Daily Digest: January 31, 2019

"If the ordinary people (in Africa) were to hear today that the United Methodists approved same-sex marriage, I tell you they will move out of the church." — The Rev. Forbes Matonga.

NEWS AND FEATURES

Matonga: Only 1 'legal' option for Africans
ATLANTA (UMNS) — As same-sex marriage is illegal in almost every African country, says the Rev. Forbes Matonga, the Traditional Plan submitted to the special 2019 General Conference is the only culturally acceptable option for African United Methodists to support. Matonga, a pastor at the Nyadire Mission in Zimbabwe, spoke with UM News as part of “Seeing a Way Forward,” a video series featuring different perspectives of church leaders on the work of the Commission on a Way Forward.
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Watch Seeing a Way Forward series

Investing in people on global scale
UNITED NATIONS (UMNS) — United Methodists were among the organizers of a symposium where multifaith participants and U.N. representatives explored the moral and financial collaboration needed to substantially improve people’s lives. Linda Bloom has the story.
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Churches, AU students benefit from cultural exchange
MUTARE, Zimbabwe (UMNS) — United Methodists in Zimbabwe are discovering the benefits of hosting students who travel from other countries to study at Africa University. As church members and students interact, they learn new languages and broaden their cultural understanding. Chenayi Kumuterera has the story. Read story

Michigan Conference
Farming at Plainsong is God-centered

ROCKFORD, Mich. — A community-supported farm in rural Michigan produces food as well as providing contemplative religious space and basic lessons about Christian environmental ethics. Plainsong Farm and Ministry was founded in 2016 by an Episcopal priest and two members of Courtland-Oakfield United Methodist Church, who are the managers of the farm. Kay DeMoss has the story.
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Eastern Pennsylvania Conference
Seminary makes case to United Methodist commission

ST. DAVIDS, Pa. — Officials at Palmer Theological Seminary of Eastern University are awaiting word from a United Methodist commission on whether it can continue providing ministerial training to United Methodist students. David Bronkema, dean of Palmer, met with the Commission on Theological Education Jan. 24 in Atlanta to refute the decision to withdraw permission because of non-compliance with policies. John W. Coleman reports.
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PRESS RELEASES

Council of Bishops
Details set for General Conference prayer event

WASHINGTON — Details of the Day of Prayer, planned for the beginning of the special session of General Conference in St. Louis, have been released by the Council of Bishops’ Praying our Way Forward Team. The prayer event is 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m. CST Feb. 23, and will be livestreamed.
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Read event schedule

COMMENTARIES

Worship offers key to community amid differences
KINSHASA, Congo (UMNS) — Retired Bishop David K. Yemba writes that the church cannot be in full communion with God as a divided denomination, but urges General Conference delegates to look to the worship experience as a “window to the church we believe in.”
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RECENT HEADLINES

Group proposes how to divide slashed budget

GC2019 petitions explore exit plans

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