NEWS AND FEATURES
Rebuilding straw churches in eastern Congo
KIBOMBO, Congo (UM News) — The United Methodist Church has embarked on the construction and rehabilitation of church buildings in the Eastern Congo Episcopal Region. So far, more than 12 churches that were made of straw have been renovated or rebuilt with stronger materials. Chadrack Tambwe Londe has the story.
Mississippi United Methodists respond to ICE raids
JACKSON, Miss. — The Mississippi Conference and Methodist Children’s Homes of Mississippi are working to support children affected by the Aug. 7 Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) raids that hit several work sites in the state and led to the arrest of nearly 700 people. Bishop James E. Swanson Sr. has written about the effort to help children whose parents were taken into custody.
Read Swanson’s letter
East Ohio Conference
Sensory processing disorder kids welcome at church
NORTH CANTON, Ohio — At Faith United Methodist Church, there are four “quiet place” areas for people who need silence, as well as portable headphone zones. It’s part of the church’s efforts to be welcoming to people with sensory processing disorder, a sensitivity to sounds, sights, changes in routine and more. Brett Hetherington reports.
Board of Global Ministries
50 become international Global Mission Fellows
ATLANTA — The 50 young adults recently commissioned in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, as Global Mission Fellows represent 26 countries and will serve in 33 other countries. Their places of assignment and types of service range from a lab scientist at Ganta Hospital, Liberia, to a youth minister in Russia. Michelle Scott Okabayashi has the story.
US attorney, Western District of La.
Pastor’s co-defendant pleads guilty
SHREVEPORT, La. — The co-defendant of the Rev. Kirbyjon Caldwell has pleaded guilty in federal court to conspiracy to commit wire fraud. Gregory Alan Smith, a Shreveport investment adviser, and Caldwell, longtime pastor of Windsor Village United Methodist Church in Houston, were accused of bilking investors in a multi-million-dollar scheme involving antique Chinese bonds. While Smith awaits sentencing after his plea, Caldwell maintains his innocence and is set to go on trial Dec. 2.
Read press release
Ignore that gift-card email
WASHINGTON — The Federal Trade Commission, the U.S. consumer protection agency, is warning of a gift-card scam targeting worshippers. According to the FTC, scammers pretend to be a pastor, rabbi, priest, imam or bishop and then ask worshippers for gift card contributions for a worthy cause. Appeals are often made by email, but people have also gotten texts and phone calls.
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 the UM News staff.
Faith & Leadership
United Methodists failing to communicate
DALLAS — “United Methodists have become poor storytellers,” says the Rev. Maria Dixon Hall. “We no longer can tell our congregation where they fit in the story of Christ.” Hall is a United Methodist deacon with a Ph.D. in organizational communication and religion and teaches at Southern Methodist University. She talks about religious groups and communication in a Q&A.
Pastors push to help addict offenders rejoin society
Evangelism crusades enrich spiritual lives in Zimbabwe
Monday, Aug. 26-Friday, Oct. 4
Online class: Spiritual disciplines for personal, parish renewal