Daily Digest - December 16, 2014

“Consider if you walked down the streets of your neighborhood, and discovered that half of your neighbors had been driven from their homes.” — The Rev. Jack Amick about the United Methodist Committee on Relief’s efforts to help displaced Syrians.


News Service poll: Ebola voted top story of 2014

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) — The worst Ebola outbreak in history — along with The United Methodist Church’s mobilization to ease suffering and fight the spread of the deadly virus — was the biggest story of 2014, according to a United Methodist News Service poll of communicators. Vicki Brown has the story.
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Displacement of Syrians reaches dramatic high

NEW YORK (UMNS) — Largely because of the Syrian upheaval, with 3 million refugees abroad and about 7 million displaced inside Syria, the United Nations calculates more than 50 million people are displaced globally — the most at any time since World War II. The United Methodist Committee on Relief is trying to help. David Tereshchuk reports.
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Governor speaks to Sand Creek Commission

GREENWOOD, Colo. (UMNS) — “We made it historic. You all helped create that moment,” Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper said at the final Sand Creek Massacre Commemoration Commission meeting. The governor has a list of recommendations for next steps, such as developing a Sand Creek curriculum for schools and expanding the state’s memorials for the Sand Creek Massacre. Charmaine Robledo of the Mountain Sky Area has the story.
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Advice for coping with holiday blues

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) — We watch “magical” Christmas movies and hear songs proclaiming this as “the most wonderful time of the year.” But you may not feel jolly if you or someone you love is struggling with the Christmas blues. The Rev. Joe Iovino offers from advice from United Methodist pastors, counselors, and others.
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History of Hymns: ‘Hark! The Herald Angels Sing’

DALLAS (UMNS) — Charles Wesley’s most famous contribution to Christmas music went through a number of editorial changes before becoming the beloved carol congregations sing today. C. Michael Hawn traces the evolution of the hymn, a meditation on the angels’ proclamation in Luke 2:14, and explains what Wesley meant by its original title, “Hark how all the welkin rings!”
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Advent quiz: Name that Nativity celebration

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) — The traditional Mexican living Nativity celebration has great significance in the celebration of the Christmas story. Do you know what it is called?
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UMC.org Advent quiz

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.


Sunday, Dec. 21
Blue Christmas/Longest Night — Many Christians in the Northern Hemisphere use the Winter Solstice as time to worship and share fellowship with those who mourn during this usually joyful season. Discipleship Ministries has worship resources.

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

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