NEWS AND FEATURES
Deaf ministries navigate COVID-19 challenges
DALLAS (UM News) — The COVID-19 pandemic has been a season of challenges and opportunities for Deaf ministries in The United Methodist Church. One definite plus is that people who are Deaf or hard of hearing are enjoying greater access to worship thanks to online services with sign language interpreters or captioning. Sam Hodges reports.
Africans rely on survival skills to fight COVID-19
HARARE, Zimbabwe (UM News) — For centuries, Africans have relied heavily on their culture and traditions to address health issues. As the world grapples with the COVID-19 pandemic, United Methodists here are treating it like other viruses and diseases that have tested the continent, using age-old practices to stay healthy and stop the spread of the coronavirus. Kudzai Chingwe has the story.
Religion News Service
Pastor’s death shows coronavirus spread to rural areas
ITASCA, Texas — A small United Methodist church in Texas is “absolutely heartbroken” after losing its pastor to COVID-19. The Rev. Tom Wood, pastor of First United Methodist Church, died July 29 at the age of 83. The rural church had begun meeting in person again May 3 while utilizing cleaning and distancing measures. Emily McFarlan Miller reports.
South Carolina Conference
Churches ramp up to help centenarian
NORTH, S.C. — Congregations in the Orange Circuit have been ramping up to meet some needs in the community. Church members have replaced worn-out steps and made sure a 100-year-old can get his scooter in and out of his house. Billy Robinson has the story.
Higher Education and Ministry
Leading in Crisis series continues
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The third panel discussion about how to lead during a crisis is set for 11 a.m. Central time on Aug. 12. There is no need to register for the event, which will stream on the Facebook and YouTube pages of the United Methodist Board of Higher Education and Ministry.
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World Council of Churches
Pray Aug. 9 for peaceful reunification of Korea
GENEVA — The World Council of Churches invites all people of good will to observe a Sunday of Prayer on Aug. 9 for the Peaceful Reunification of the Korean Peninsula. Prepared by Christians from South and North Korea, the prayer traditionally is offered on the Sunday before Aug. 15 every year, which marks the date in 1945 when Korea won independence from Japanese colonial oppression but also was divided into two countries.
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United Methodist Communications
Time for 'Blessing of the Devices’
SANTA CLARA, Calif. — For many churches, one of the markers of the beginning of the fall program year is the “Blessing of the Backpacks.” In this time of remote learning, churches may also want to add a “Blessing of the Devices” to fall rites of passage. Elizabeth Drescher, a religion professor at Santa Clara University, offers a blessing churches might use.
Africa University shifts fall semester online
January feature: Taking church archives from hi-fi to Wi-Fi
Wednesday, Aug. 19
Town Hall: Seasoned leaders discuss dismantling racism