Daily Digest - December 2, 2022

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“This issue is eating me day and night. … Although I am bright in school, I am afraid I might fail to write the examinations, and my future will be doomed.” Bridget Chalosa, on needing her birth certificate to take final exams in Zimbabwe.


TODAY’S HEADLINES

Lack of birth certificate challenges children in rural areas

HARARE, Zimbabwe (UM News) — Many children in rural areas do not have birth certificates, and obtaining national identification cards can be a challenge. Representatives of five United Methodist-related primary and secondary schools reported an average 44% of students lack birth certificates. The United Methodist Church in Zimbabwe is working with local leaders and government departments to help students secure documents. Kudzai Chingwe has the story.
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Church court deals with General Conference delay
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UM News) — Three United Methodist annual conferences, including one in Africa, have asked the denomination’s highest court to rule on the ramifications of General Conference’s third postponement since the onset of COVID. The Judicial Council also faces more questions about church disaffiliations. Heather Hahn reports on the church court’s docket.
Read story
See docket

Church and Society
Internship prepares young adults for ministry

WASHINGTON — ViaFaith McCullough, a 2020 graduate of the United Methodist Board of Church and Society’s Ethnic Young Adult internship program, is working to bridge the gap between young adults and local United Methodist churches in the Oklahoma Conference. She reflects on how the internship helped her to live out her faith boldly. The program is accepting applications for its summer 2023 internship. The application deadline is March 6.
Read story 
To apply

United Methodist Communications
Celebrating giving and top stories of 2022

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The latest episode of “The Recap” celebrates the generous gifts from United Methodists that are supporting Ukrainian war refugees and natural disaster victims around the world, as well as looking at the top content on UMC.org in 2022. “The Recap” is a short video segment to help United Methodists gain a better understanding of what is going on in the denomination, find inspiration in stories of ministry and learn how the church is transforming the world.
Watch episode

Dakotas Conference
Worship leader, musician mourned

FARGO, N.D. — Members of Faith United Methodist Church paid tribute to Christopher Hanson, a musician who held multiple leadership positions at the church. Hanson, 45, died Nov. 20 after suffering a stroke. He led the worship band at the church and also was an office administrator and youth coordinator. Doreen Gosmire has the story.
Read story


PRESS RELEASES

National Plan for Hispanic/Latino Ministry
New grant to support Hispanic/Latino ministry

ATLANTA — In response to the potential financial impact of church disaffiliations, the National Plan for Hispanic/Latino Ministry is offering support to United Methodist annual conferences committed to Hispanic/Latino ministries during this time of transition. The new “acompañamiento” grant will provide up to $30,000 based on needs, potential and commitment. “We hope this grant will stimulate creative, supportive and strategic ministries in our many Hispanic/Latino communities during this critical time,” said Bishop Sally Dyck, co-chair of the plan’s executive committee.
Read press release


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 UM News staff.

Hollering for Change: When it all falls down
SEVERNA PARK, Md. (UM News) — “If you live life long enough, you have a moment when it all literally falls down,” writes the Rev. Dr. Tori Butler. In the latest installment of her “Hollering for Change” series, Butler shares the time this happened to her and how she got back up.
Read commentary


EVENTS

Monday, Jan. 9-Sunday, Jan. 22

Online course: Aging and Ministry in the 21st Century

Monday, Jan. 9-Sunday, Jan. 29
Online course: Transforming the One-Room Sunday School Classroom


TOP STORIES OF THE WEEK

3 bishops, including first woman, elected in Philippines

CABANATUAN CITY, Philippines (UM News) — Delegates of The United Methodist Church’s Philippines Central Conference elected three bishops during their Nov. 24-26 meeting, including the first female bishop. The Rev. Ruby-Nell Estrella, conference treasurer, said she was “truly humbled and thankful to God for this historic election.” The Rev. Rodel M. Acdal, president of John Wesley College, and the Rev. Israel Painit, country director of mission in Southeast Asia, also were elected. Gladys P. Mangiduyos reports.
Rodel M. Acdal
Ruby-Nell Estrella
Israel Painit
See all of UM News' 2022 episcopal election coverage

Scholarships help students change Africa
MUTARE, Zimbabwe (UM News) — Africa University provides financial aid or scholarships to two-thirds of its students, said Jim Salley, president and chief executive officer of Africa University (Tennessee) Inc., one of three entities that run the United Methodist university in Zimbabwe. For students such as Berthia Mugwagwa and Belinda Numbi, the assistance is helping them fulfill their dreams. Kathy L. Gilbert has the story.
Read story

Women's commission at 50, still a long way to go
CHICAGO (UM News) — Women in The United Methodist Church have come a long way, but more progress is needed, said Dawn Wiggins Hare, top executive of the United Methodist Commission on the Status and Role of Women. The commission is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, with women pastors still underpaid and resisted by some congregations who don’t want a female leader. Jim Patterson has the story. 
Read story

Church responds as famine threatens Congo 
KINDU, Congo (UM News) — Millions of people in Congo have been affected by famine aggravated by conflict in some areas and the COVID-19 pandemic. The United Nations’ World Food Programme and the Food and Agriculture Organization report that one in three people are affected by high acute food insecurity in the region. East Congo Bishop Gabriel Yemba Unda is urging people of faith to amplify agricultural activities to fight famine. Chadrack Tambwe Londe has the story.
Read story

Commentary: Paradox on the plains
DALLAS (UM News) — When Kansans voted recently to protect abortion rights, they continued a rich history of advocacy. “If history teaches anything,” writes Kendra Weddle, “it is that truth is often found not in the extremes of any position, but in the tension of opposites.”
Read commentary

The United Methodist Church in Germany
Germans approve full LGBTQ inclusion

FRANKFURT — The Germany Central Conference, meeting in a special called session Nov. 24-26, approved adapting denomination policy in its area to allow for full LGBTQ inclusion, including as ordained clergy. The German United Methodist Church has formed what it’s calling a Community Federation “for those in the church who want to preserve their traditional view in this respect,” and has guaranteed the federation will be fully integrated into the denomination’s structure in Germany. Bishop Harald Rückert praised the roundtable decision-making process that led to what he called the “very precious gift” of unity among those with different convictions.
Read press release (PDF)

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