"We support the sharing of information both domestically and abroad so that all Africans are up to date on what is happening in their homeland no matter where they are in the world." — Dan Krause, top executive of United Methodist Communications.
Church media form new Africa radio network
KAMINA, Democratic Republic of Congo (UMNS) — A new United Methodist Radio Network of Africa has already produced its first story, which features information about how community health workers are saving lives with text messaging in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Vicki Brown reports on the network formed by the directors of the denomination’s four radio stations in Africa — Voice of Hope in Côte d’Ivoire, Radio ELAM in Liberia, Kairos in Angola and Lokole in Congo.
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Church starts clergy debt relief program
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (UMNS) — Killearn United Methodist Church is creating an annual grants program to give financial help to newly ordained ministers in full connection and to aspiring missionaries. The goal is to help reduce student loan debt and encourage others to follow their call into full-time mission work. Kathy Steele has the story for the Florida Conference.
Secret society offers comfort, support
AIKEN, S.C. (UMNS) — For the past 11 years, a secret society of neighbors at Trinity United Methodist Church has been quietly reaching out to the congregation, cheering them on in times of joy and offering comfort in times of sorrow or illness. Their members are entirely anonymous — for years, reportedly not even the pastor knew who was a member of the group. Jessica Brodie reports for the Advocate.
Ministry idea: National Park vespers
ROCKY MOUNTAIN NATIONAL PARK, Colo. (UMNS) — In honor of Rocky Mountain National Park’s centennial this year, Rocky Mountain Conference churches are leading vesper services on Sundays this summer at the Moraine Park Amphitheater. John R. Allum of First United Methodist Church in Fort Collins writes about his church’s experience.
Cornel West speaks at new United Methodist ministry
SEATTLE (UMNS) — Author and activist Cornel West recently visited The Well, a multi-ethnic new faith community in the Pacific Northwest Conference. In a video for the conference, United Methodist Global Mission Fellows Janjay Innis and Sarah Roemer share their reactions to West’s presentation and more about The Well’s ministry.
Learning from the stupid things we do
BIRMINGHAM, Mich. (UMNS) — “Don’t do anything stupid. It really is good advice, but stupid things don’t always have to be bad,” writes the Rev. Laurie Haller for the Lewis Center for Church Leadership. She offers advice from her own experience in ministry on learning from mistakes.
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.
Monday, Aug. 24 to Friday, Sept. 4
Online course "Leading Public Prayer" for lay servants from BeADisciple.com — United Methodist lay servants may be the one leading prayer in worship services as well as in other settings. It is vital then that they are knowledgeable and lead well. This course will present an opportunity to grow in the discipline of leading prayer and enable the lay servant to effectively prepare and lead various prayer forms. It has been approved by United Methodist Discipleship Ministries as an advanced course in lay servant ministries and is the “prayer” class required for lay speaker certification. 1 CEU for clergy and CLMs also available. $65. Details
Monday, Aug. 24 to Tuesday, Sept. 8
Online course "Come to the Table" for lay servants from BeADisciple.com — Deepen your own and your congregation’s understanding and practice of Holy Communion, or begin a Eucharistic ministry, through this wide-ranging study of "This Holy Mystery," Scripture, church history and United Methodist theology and practice of the sacrament. This course has been approved by United Methodist Discipleship Ministries as an advanced course with 10 contact hours in lay servant ministries. 1 CEU will be awarded. $55. Details