Daily Digest - August 15, 2017

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"(The) mood was calm and one can really feel the confidence that things are all right, and not even a sign of fear and anxiety, though mentions of the attack can be overheard from the conversations." — The Rev. Johann M. Osias, a United Methodist pastor in Guam, about the atmosphere at Sunday worship while being under a nuclear threat.

Guam church prays for restraint on nuclear threat

MANGILAO, Guam (UMNS) — Blustery talk from North Korea about missile attacks on Guam is not new, says the Rev. Johann M. Osias, senior pastor of Guam United Methodist Church, part of the denomination’s California-Pacific Conference. At Sunday worship, his congregation’s pastoral prayer called for “wisdom and restraint” at a time of greater danger. Linda Bloom has the story.
Read story 
Read statement from Bishop Grant Hagiya 

Visa issues postpone pastors' new appointments

FAIRLAND, Ind. — The Revs. Andrew and Jolita Erbeles are eagerly awaiting documents that will let them begin their new appointments at Fairland United Methodist and New Life United Methodist churches. The Erbeleses currently live in Lithuania, where they lead three United Methodist congregations. Andrew Erbeles is a U.S. citizen and the couple felt called to come back to the U.S., but they have been working since last October for the family to be granted permanent residency. The Shelbyville News reports. 
Read story

Called to fight human trafficking

TAMPA, Fla. — United Methodist Dotti Groover-Skipper felt a special call to protect children against sex trafficking. She’s now anti-trafficking coordinator for the Salvation Army in Florida. D’Ann Lawrence White features Groover-Skipper in part one of a series on anti-trafficking efforts by people and churches of the Florida Conference.
Read first story in series
Read part two
Read part three

Remembering the Reformation

WASHINGTON — United Methodists are encouraged to observe the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation, including through Sunday school studies and offering special Reformation Day prayers in worship. Bishop B. Michael Watson, ecumenical officer of the Council of Bishops, shares these and other ideas in a letter to the church.
Read letter

Memory Sunday focuses on Alzheimer's

LEXINGTON, Ky. — Wesley United Methodist Church is working to raise awareness about the “silent epidemic” of Alzheimer’s disease within the African-American community. The Rev. Anthony Everett, the church’s pastor, says that African-Americans too often accept the disease as a natural part of aging. Mary Meehan of the Ohio Valley ReSource reports on the congregation’s observance of Memory Sunday. 
Read and listen to story 

Wesley offers online training for health ministers

WASHINGTON — United Methodist Wesley Theological Seminary is offering an online course for people to earn a Health Minister Certificate. The course is Sept. 10-Nov. 18, with online orientation Sept. 3-10. Scholarships for United Methodists are made possible by a grant from the United Methodist Board of Global Ministries. Registration closes Aug. 18.
To learn more and register 

Looking ahead

Here are some of the activities ahead for United Methodists across the connection. If you have a United Methodist event to share, you can add it to the calendar with this submission form.

Monday, Aug. 21-Monday, Sept. 11

The Changing 21st-Century Sunday School — This online workshop explores ways to handle the  challenges of the 21st-century Sunday school such as declining enrollment, erratic attendance, competition with other activities, lack of volunteers and budget cuts. The workshop from United Methodist BeADisciple.com will examine doing Sunday school a different way or at a different time, as well as intergenerational ministry and worship. A minimum of four to five hours per week is necessary to benefit from the course content. This course is eligible for 1.0 CEU. Price: $45. Details

See more United Methodist events

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