Daily Digest - January 27, 2023

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“I hope that all of us here will be the changemakers in the little ways that we can.”Elfreda Brima-Fawundu, on participating in agricultural training in Africa.


Yambasu Agriculture Initiative empowers farmers

PORTO-NOVO, Benin (UM News) — Participants from 15 United Methodist annual conferences in Africa sharpened their entrepreneurial and agricultural skills during training at the Songhai Center, a sustainable farming facility in West Africa. The training is part of the Yambasu Agriculture Initiative, a program of the United Methodist Board of Global Ministries. Phileas Jusu has the story.
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More special sessions for church exits planned
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UM News) — At least 17 U.S. annual conferences are planning special sessions in 2023 to deal with church disaffiliations. Some are planning more than one such session. These meetings do not replace the regular sessions that annual conferences will hold in late spring and early summer. UM News is adding sessions to the schedule as they become known. 
See schedule 

North Georgia Conference
New church launches in diverse suburb

NEWNAN, Ga. — Madras United Methodist Church, a new church start, has launched weekly services in a growing and ethnically diverse Atlanta suburb. The colorful pattern of madras fabric represents the vision of the multicultural, welcoming church. Sybil Davidson has the story. 
Read story
Press & Sun-Bulletin
Loss leads pastor to start church support group

WINDSOR, N.Y. — Though it has been several years since the Rev. Ed Honrath lost his parents and brother, he said he still has much to learn about dealing with the loss. After attending a grief support group, he decided to start one at his own church, First United Methodist of Windsor. The 13-week program begins in February. Thomas Picciano reports.
Read story


Texas Methodist Foundation
Foundation honors longtime leader

AUSTIN — The Texas Methodist Foundation recently awarded its Medallion of Merit to Tom Locke, recognizing his 29 years as president of the organization. He retired last year. Locke created the award in 2001 to honor individuals who have made a significant contribution to advancing the foundation’s mission to empower the church. Past honorees include three United Methodist bishops who served in Texas. 
Read press release
Read UM News Q&A with Locke

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.

Hacking Christianity
Methodism is best in triplicate

SEATTLE — Five states significantly reduced the effects of the opioid epidemic through one unusual accountability practice. Methodists of all kinds would do well to pay attention, writes the Rev. Jeremy Smith, senior pastor of First United Methodist Church in Seattle and a frequent blogger on church issues. He writes about the importance of church accountability in empowering women and people of color.
Read commentary


Thursday, Feb. 2

Webinar: Teaching and Preaching Lent 2023 with Adam Hamilton

Monday, Feb. 13
Webinar: Clergy, Stay on Top of Your Taxes!


Church responds to days of mass shootings

PASADENA, Calif. (UM News) — United Methodists are responding with prayer and comfort for the grieving and renewed calls for advocacy against gun violence after a wave of mass shootings from California to Louisiana to Iowa. United Methodists are especially expressing solidarity with Asian American communities left mourning by two of the attacks in recent days. Heather Hahn reports.
Read story
Commentary: Pastor reflects on Monterey Park shooting 

Wespath expands services to Methodist kin
GLENVIEW, Ill. (UM News) — The United Methodist Church’s pension agency is now offering retirement benefits to both the African Methodist Episcopal Church and Global Methodist Church — building bridges in a time of upheaval. The two denominations began working with Wespath under very different circumstances. Heather Hahn reports.
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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’

Table banking changes women's lives in Kenya
MERU, Kenya (UM News) — Women in the Eastern District of the Kenya-Ethiopia Conference are benefitting from a program that helps them save money and start income-generating projects. Since its inception, the table-banking project has enrolled over 500 women. Gad Maiga reports.
Read story

Commentary: A Human Relations Day to remember
SAN ANTONIO (UM News) — Three historic United Methodist churches in San Antonio came together for a Human Relations Day service ahead of the city’s MLK Day March — the country’s largest. The churches, each with a different racial/ethnic membership, modeled the powerful idea of “beloved community,” writes the Rev. Miguel Padilla of the Rio Texas Conference.
Read commentary

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