Daily Digest - December 13, 2019

“There were groups of people standing on the road … (because) the bishop was coming down for greetings. We heard screams calling for The United Methodist Church in their village, and it was an opportunity for us as evangelists to speak and preach the good news.”The Rev. Martin Kasongo, on Bishop Gabriel Yemba Unda’s visit to remote areas in the East Congo Conference.


NEWS AND FEATURES

Bishop visits remote areas of Congo for first time

TUNDA, Congo (UM News) — Bishop Gabriel Yemba Unda made his first trip to the most remote areas in the East Congo Conference to spread the word of God and see firsthand the “rural realities” facing United Methodists. It was also the first time many United Methodists in the area had ever seen a bishop. Judith Osongo Yanga reports.
Read story

Alaska moves to become ‘mission district’ 
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (UM News) — The Alaska United Methodist Conference is taking steps to become a missionary district, a change from its current status as one of three missionary conferences in the U.S. A task force recommended Alaska become a missionary district within the Pacific Northwest Conference. Sam Hodges reports. 
Read story 

Greater New Jersey Conference
Bishop responds to Jersey City violence

NEPTUNE, N.J. — Bishop John Schol urges United Methodists to bear witness to the Prince of Peace following the Dec. 10 shooting in Jersey City that left six people dead — three civilians, one police officer and the two shooters. Authorities are calling the shooting an anti-Semitic attack.
Read Bishop Schol’s letter

Western North Carolina Conference
Podcast addresses grief at Christmas

HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. — For many people, this season is not the most wonderful time of the year. The Rev. Toni Ruth Smith, a pastor who has her own experience with Christmas loss, talks about how churches can create space for stillness, hope and even sadness in the midst of the holiday rush. 
Listen to podcast

No Daily Digest Dec. 16
No Daily Digest will be published Dec. 16 because UM News will be at a staff event. The digest will resume publication on Tuesday, Dec. 17.


PRESS RELEASES

Duke Divinity School
Duke Divinity gets $12 million grant

DURHAM, N.C. — Duke Divinity School, a United Methodist seminary, is getting a $12 million grant from The Duke Endowment. The funds from the private foundation will create new scholarships, strengthen the doctor of theology program and support lifelong learning for pastors.
Read announcement

Global Ministries
Former young adult missionary dies in Zimbabwe

ATLANTA — Tawanda Chandiwana — a former United Methodist Global Mission Fellow who was at the center of a 2018 campaign to win his release and that of two other young missionaries detained on spurious charges in the Philippines — has died in Zimbabwe, just days before his 30th birthday. His health situation and treatment were complicated by a prolonged strike of many doctors in Zimbabwe, church contacts told the United Methodist Board of Global Ministries. Editor’s note: If you are unable to open the story due to technical issues, check the site at a later time and refresh your screen.
Read statement
Detained missionary arrives home in Zimbabwe


RESOURCES

United Methodist Men
A close look at partners in men’s ministry

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — What’s happening with United Methodist Men? The winter issue of UM Men magazine offers an overview of the ministry partners of the Commission on United Methodist Men. These partners, including the Society of St. Andrew, Rise Against Hunger and Strength for Service, help extend the church’s outreach around the globe. 
Read magazine’s Winter 2020 issue


COMMENTARIES
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.

United Methodist Camp and Retreat Ministries
Sharing camp ministry tips across denominations

LAKE JUNALUSKA, N.C. — Nick Coenen reflects on the Great Gathering, which brought together camp ministers from The United Methodist Church and five other denominations. “What a joy it was to ask questions like, ‘What is the best part of your camp?’” writes the United Methodist camp director.
Read commentary


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