Daily Digest - January 26, 2021

"We literally have thousands of brothers and sisters in Christ behind razor wire who, without our help, stand little chance of successfully re-engaging as a parent, employee or member of the community." — Tommy Moore, executive director of JUMPSTART, a South Carolina prison ministry.

NEWS AND FEATURES

South Carolina Conference
Church builds house for formerly incarcerated

SIMPSONVILLE, S.C. — One church is donating more than $230,000 to build a fully furnished house where people released from prison can live while they get their lives back on track. Advent United Methodist Church raised the funds through its 2020 Love Your Neighbor As Yourself Challenge, which encouraged people to cut their Christmas spending in half and give the other half to a Christmas Eve offering. Jessica Brodie has the story.
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United Methodist Communications
Holistic health around the world

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — In the first "Get Your Spirit in Shape" episode of 2021, Kathleen Griffith of the United Methodist Board of Global Ministries reminds people to care for their whole selves — mind, body and spirit. Griffith also shares how the agency's Abundant Health Initiative met its ambitious goal of reaching 1 million children with lifesaving intervention.
Listen to podcast

United Methodist Women
With grant, Sierra Leone pigpen expands

FREETOWN, Sierra Leone — One of four recent projects to receive an economic development grant from United Methodist Women, a piggery in Sierra Leone's Kono District is expanding. Keziah Kargbo has the story.
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CNN
Pastor's move highlights challenges moms face

SEATTLE — The Rev. Meredith Dodd, an elder in the Pacific Northwest Conference, was interviewed for a segment that aired on CNN considering the strain the pandemic places upon parents and the uneven impact on mothers. Dodd shares her personal decision to set aside her local church appointment to care for her children. Bianna Golodryga and Meridith Edwards report.
Read and watch story

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 the UM News staff.

The Dallas Morning News
Federal laws a threat to 'actual religions'

DALLAS — Two acts of Congress, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 and the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act of 2000, have "advanced a legal understanding of religion that is essentially secular and deleterious to actual religions," writes the Rev. Robert Hunt, a professor at United Methodist Perkins School of Theology.
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RESOURCES

Candler School of Theology
Marking Ash Wednesday safely

ATLANTA — With COVID-19 still a threat, worship leaders are urging increased caution in observing Ash Wednesday on Feb. 17. An ecumenical team convened by three United Methodists, two of them from Candler School of Theology, produced a six-page guide to reduce health risks as Christians mark the start of Lent. The guide draws on a range of experts, including the U.S. Centers for Disease Control.
Read guide

RECENT HEADLINES

Virtual worship is here for good

Missionaries cope with coronavirus challenges

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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