Chicago police are still looking for clues leading to suspects in the weekend shooting death of anti-violence activist, Leonore Draper, 32, a member of St. Mark United Methodist Church. Draper, who was shot and killed while sitting in her parked car, was a victim of gang crossfire, said Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy. Karen Jordan of WLS-TV has the story.

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See St. Mark Facebook post

First woman pastor for Riverside Church?
NEW YORK (UMNS) - A senior minister search committee of the historic Riverside Church in Manhattan has recommended hiring the Rev. Amy Butler, pastor of Calvary Baptist Church, in Washington, D.C. She earned a doctorate of ministry degree from United Methodist-affiliated Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington. She would be the first woman to lead the famous church.

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