"This small change has the capacity to assure that all voices will be heard in a non-hostile environment." — Dawn Wiggins Hare on General Conference committee voting.
Change coming to General Conference voting
PORTLAND, Ore. (UMNS) — United Methodist leaders are hoping a change coming to the 2016 General Conference will make voting easier for delegates. At the urging of the Commission on the Status and Role of Women, delegates will use voting machines in legislative committees. Heather Hahn reports the reason for the change. Read story and post a comment
Obama names Hamilton to advisory panel
WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama plans to nominate the Rev. Adam Hamilton, pastor of the United Methodist Church of the Resurrection in Leawood, Kansas, to the President's Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. In 2013, Hamilton preached at a post-inaugural prayer service attended by Obama. Read press release
Historic Texas church burns
WHITEWRIGHT, Texas — The historic sanctuary of Marvin United Methodist Church, near the town of Whitewright in north central Texas, burned to the ground on Jan. 30. The small congregation gathered the next morning at the site to worship and share memories of the 1924 structure. The fire is under investigation. KTEN.com reports. Read story
Prayer for peace in Syria
NEW YORK (UMNS) — The head of the denomination's mission agency is calling on all United Methodists and peace lovers to pray for the efforts to negotiate peace in Syria. Thomas Kemper said the war has resulted in thousands of deaths and millions of refugees.
Read press release
Simpson College honors Bishop Talbert
INDIANOLA, Iowa (UMNS) — Retired United Methodist Bishop Melvin G. Talbert received Simpson College's prestigious Carver Medal at a ceremony Jan. 27. Accepting the honor, Talbert noted that the medal is named for inventor and scientist George Washington Carver. United Methodist-related Simpson accepted Carver at a time when black Americans often were denied access to higher education. Arthur McClanahan and Brooke Pierce of the Iowa Conference report. Read story
Vital Conversation: Building bridges
WASHINGTON (UMNS) — The Rev. Cynthia Moore-Koikoi will explore how the church can build bridges instead of walls at 9 p.m. EST Thursday, Feb. 4, during the next online "Vital Conversation," sponsored by the United Methodist Commission on Religion and Race. Moore-Koikoi, superintendent of the Baltimore Metropolitan District, helped guide the church during the turmoil that followed the death of Freddie Gray, an African American who died in police custody. Learn more | Register
Here are some of the activities ahead for United Methodists across the connection. If you have an item to share, email firstname.lastname@example.org and put Digest in the subject line.
Monday, Feb. 8, to Friday, Feb. 26
Online course "Biblical Storytelling II" from BeADisciple.com — Try something fun to combat the February blahs with some creative approaches to worship in Lent! This workshop explores various storytelling genres as well as telling the biblical text, including Midrash, chancel drama, first-person storytelling and puppetry. $80. Details
Monday, Feb. 8; Thursday, Feb. 25; Thursday, March 3
Online course "When Mercy and Justice Meet: Advocacy for Clergy and Congregations" — 1 to 2:30 p.m. EST. This three-session course offered by Drew University Theological School will guide clergy and laity who are interested in advocacy. Participants will learn each step of building a dynamic grassroots campaign that addresses a key issue or concern in their community. Each session will provide the practical steps needed to develop and execute an action plan, including building partnerships, setting goals, engaging volunteers and working with policymakers. Katey Zeh will lead the sessions. Details