Daily Digest - February 18, 2019

“There’s this nagging thing in the back of you that says, ‘I am not complete. I am not whole unless all of me can be welcomed and affirmed.’” Karyn Wisemen, former United Methodist and associate professor of homiletics at Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia.


NEWS AND FEATURES

LGBTQ United Methodists are hurting — and leaving

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) — United Methodist News Service spoke to former United Methodist clergy and lay people who left the church because of frustration over treatment of LGBTQ people. Jim Patterson reports.
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Read sidebar: Former members and why they left

Church helps internally displaced people in Congo
UVIRA, Congo (UMNS) —The United Methodist Church has offered shelter to more than 2,500 internally displaced people in the past four months following community land disputes, according to church records. The United Methodist Committee on Relief also approved emergency funding to address the situation. Phillippe Kituka Lolonga reports.
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United Methodist Communications
How those not at GC2019 can participate

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMC.org) — All United Methodists have ways to stay connected to the special General Conference, even those who don’t have a vote or can’t attend the legislative gathering. The Rev. Joe Iovino offers some practical tips for getting involved and some Scripture for reflection. 
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Groups planning events centered on GC2019
ST. LOUIS — Just ahead of the special General Conference on Feb. 23-26, some groups will be holding events in and around St. Louis for delegates and observers. The Africa Initiative, an unofficial advocacy group that supports the Modified Traditional Plan, will have an invitation-only meeting Feb. 20-21. The New York General Conference delegation will have a town hall with LGBTQ delegates from 4:30-6:30 p.m. CST Feb. 22 at the Holiday Inn, 811 N. Ninth St. Uniting Methodists, an unofficial advocacy group, will have a rally for the One Church Plan from 7:30-9 p.m. Feb. 23 at the Hyatt Regency St. Louis at the Arch, 315 Chestnut St. Both the town hall and rally are open to the public. 
Learn more about the Africa Initiative
Learn more about the LGBTQ delegate town hall
Learn more about Uniting Methodists

Florida Conference
Messy Church focuses on intergenerational worship

MOUNT DORA, Fla. — Jesus told his disciples to let the little children come to him. Yvette C. Hammett reports how Florida churches are using crafty ideas from the Messy Church movement to reach families and teach youngsters about faith in Jesus.
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COMMENTARIES

United Methodist News Service includes in the Daily Digest various commentaries about the plans for the future of the church and other issues in the denomination. The commentaries reflect a variety of viewpoints and are the opinions of the writers, not the UMNS staff.

Freedom and connectionalism — the Wesleyan way
LAKE JUNALUSKA, N.C. — Connectional people may disagree strongly on issues while remaining united on the essentials of the faith, such as the church’s doctrinal standards, writes Bishop J. Lawrence McCleskey. The One Church Plan is built on a foundation of connectionalism and “love for God and neighbor,” he writes.
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Keep the main thing the main thing
BURLINGTON, N.C. (UMNS)— Citing the church stance on homosexuality as a mostly U.S. concern, the Rev. Edgar De Jesus writes that Filipino United Methodists are more focused on how to make the Gospel relevant. Jesus Christ draws us into community to make disciples for transforming the world, he writes.
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RECENT HEADLINES 

Updated: What do United Methodists really believe?


Small churches play big role for refugees in Italy


EVENTS 

Tuesday, Feb. 19

Tuesdays in the Chapel





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