Daily Digest - August 12, 2022

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“Care for dying persons is part of our stewardship of the divine gift of life when cure is no longer possible.”United Methodist Social Principles


TODAY’S HEADLINES

Ask The UMC
Caring for the dying and grieving

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — United Methodists experience and express Jesus’ promise of abundant life in the face of death and grief. The church’s Social Principles remind the faithful: “Even when one accepts the inevitability of death, the Church and society must continue to provide faithful care, including pain relief, companionship, support and spiritual nurture for the dying person in the hard work of preparing for death.” Ask The UMC has more on end-of-life care and grief in its Valuing Life series. 
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Minnesota Conference
Adaptive VBS welcomes autistic children

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. — When Rachel Casper’s now 11-year-old son was a baby, she was asked not to bring him back to her church’s nursery because he was “too much to handle.” That was in another state and before he was diagnosed with autism, but it’s something she's never forgotten. It ultimately inspired her to create a specialized vacation Bible school for kids on the spectrum. Christa Meland has the story.
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Michigan Conference
Campers help mourning son

BOYNE FALLS, Mich. — When word arrived that a camper at Lake Louise Christian Summer Camp had a death in his family, the camp community offered its support along with practical help. Liz Carr, dean of As We Are Camp at Lake Louise, tells how the entire camp community rallied to support a boy who received word of his mother’s death during the drive to the camp.
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United Methodist Communications 
Connecting to God through nature

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Time spent outdoors can strengthen faith and reveal a deeper meaning in daily life. No one knows this better than “Chappy Jack” Layfield, the 2019 United Methodist Appalachian Trail chaplain. Layfield talks with Laura Buchanan about learning to use all five senses to explore nature and seek God, and then sharing that newfound peace with others.
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COMMENTARIES
UM News includes in the Daily Digest various commentaries about issues in the denomination. The opinion pieces reflect a variety of viewpoints and are the opinions of the writers, not UM News staff.

It’s time to remove the grave clothes
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UM News) — The slayings of two Black clergywomen show the need for the church to loosen its bonds in order to respond, just as Jesus ordered Lazarus unbound after raising him from the dead. “We are being called to minister differently and connect with young brothers and sisters to help remove what’s holding them back from a life of productivity and promise,” writes the Rev. Dr. Michael L. Bowie Jr., executive director of Strengthening the Black Church for the 21st Century.
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EVENTS

Wednesday, Aug. 24

Virtual Racial Justice Prayer Service

Monday, Sept. 26-Friday, Oct. 7
Online course: Exploring the Landscape of Spiritual Formation


TOP STORIES OF THE WEEK

Kentucky churches care for neighbors hit by floods

PIPPA PASSES, Ky. (UM News) — After record flooding in Eastern Kentucky, United Methodist volunteers are serving as God’s “hands and feet.” Bishop Leonard Fairley, episcopal leader of the Kentucky Conference, visited portions of the flood-damaged area to offer prayers and thank people for their help. Kathy L. Gilbert has the story and Mike DuBose has photos.
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Volunteers share hugs, ‘God stories’ after flooding
JACKSON, Ky. (UM News) — The United Methodist Mountain Mission, a project of the Kentucky Conference, is helping coordinate donations for those affected by the worst flood in the history of Eastern Kentucky. As help pours in, United Methodists work to organize and distribute aid while also offering a listening ear. Kathy L. Gilbert has the story and Mike DuBose has photos.
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Some large Texas churches vote on disaffiliation
HOUSTON (UM News) — Texas has long been a stronghold of The United Methodist Church in the U.S., but this summer has seen many traditionalist congregations in the state weighing whether to leave the denomination. The Woodlands Methodist Church, one of the denomination’s largest, voted Aug. 7 to disaffiliate. Sam Hodges reports.
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Laity leadership revitalizes young adult ministry 
WHEELING, Ill. (UM News) — Instead of relying on a pastor to oversee its young adult ministry, First Korean United Methodist Church entrusted it to a devoted and committed volunteer layperson with a calling and vision. The once-struggling program now has 50 to 60 young adults worshipping together every Sunday. The Rev. Thomas E. Kim has the story.
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Inflation, gas prices complicate ministries
SISTERSVILLE, W.Va. (UM News) — High gas prices and inflation are giving rural pastors more challenges in the wake of COVID-19. Donations are down and their paychecks don’t stretch as far as they used to. Jim Patterson reports.
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Church helps transform troubled community
CHITUNGWIZA, Zimbabwe (UM News) — For more than a year, the Rev. Susan Manyange of Seke East United Methodist Church has been leading a worship service in a neighborhood where women often work as commercial sex workers, and alcoholism and substance abuse are rampant. The church’s outreach has inspired some residents to make changes and deepen their faith. Eveline Chikwanah has the story.
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