Daily Digest - January 20, 2023

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“The explosion … happened just a short distance from where more than 180 United Methodists were attending service.” Kambale Vanzane, pastor of Kasindi (Congo) United Methodist Church.


United Methodists seek peace after church bombing

KIVU, Congo (UM News) — At least 17 people were killed and 20 others seriously injured in a suspected terrorist attack during a worship service Jan. 15 at a Pentecostal church in Kasindi. A United Methodist lay leader was at the 8th Community of Pentecostal Churches of Congo during the bombing and other United Methodists were worshipping nearby. Philippe Kituka Lolonga reports.
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Alabama-West Florida Conference
2 new churches launch, offer hope

COTTONDALE, Fla. — Out of death comes new life. That’s at the heart of the Christian story, and it’s also at the center of the story of two new Alabama-West Florida faith communities. Both Restoration and Open Door United Methodist churches represent fresh starts after the ravages of Hurricane Michael, COVID and disaffiliations. Kara Witherow has the story. 
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Michigan Conference
District lines redrawn in Michigan

LANSING, Mich. — The number of districts in the Michigan Conference has been reduced from nine to seven. Bishop David Alan Bard released the details of the new setup. The plan goes into effect on July 1, and two superintendents won’t be replaced after they retire following the 2023 annual conference. James Deaton reports.
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Tiny House village houses homeless

TUKWILA, Wash. — Twenty “tiny house” structures are housing about 40 formerly homeless people on the grounds of Riverton Park United Methodist Church. Pastor Jan Bolerjack said it operates a little differently than other such villages because there’s no perimeter fence or check-in system. Neighbor Jerry Diaz said the people in the tiny houses haven’t been a problem, except for some noise issues. Joel Moreno reports.
Read story and watch video 
CBN News
Church food pantries face spike in demand
VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — The Gathering at Scott Memorial United Methodist Church is among the congregations trying to meet increased demand for food pantries as grocery costs have risen and winter set in. But every week, “God shows up,” says the Rev. Stephanie Parker. Charlene Aaron reports.
Read story and watch video 

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 UM News staff.

Susquehanna Conference
Using social media as Christians

MECHANICSBURG, Pa . — Social media, when used in positive ways, can truly advance ministry and bring love and joy to the world, but there are also negative aspects to consider. “It is important to talk about how to use social media as Christians in a time when our online words and actions have a serious impact on the lives of others,” writes Liz Lennox, director of communications for the Susquehanna and Western Pennsylvania conferences.
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World Council of Churches
International symposium focuses on environment

NEW YORK — The Rev. Liberato Bautista, the United Methodist Board of Church and Society’s executive for United Nations and International Affairs, will chair the ninth annual Symposium on the Role of Religion and Faith-Based Organizations in International Affairs. 
Learn more and register


Monday, Jan. 23-Friday, Feb. 17
Online course: The Enneagram for Growth

Saturday, Feb. 11
United Methodist Rural Advocates webinar


Mexican bishop became pastor in the US
CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas (UM News) — The Rev. Joel Mora Peña had a unique ministry trajectory, serving as a bishop in the Methodist Church of Mexico before immigrating to the U.S. and becoming a cherished pastor of Hispanic congregations in The United Methodist Church. He died Jan. 3 at age 88. Sam Hodges reports. 
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Twins group supports multiples, mothers
CHITUNGWIZA, Zimbabwe (UM News) — Growing up, United Methodist twins Tendai Mayor and Farai Lawyer Katonha took turns going to school because their family couldn’t afford the school fees to send both. In 2016, the brothers launched the Twins Association of Zimbabwe to assist others like them. Eveline Chikwanah has the story. 
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Kenyan youth put faith into action
MOMBASA COUNTY, Kenya (UM News) — Youth at Tazama Christ United Methodist Church are living out their faith through community service projects. The church’s youth program provides employment opportunities and mentoring in communities prone to drug and substance abuse. Gad Maiga reports. 
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Commentary: A birthday letter to Martin Luther King Jr.
FLORENCE, S.C. (UM News) — In an annual letter to the civil rights icon, the Rev. Dr. Reggie Lee celebrates victories by Black candidates for both the U.S. Senate and the episcopacy of The United Methodist Church as signs of King’s dream coming to fruition.
Read letter

Commentary: Slave or free, disaffiliate or stay UMC?
LEBANON, Ill. (UM News) — God loves everyone, and no one should disaffiliate from The United Methodist Church just because they are uncomfortable with those who are different, writes the Rev. Dr. Beverly L. Wilkes-Null.
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