Daily Digest - January 31, 2017

“In Cuba, we don’t talk about decreases. It is almost a law that the churches have to grow.” — The Rev. Lester Fernandez, Vedado Methodist Church in Havana.


Cuban Methodists are packing the pews

HAVANA (UMNS) — The growing Methodist Church in Cuba has made its presence known across the island. And what was once a carbon copy of the U.S. order of worship has transformed into music-filled calls to prayer with a Pentecostal vibe. Linda Bloom and Mike DuBose report in the first of a four-part series.
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Thursday: Making a joyful noise is all part of the Cuban worship experience, but Methodists also want to grow in the Christian faith. 

Norway church honored for indigenous people work

TRONDHEIM, Norway (UMNS) — An 1881 church, the home of a secret synagogue during the Nazi occupation of Norway, has been named a United Methodist historic site for the congregation’s work with indigenous and marginalized people. Karl Anders Ellingsen has the story. 
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Horses, youth and hope in action

PINETTA, Fla. (UMNS) — Pinky and Sugar, a pair of Quarter Horses, are central to an equine therapy program at the Florida United Methodist Children’s Home, Madison Youth Ranch, for children 5 to 17 who are unable to live at home due to abuse, neglect or severe emotional problems. The horses break through barriers that human therapists have failed to breach, said Mike Moore, ranch manager. D’Ann Lawrence White has the story.
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'Sock Rock drive a hit in New Jersey

LEESBURG, N.J. (UMNS) — The Rev. Keith Roller, pastor of the Leesburg and Delmont United Methodist churches, and his wife, Bonnie, recently filled two rooms of their house with new socks for the needy. The Rollers lead an annual “Sock Rock” drive, and the latest yielded 2,500 pairs. Multiple churches and businesses in the area host collection bins for the effort. Denise Herschel reports for the Greater New Jersey Conference.
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Women of Color scholarship program graduate celebrated

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The Office of Loans and Scholarships at the United Methodist Board of Higher Education and Ministry recently recognized Kimberly Russaw, who became the 41st Women of Color graduate when she received a Doctor of Philosophy in religion with a focus in Hebrew Bible and ancient Israel from Vanderbilt University in 2016. The Women of Color scholarship program is designed to support United Methodist women of color pursuing doctorates in religious studies at seminaries and universities across the United States. 
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Here are some of the activities ahead for United Methodists across the connection. If you have a United Methodist event to share, you can add it to the calendar with this submission form.

Friday, Feb. 3 to Saturday, Feb. 4

Shane Claiborne's Georgia speaking tour on the death penalty — United Methodist Candler School of Theology is spearheading a three-city Georgia tour on the death penalty, featuring author and activist Shane Claiborne. He will speak from 7 to 9 p.m. EST Feb. 3 at Glenn Memorial United Methodist Church in Atlanta; 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Feb. 4 at Covenant Presbyterian Church in Athens; and 6 to 8 p.m. Feb. 4 at Centenary Church in Macon. Details

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