Daily Digest — August 12, 2015

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“I feel committed to be in solidarity with her and with her family as they continue to ask what happened to Sandra Bland.” – The Rev. Hannah Adair Bonner, a United Methodist elder, on her vigil at the Waller County jail in Texas

Pastors offer differing responses to Texas jail death

DALLAS (UMNS) – The Rev. Hannah Adair Bonner, a United Methodist elder, continues her vigil at the Waller County, Texas, jail where Sandra Bland died. Bonner said she's keeping faith with Bland's family, who doubt her death was a suicide, as authorities have declared. Other pastors have responded differently to the high-profile case. The Rev. Katy Ware, pastor of First United Methodist Church in nearby Hempstead, Texas, says she's working for "long haul" racial reconciliation in the area. Sam Hodges reports.
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Pastor calls United Methodists to Ferguson

FERGUSON, Mo. (UMNS) – In the wake of more unrest in Ferguson, the Rev. F. Willis Johnson Jr., is asking United Methodist clergy to be a sign of peace and hope to the community. He wants United Methodists to gather at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 12, at Wellspring Church, the United Methodist congregation where he is pastor. Heather Hahn has the story.
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Oregon ministry plan: Join forces, expand outreach

SALEM, Ore. (UMNS) – By combining forces, six churches in the Salem-Keizer area of the Oregon-Idaho Conference hope to expand their outreach in the community. Mahalia Smith reports on the plans for United Methodist Ministries of Salem-Keizer.
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Finding peace in Mozambique

MAPUTO, Mozambique – During Mozambique’s decades of struggle through independence, civil war and beyond, The United Methodist Church and Methodist Church of Southern Africa were among the religious groups supporting peacemakers. Peacebuilder Magazine of Eastern Mennonite University’s Center for Justice and Peacebuilding offers an account of those efforts.
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Teens discover hope in YouthFirst

 WINLOCK, Wash. (UMNS) – High school students in a small, rural community in the Pacific Northwest have secured their first jobs, graduated from high school and are heading to college with support from a community program called YouthFirst, led by Winlock United Methodist Church. The Rev. Pam Brokaw, the church’s pastor, has the story for Interpreter magazine.
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Commentary: Getting at roots of injustice

OMAHA, Neb. (UMNS) – Solving social justice problems means getting to the root causes of those problems, much like weeding a garden begins with the roots, writes a Micah Corps intern. Maddi Baugous reflects on how her work with community gardens as an intern affected her thinking about social justice.
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Top 12 things churches should do more often

MACON, Ga. (UMNS) – Open up to the surprising things God has in store and think about where God has gifted you to serve. The church should stop “talking trash and start hauling trash.” These are just a few tips members of the South Georgia Conference offers in a lighthearted video.
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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, Aug. 24 to Friday, Sept. 4

Online course "Leading Public Prayer" for lay servants from BeADisciple.com — United Methodist lay servants lead 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. This course 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. The course provides 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.1 CEU will be awarded. $55. Details

You can see more educational opportunities and other upcoming events in the life of the church here.

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