“The story needed to be told, and I thought, ʽI can tell this story.’” – The Rev. Joseph Reiff on his new book “Born of Conviction: White Methodists and Mississippi’s Closed Society.”
Book tells of pastors’ anti-segregation stand
DALLAS (UMNS) — In 1963, 28 white Methodist pastors in Mississippi published a dissent to the prevailing arch-segregationist views in their state, and the swift backlash included death threats and demands for dismissal. Twenty of the signers would leave the state. The Rev. Joseph Reiff, a religion professor at Emory & Henry College, spent 12 years working on his new book about the episode, “Born of Conviction.” Sam Hodges reports.
Churches offer sanctuary after ICE raids
LOS ANGELES — The Rev. Fred Morris survived detention and torture at the hands of Brazil's military dictatorship in 1974. That is one reason Morris, pastor of North Hills United Methodist Church, said he is ready to defy Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials and offer his place of worship as a refuge for Central Americans facing imminent deportation to a region with escalating violence. Cathy Carcamo reports for the Los Angeles Times.
Read LA Times story
Honduran boy finds hope with JFON
AUSTIN, Texas (UMNS) — Kevin, a Honduran boy who fell into the hands of kidnappers, finally found safety in the United States. With the help of an attorney from the Austin Region Justice for Our Neighbors, he hopes to gain Special Immigrant Juvenile Status so he can stay.
Lenten journey, study focus on water
GENEVA (WCC) — A pilgrimage of water justice in the Middle East will help member churches of the World Council of Churches reflect on water during Lent. Many in the world take water for granted, while others find it in desperately short supply, the council’s Ecumenical Water Network points out. Seven Weeks for Water 2016 will launch in Jerusalem on Ash Wednesday with a 5 p.m. service at the Lutheran Church of the Redeemer.
Whitcomb, former Indiana governor, dies at 98
INDIANAPOLIS — A funeral service was held Feb. 7 at the Hayden United Methodist Church for former Indiana Gov. Edgar Whitcomb, 98, a lifelong United Methodist who died Feb. 4. During World War II, Whitcomb escaped from a Japanese prisoner camp by swimming overnight and later made an around-the-world solo sailing trip while in his 70s, reports Tom Davies for The Associated Press.
Church mentors at-risk teens
KILBOURNE, Louisiana (UMNS) — Kilbourne United Methodist Church sponsors an after-school program for youth from unstable homes in this small, rural town on the northeastern border of Louisiana.
Here are some of the activities ahead for United Methodists across the connection. If you have an item to share, email email@example.com and put Digest in the subject line.
Sunday, Feb. 14
Scouting Sunday ─ The United Methodist Church has designated the second Sunday in February as Scouting Sunday, and United Methodist Men invites churches to join in celebrating partnerships with youth-serving organizations. Help for scouting ministries
Monday, Feb. 15 to Friday, Feb. 26
Online course "Leading Public Prayer for Lay Leaders" from BeADisciple.com ─ For many, the only teaching about prayer they ever receive is modeled in Sunday worship. As a lay speaker/servant/leader, you may find yourself leading prayer in worship services, as well as in other settings. This course may challenge assumptions. The primary objective for this course is to enable the lay speaker to prepare and lead various prayer forms effectively, primarily in worship settings. $65. Details