Daily Digest - February 19, 2019

“One of the most important lessons we have learned from our ecumenical partner churches is that theological opinions and positions do not correlate with geographical location or ethnic background.”The Rev. Jean Hawxhurst, ecumenical staff officer for the United Methodist Council of Bishops.


NEWS AND FEATURES

Lessons from other denominational divides
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) — Episcopalians, Lutherans and Presbyterians all have faced their own splits related to homosexuality and the Bible. Heather Hahn has an overview of their experiences and what lessons they might offer as United Methodists head to General Conference. 
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Church in Côte d’Ivoire focuses on farming, food security
JOHANNESBURG (UMNS) — The Cote d’Ivoire Episcopal Area has made progress toward a holistic approach to agriculture involving women and youths, church leaders say. United Methodist farming projects also are providing a tool for evangelism. Eveline Chikwanah has the story.
Read story
Agriculture a ‘game changer’ for church in Africa


PRESS RELEASES

United Methodist Insurance repays conferences

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — United Methodist Insurance has partially repaid 16 U.S. annual conferences that had invested in its predecessor group, United Methodist Property and Casualty Trust. UMI has transitioned from being a risk-bearing captive insurance company, and its reduced capital needs made possible the 15 percent repayments, officials said.
Read press release
Read recent UMNS story on UMI

Higher Education and Ministry
New book reminds Christians that Jesus was an immigrant

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Perspectives on the migrant crisis, marginalized native communities and the exodus of young adults from the church are covered in a new book published by the United Methodist Board of Higher Education and Ministry. “Displaced Persons: Theological Reflection on Immigration, Refugees and Marginalization” grew out of dialogue among collegiate ministers, university chaplains, pastors and teachers from all over the world.
Read press release


COMMENTARIES

United Methodist News Service includes in the Daily Digest various commentaries about the plans for 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.

The plan of ‘gracious inclusion’
MADISON, N.J. (UMNS) — The Simple Plan would relieve The United Methodist Church of the burdens of discrimination and the responsibility of enforcement by punishment, writes the Rev. Althea Spencer Miller, a Drew University Theological School professor.
Read commentary

On the authority of Scripture
DAYTON, Ohio — “Apart from Scripture and tradition, we cannot know who Jesus is,” writes the Rev. David F. Watson, academic dean and associate professor of New Testament at United Theological Seminary, on the subject of scriptural authority. “It is part of the tradition of the church that we understand Scripture as a canon, and to say that Scripture is our primary canon means that it is authoritative in a way that other sources are not.” 
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RECENT HEADLINES 

LGBTQ United Methodists are hurting — and leaving


Church helps internally displaced people in Congo


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