“I’m very allergic to mediocrity — you either do it well, or you don’t do it at all.” — Bishop John Yambasu, on ambitious plans for the United Methodist University of Sierra Leone.
University opening soon in Sierra Leone
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) — Representatives of United Methodist agencies gathered recently to consider how they might help the United Methodist University of Sierra Leone, set to open in October. The School of Theology and Ministry will be the debut program, with others scheduled to follow. Leaders want the university to pair academics with service through a focus on sustainable agriculture, public health and other critical needs. Jan Snider reports.
Maintaining the church in a chaotic time
WHITEVILLE, N.C. (UMNS) — In an open letter to The United Methodist Church, the Rev. Paul T. Stallsworth writes about the need for a doctrine of the church, or ecclesiology, as the Commission on a Way Forward begins its work. Stallsworth is the president of Lifewatch, an unofficial United Methodist advocacy group.
Coming Friday, Aug. 19: A historical look at Methodism’s big tent
UMW protests North Carolina law
NEW YORK (UMNS) — United Methodist Women members are standing with mission partners in North Carolina protesting the state’s HB2 law. The organization will hold an action against HB2 in January 2017 during its Leadership Development Days training in Charlotte, and will move the May 2017 training for its Mission u program from Charlotte to Jacksonville, Florida, in protest of the law.
10-year-old pedals so others can drink
LANSING, Mich. (UMNS) — Joshua Nystrom, 10, is about to jump on his bike and ride 354 miles. The son of a United Methodist pastor wants to raise awareness and funds for clean drinking water for the people of Haiti and Flint. Kay DeMoss of the Michigan Area reports on his plans.
‘Dear families of the Orlando community’
ORLANDO, Fla. (UMNS) — The June 12 terrorist attack at Orlando’s Pulse nightclub that left 49 dead and scores wounded has prompted an unprecedented show of love — including handwritten letters, emails, artwork and other expressions of sympathy from churches far beyond Florida. George R. Wilkens of the Florida Conference offers an update on how United Methodist churches in Orlando and miles away are reaching out.
Nominations sought for Culture of the Call Award
LAKE JUNALUSKA, N.C. (UMNS) — The Foundation for Evangelism invites nominations for its 2016 Culture of the Call Church Award, which recognizes local United Methodist churches that excel in nurturing young people who are called to Christian service. The award includes a plaque and $1,000 grant. The deadline for nominations is Sept. 15. Self-nominations are welcome.
To learn more
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.
Thursday, Sept. 8
Webinar “Basic Youth Leader Resources and Information” — 7 to 8 p.m. EDT. This course will look at books, websites, training opportunities and other sources of information for experienced youth ministers as well as those new to the ministry. The information available covers topics such as starting a youth ministry, relating to parents, planning programs and youth worship. Debbie Kolacki, a United Methodist educator and certified lay servant, will lead. Details