Daily Digest - December 10, 2015

“Normal people like me, like my children, like my family, we are the ones who are suffering.” — Fatmeh Sh, forced to flee Syria.

Looking ‘Beyond Bethlehem’ to aid refugees

BEIRUT, Lebanon (UMNS) — Fatmeh Sh, a teacher in a refugee camp in Lebanon, is careful not to speak too loudly to the 3- to 5-year-olds in her kindergarten class. “Even if I raise my voice a little bit, I see a lot of fear,” she said about the children in the kindergarten funded by the United Methodist Committee on Relief. The “Beyond Bethlehem” project of UMCOR, the United Methodist Board of Global Ministries and Ginghamsburg United Methodist Church in Ohio addresses the needs of refugees. Linda Bloom reports.
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United Methodist bishop shares stories of Syrian refugees

WASHINGTON (UMNS) — In the midst of calls to cast out refugees, United Methodist Bishop Sally Dyck traveled to Capitol Hill to add her voice to those of other national faith leaders and three U.S. senators calling for lawmakers to show mercy. Kathy Gilbert and Linda Bloom reports on the press conference and other efforts in the denomination to help Syrian refugees.
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Making the leap to large Western Jurisdiction churches

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (UMNS) — “What does it take to dream bigger?” Some 62 United Methodist pastors pondered that question during a training event aimed at cultivating leaders of large churches in the Western Jurisdiction. Larry R. Hygh Jr. reports for the California-Nevada Conference.
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‘Visionary leadership’ encouraged in Paris

PARIS (WCC) — The World Council of Churches’ top executive told government representatives at the climate summit that the international meeting is “the right moment for real and visionary leadership.” The Rev. Olav Fykse Tveit represented more than 150 religious leaders who signed a statement submitted to Christiana Figueres, executive secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.
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Prayer, advocacy are daily tasks at climate summit

Angels: God’s heavenly messengers

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMC.org) — Angels seem to be everywhere, and growing in popularity. Collectible and decorative angel figurines line store shelves. Angel characters appear in television shows, novels, and movies. Joe Iovino explores what we really know about angels.
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Café offers refugees respite and welcome

MESSSTETTEN, Germany (UMNS) — Refugees who have spent days, weeks or even months journeying from their war-torn lands to Germany are finding a warm welcome at a café run by the Red Cross and hosted by volunteers, many of them from local churches, in the leafy village of Messstetten in southwestern Germany. Linda Unger and photographer Paul Jeffrey have the story for the United Methodist Committee on Relief.
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Quiz: A color question

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMC.org) — What color is Mary’s dress in many Nativity sets or Christmas scenes?
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Looking ahead

Here are some of the activities ahead for United Methodists across the connection. If you have an item to share, email [email protected] and put Digest in the subject line.

Thursday, Dec. 24
Christmas Eve — Worship resources from United Methodist Discipleship Ministries.

Thursday, Dec. 31
New Year's Eve/ Watch Night — Worship resources, including for covenant renewal and baptism reaffirmation, are available from United Methodist Discipleship Ministries.

You can see more educational opportunities and other upcoming events in the life of the church here.

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