Daily Digest February 23, 2016

“Mary Jo understood that ministry meant reaching into the community and using her gifts to serve those outside her immediate congregation.” — The Rev. Chad Parmalee on a lifelong United Methodist who died in a mass shooting.


Mass shooting victim was lifelong United Methodist

KALAMAZOO, Mich. (UMNS) — At least one of the eight victims of the tragic mass shooting on Feb. 20 was a lifelong active member and leader in The United Methodist Church. Mark Doyal reports on the death of Mary Jo “MJ” Nye.

Read Michigan Conference story 

Read how United Methodists can fight gun violence 


Harper Lee letters in SMU collection 

DALLAS — Southern Methodist University’s ownership of letters by Harper Lee has prompted news coverage since her Feb. 19 death. Lee’s letters to Horton Foote, screenwriter for the film of Lee’s novel “To Kill a Mockingbird,” are among Foote’s papers at SMU’s library. A Lee letter to Oprah Winfrey also is in the collection.
Read Dallas Morning News blog 

Read UMNS coverage of Lee’s death 


Congolese pastor will travel 9,000 miles for GC2016

PORTLAND, Ore. (UMC.org) — The Rev. Mujinga Kashala will travel 9,000 miles to add her voice to those shaping the future of The United Methodist Church. Kashala, a pastor in the North Katanga Conference of the Democratic Republic of Congo, is pleased to serve as a delegate to the denomination’s top legislative body.

Watch video 


Minnesota church adopts class

ST. CHARLES, Minn. (UMNS) — St. Charles United Methodist Church was one of 20 congregations that received a partnership grant from the Minnesota Conference. The church adopted a class at a local elementary school. Their efforts include providing milk for students who cannot afford it for snack time.
Read conference story 


Quick tips for greeting visitors this Easter

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) — How prepared is your church to welcome visitors this Easter? Laurens Glass of United Methodist Communications offers a welcoming checklist for congregations to use as part of their preparations to celebrate Christ’s resurrection.
Read story 


New resources for One Great Hour of Sharing

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) — An updated pastor and leaders kit offers new resources for observing One Great Hour of Sharing. It includes images for Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, as well as other downloadable resources. The United Methodist Committee on Relief uses offerings from this Special Sunday to respond to disasters around the world.

Get resources


Looking ahead

Here are some of the activities ahead for United Methodists across the connection. If you have an item to share, email newsdesk@umcom.org and put Digest in the subject line.


Sunday, Feb. 28

Day 1 —  The Rev. Beth LaRocca-Pitts, senior pastor of St. Mark United Methodist Church in Atlanta, is the featured preacher on “Day 1,” the nationally broadcast ecumenical radio program also accessible online at Day1.org. Details

More upcoming United Methodist events

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