Daily Digest: February 4, 2014

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"I tell you this: whenever you saw a brother or sister hungry or cold, whatever you did to the least of these, so you did to Me." —Matthew 25:40.

Denver United Methodists collect more in SOUPer bowl

DENVER (UMNS) — While the Seahawks claimed an overwhelming victory against the Broncos, Denver-area United Methodists can brag that they outscored their Seattle area brethren in a SOUPer Bowl to help local food banks. In the Feb. 3 tally, the Rocky Mountain Conference’s #unitedinorange collected 102,518 items, and  the Pacific Northwest Conference’s #unitedinblue  collected 52,000, with eight churches still planning to send in more items. In the end, everyone wins in this competition against hunger.
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Zimbabwe district continues fasting tradition

HARARE, Zimbabwe (UMNS) — Three times a year — in January, July and October — United Methodists in the Harare East District in the Zimbabwe Episcopal Area are invited to participate in 10 days of fasting and prayer. Abigail Mvududu explains the tradition.
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Students personalize Black College Fund

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) — Nineteen young adults attended the Jan. 8-12 Lina H. McCord Intern Orientation program to improve communication, networking and leadership skills. The program attracted students or graduates of the 11 historically black United Methodist-related colleges and universities supported by the denomination’s Black College Fund. 
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Rev. Jim Perry was ‘a pastor to pastors’

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. (UMNS) — The Rev. Jim Perry, remembered as a United Methodist with a heart for clergy, died Jan. 29 at age 67. From 2000 to 2004 he chaired the Commission on the General Conference. Christa Meland, director of communications in the Minnesota Annual (regional) Conference, shares a remembrance.
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Training grants boost ethnic leadership

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) — The United Methodist Board of Higher Education and Ministry recently gave six Ethnic In-Service Training grants, totaling $52,500. The grants will help recruit, train and retain ethnic United Methodists for leadership across the church.
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Obama adviser to be at peace event

LAKE JUNALUSKA, N.C. (UMNS) — Joshua Dubois, spiritual adviser to President Obama during his first term, will speak at the 2014 Lake Junaluska Peace Conference, “Faith, Health, and Peace: Seeking the Basic Right to Good Health for All God’s Children.” The conference will be March 27-30.
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History of Hymns: ‘Christ Upon the Mountain Peak’

DALLAS (UMNS) — Christians in the Western tradition celebrate Transfiguration Sunday this year on March 2. C. Michael Hawn of Southern Methodist University’s Perkins School of Theology suggests “Christ Upon the Mountain Peak,” by Brian Wren, as a hymn for the occasion. Hawn also provides background about the hymn’s composition.
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8 ways Pope Francis is changing conversation

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) — Pope Francis has changed public conversation about the Roman Catholic Church and Christianity in general, writes the Rev. Larry Hollon, top executive of United Methodist Communications.
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