Daily Digest - February 28, 2020

“This is a super sad time.” The Rev. James Howell, senior pastor of Myers Park United Methodist Church in Charlotte, North Carolina, on the choices local churches might face after the 2020 General Conference.


NEWS AND FEATURES

Local church options under separation plans 

MINNEAPOLIS (UM News) — Depending on the outcome of the 2020 General Conference, local churches could have painful decisions to make. Delegates will look at several proposals that split the church along traditional, progressive and centrist lines. Under any of those plans, local churches would only need to vote if they disagree with the alignment chosen by their annual conference. Kathy L. Gilbert reports.
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Sierra Leone prison ministry advocates for inmates
FREETOWN, Sierra Leone (UM News) — Mariatu Kogbaka was prepared to die in prison for her crime. Then the Sierra Leone Conference’s prison ministry showed up and encouraged her and other inmates to hope for freedom. Kogbaka was pardoned last year partly thanks to the lobbying, advocacy and collaboration of the church group. Phileas Jusu reports.
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Africa University
AU priorities include international student recruitment 
MUTARE, Zimbabwe — Africa University's emphasis on female leadership and diversity is a catalyst of peace and development for Africa, North Katanga Area Bishop Mande Muyombo said in a statement issued by the university’s board of directors after its February meeting. The board said top priorities at the Methodist university are international student recruitment and internationalization of the educational experience. New initiatives to achieve those goals include peer recruitment and online recruitment ambassadors.
Read statement

Chicago Sun-Times
Pastor turned prominent religion reporter has died

NAPERVILLE, Ill. — Roy Larson, 90, a former United Methodist pastor turned prominent religion reporter, died Feb. 25 at a senior community. The former Chicago Sun-Times religion editor famously investigated then-Cardinal John Cody in the 1980s for corruption. Maureen O’Donnell has the story.
Read story


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 the UM News staff.

Greater Northwest Area
Keep communities healthy during Lent

DES MOINES, Wash. — The news of the spread of the coronavirus is occurring as the Lenten season begins, meaning people will gather in churches, sit close, join hands in prayer and give hugs. In her “Bishop’s Blog,” Greater Northwest Area Bishop Elaine Stanovsky encourages everyone to observe advice on how to prevent the spread of the virus. 
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UM & Global
Departing annual conference, remaining local churches

ATLANTA — Annual conferences have important roles to play in managing the assets held by local churches — about 90% of all United Methodist assets, writes David W. Scott. In the latest of his series on United Methodist assets, Scott addresses the complexity of the relationship between annual conferences and local churches concerning property. 
Read commentary
Annual conferences and jurisdictions
Local church assets


RESOURCES 

Ask The UMC 
Comparing plans headed to GC2020

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Ask The UMC, a ministry of United Methodist Communications, has updated its chart outlining denomination restructuring plans to be considered at the 2020 General Conference. The update includes additional details from the legislation for the Protocol of Reconciliation & Grace Through Separation.
View chart


RECENT HEADLINES 

Key African group supports protocol


Clergywomen in US, Africa forge bonds


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