Daily Digest - January 24, 2023

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“This is one way for the church to kind of ease back into the fight, and to start being the prophetic voice that we need to be to stem the tide of violence that is killing our people.”The Rev. Dennis Blackwell, pastor at Asbury Community Church in Woodlynne, New Jersey, about his call for a national day of prayer and fasting on Feb. 1.


NEWS AND FEATURES

Black pastors group calls for day of prayer

WOODLYNNE, N.J. (UM News) — The Rev. Dennis Blackwell is tired of the frequent news reports about people being shot, many times Black people. So the pastor of Asbury Community Church wants people to gather in their worship spaces on Feb. 1 to ask for God’s help to curb gun, domestic and economic violence as well as systemic racism. Jim Patterson reports.
Read story
UM News: Bishops call for rejecting ‘idolatry of guns’

South Georgia Conference
Campus ministry offers hope one shoe at a time

VALDOSTA, Ga. — “Choose Hope. Take Action. Change Lives.” That’s the motto the Valdosta State University Wesley Foundation recently chose to embody through its partnership with Sole Hope, an organization that works in Ugandan villages. Ashtyn Ray, a student, has the story.
Read story

Northern Illinois Conference
Toy car ministry rolls on

CHICAGO — Two churches are continuing a unique ministry after the death of the Rev. Doug Williams in 2019. Williams, who did woodworking as a hobby, recruited volunteers at Aldersgate United Methodist Church in Rockford and later at Salem United Methodist Church in Barrington to make brightly colored wooden toy cars to give to children in foster care and those enrolled in the church’s early childhood program. Between them, the two churches have distributed more than 17,000 toy cars. Deaconess Catherine Inserra reports.
Read story

Observer-Reporter
Churches partner to launch new youth group

WASHINGTON, Pa. — Pastors of several United Methodist churches in Washington County have come together to provide area youth with a place to establish relationships with each other and their faith. Paul Paterra has the story. 
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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 UM News staff. 

Discipleship Ministries
Ideas for church budgeting

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — COVID-19 and the climate crisis have resulted in changes, some of which may be permanent. The Rev. Ken Sloane of Discipleship Ministries offers five suggestions church leaders can adapt to be more realistic about their church budgets. The suggestions include figuring in inflation and asking how technology might save money.
Read commentary


RESOURCES

Amplify Media
Webinar previews Lenten study

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The Rev. Adam Hamilton, United Methodist pastor and best-selling author, will lead a free webinar on suggestions for small-group Bible study and preaching during Lent. He also will preview his new Lenten study, “Luke: Jesus and the Outsiders, Outcasts, and Outlaws.” The webinar is scheduled for 1 p.m. U.S. Central time Feb. 2. 
Learn more and register

Virginia Conference
Deacons start weekly devotional podcast

GLEN ALLEN, Va. — The Virginia Conference has launched a new podcast, “Devotions With Deacons,” and the first episodes are out now. The conference’s deacons will offer a weekly three- to five-minute devotion each Monday that includes prayer, Scripture and positive messages. Podcasts can be accessed by scrolling to the bottom of the VAUMC Digital Hub. 
To listen 


RECENT HEADLINES

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EVENTS

Wednesday, Feb. 8-Tuesday, Feb. 14

Online course: Congregational Leadership — Wesleyan Theology

Wednesday, Feb. 22-Monday, April 3
Online course: Biblical Storytelling Weekly for Lent


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