Daily Digest - December 18, 2019


Special General Conference tops the news in 2019
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UM News) — For the second year in a row, The United Methodist Church's struggle to stay together despite a longstanding division over homosexuality was the denomination's top news story of 2019 — in particular, the results of a special General Conference. Linda Bloom reports on the year's Top 5 news stories, as voted on by church communicators and UM News staff.
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UMCOR aids indigenous earthquake survivors
FLORIDABLANCA, Philippines (UM News) — The United Methodist Committee on Relief issued a $100,000 grant to provide support for 860 Aeta families affected by a deadly earthquake this spring. Members of Camachile United Methodist Church, earthquake survivors themselves, helped distribute food and other necessities to the remote communities. Gladys P. Mangiduyos reports.
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Church future under negotiation before GC2020
WASHINGTON (UM News) — A small group of United Methodist bishops and U.S. traditionalists, centrists and progressives met Dec. 16-17 as part of negotiations about the denomination's future. Heather Hahn and Sam Hodges report.
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Baltimore-Washington Conference
Turning parsonages into mission
HYATTSVILLE, Md. — With help from a new fund named for a pastor, a United Methodist district is turning unused parsonages into desperately needed affordable housing around the U.S. capital. Melissa Lauber has the story as the district completes its first home for the working poor.
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Ask The UMC
Did Charles Wesley write any Christmas hymns?
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — A prolific hymn writer, Charles Wesley wrote several hymns for Advent and Christmas. Ask The UMC, a ministry of United Methodist Communications, shares a few of Wesley's seasonal hymns, including a yuletide favorite. 
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Read more Ask The UMC


Council of Bishops
Bishops release Christmas letter
WASHINGTON — Prayer continues for the fulfillment of Scripture and “to walk to the end of our light is to walk in the light of the Lord,” said Bishop Kenneth H. Carter, president of the Council of Bishops. The council released a letter from Carter to coincide with the holiday season.
Read letter

The Upper Room
Christian art museum to close
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The art museum within The Upper Room will close Jan. 11 and the space will be repurposed as a gathering space for prayer and other spiritual practices. Staff are evaluating the 2,000-piece collection to decide what to keep.
Read press release


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.

Living between the radical ends
HIGHLAND, Ill. (UM News) — The Rev. Beverly L. Wilkes-Null, directing pastor of Highland Hope United Methodist Church and a delegate to General Conference, said she is not seeking to endorse anyone's 2020 plan for The United Methodist Church. However, she does want to send out a clarion call to all centrists: “Now is the time to stand up, speak up and show up — prayed up and ready to do God's work at General Conference 2020,” she writes. 
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What should a Christmas welcome look like? 

New church expands reach in Burundi 

Here are some of the activities ahead for United Methodists across the connection. If you have a United Methodist event to share, you can add it to the event calendar linked below.
Wednesday, Jan. 15-Tuesday, Jan. 21
Congregational Leadership online course: Pastoral care

More United Methodist events


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