Daily Digest - January 25, 2021

“For the church, (COVID-19) has brought the future to our doorstep and it has compelled churches to make changes they’ve been meaning to make for decades.”The Rev. Mark Nakagawa, West District superintendent in the California-Pacific Conference. 


Virtual worship is here for good

EL PASO, Texas (UM News) — If there’s a positive side to the coronavirus for churches, it’s that many of them have dramatically upped their game online. Internet responsibilities have increased the workload of pastors, who will get even busier as churches return to normal after the pandemic eases. Jim Patterson has the story.
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Africa University, Discipleship Ministries
Africa University choir founder dies at 83

MUTARE, Zimbabwe — Patrick Matsikenyiri, song leader, hymn writer and world-renowned teacher of African music, died suddenly Jan. 15 of complications related to COVID-19. He was 83. Among other contributions, Matsikenyiri established Africa University’s music education program and choir. Barbara Dunlap-Berg has a remembrance. 
Read story
Read Discipleship Ministries tribute

Minnesota Conference
Youth group combats racism

BURBANK, Calif. — Members of the youth group at Magnolia Park United Methodist Church shared their experiences with racism and raised money for anti-racism efforts through the Minnesota Conference’s “Just Love” campaign as a way of processing their feelings after the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody. Christa Meland has the story.
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A story published by UM News on Jan. 15 on United Methodists in the U.S. Congress inadvertently left out Rep. Troy Nehls, who is a United Methodist from Texas. The same article also incorrectly included Rep. Jahana Hayes, who is a member of the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church.
See corrected story


Duke Divinity School 
Duke adds hybrid M.Div. program

DURHAM, N.C. — Duke Divinity School has announced a new hybrid program that will let students earn a Master of Divinity degree without relocating to the Durham campus. Duke Divinity, a United Methodist seminary, also has added 12 scholarships — covering up to 100% of tuition — for students committed to ministry.
Read press release


United Methodist Communications
New Bible studies for new year

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The beginning of a new year is a popular time to dive into a new Bible study, as is Lent, which is coming up Feb. 17. Crystal Caviness offers an overview of 10 new Bible studies from the United Methodist Publishing House that are useful for small groups or individual study. 
View resources

Wespath, Publishing House
Saving Grace offers guide on personal finances

GLENVIEW, Ill. — Wespath Benefits and Investments and the United Methodist Publishing House have released “Saving Grace: A Guide to Financial Well-Being,” a new personal money-management curriculum guided by Wesleyan values that seeks to promote financial wellness with clergy and laity. Resources are available through the Publishing House’s online platform, AmplifyMedia.com. They also can be purchased on Cokesbury.com and Amazon.com.
Read press release
To see videos
To order Saving Grace curriculum


Retired pastor starts online ‘Doubter’s Parish’

A less welcoming place for refugees


Monday, Feb. 1-Friday, Feb. 19

Online course: Mentoring Young People in Their Faith

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Daily Digest - February 26, 2021

Church responds to chaplain’s call to help soldiers; Bishops initiate conversations on racism; Dealing with a backlog of grief

Daily Digest - February 25, 2021

General Conference postponed until 2022; Discipleship’s top executive dies of cancer; Church key to mass vaccination site

Daily Digest - February 24, 2021

Church's future again a hot topic; Cyclone survivors receive new houses; Mourning closure of World Methodist Museum