Daily Digest: August 14, 2014

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“In my village, girls don’t have a voice, they don’t make decisions. People say girls should support their husbands and raise children.” – Africa University graduate Ilda Massuanganhe Guambe.

AU grad addresses U.S. Africa Summit
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) — Two women inspired Ilda Massuanganhe Guambe’s passion to educate girls — her mother, who was the first woman United Methodist pastor in Mozambique, and her cousin, who was forced into marriage at age 13. That passion put Guambe, a 2011 graduate of Africa University in Zimbabwe, on center stage for a few minutes during the 2014 U.S. Africa Summit in Washington.

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Williams' death once could have been mine
DALLAS, Texas (UMNS) — Cynthia B. Astle did not know Robin Williams personally “but I know his reported illness intimately,” she writes in a blog for United Methodist News Service. United Methodist congregations can offer the spiritual care needed for those suffering from depression, she says.

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Comedian’s death opens conversation
FULTON, Md. (UMNS) — Robin Williams' death has opened the door to difficult conversations about mental illness and suicide. Erik Alsgaard of the Baltimore-Washington Annual (regional) Conference shares ways United Methodists can help with suicide prevention.

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Social support key to Ebola fight, leaders say
FREETOWN, Sierra Leone (UMNS) — Religious leaders hope providing emotional and social support for communities across Sierra Leone will help counter the rise in Ebola infections. The Religious Leaders Task Force on Ebola, chaired by United Methodist Bishop John K. Yambasu, is providing training. Phileas Jusu, a United Methodist communicator in Sierra Leone, has the story.

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Ebola response counters fear, disbelief
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) — The Ebola crisis has exposed not only the under-resourced health systems in the economically deprived countries of West Africa but also the lack of communications infrastructure essential to everyday survival, writes the Rev. Larry Hollon, top executive of United Methodist Communications, in a blog post.

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Rejoicing for grandmother who helped others
GENEVA (UMNS) — Ecumenical and church groups have always supported the Grandmothers of Plaza de Mayo, who searched for children born in secret military detention centers in Argentina. Now, the 35-year-old grandson of one of the group’s founders, Estela de Carlotto, has been located, the World Council of Churches reports. The Grandmothers of Plaza de Mayo received the 1999 World Methodist Peace Award, the first recipients from Latin America.

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Worship from the eyes of a child
NAVARRE, Fla. (UMNS) — Making worship more family friendly starts with a child’s perspective, Linda Ranson Jacobs suggests. She offers tips on how to help youngsters get excited about worship in this excerpt from her book “Attract Families to Your Church and Keep Them Coming Back” (Abingdon Press, 2014). The Lewis Center for Church Leadership shares the excerpt.

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Founder of “Weavings” Dies
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) — John S. Mogabgab, who founded the publication, “Weavings: A Journal of the Christian Spiritual Life,” in 1986, has died after a brief illness. He was 79. Mogabgab was instrumental over the past three decades in shaping the ministry of The Upper Room, a global ministry dedicated to supporting spiritual formation of Christians.

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