Daily Digest - January 6, 2017

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"I pray that we might learn to live together in peace, celebrating our diversity while seeking our commonality as children of God, bathed in God's grace and filled with God's Spirit." — David Bowman, Hamilton United Methodist Church in Neptune, New Jersey, on prayers for 2017.


Pastor caught in airport shooting rampage

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (UMNS) — A United Methodist pastor was among the witnesses to a mass shooting on Jan. 6 in the baggage claim area of the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport. The Rev. John Schlicher, pastor at St. Andrew United Methodist Church in Beavercreek, Ohio, was traveling with his wife Michelle and his mother and was himself in the line of fire, as he told MSNBC in a live interview. He is a clergy member of the denomination’s West Ohio Conference. Five people were killed and eight wounded, according to authorities. The gunman is in custody.

Listen to MSNBC interview

Read New York Daily News story


What are your prayers as 2017 begins?

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) — United Methodists said they are praying for elected officials, peace, an end to bigotry and much more as 2017 begins. Interpreter magazine asked readers about their prayers at the start of a new year. Here are some of their answers.

Read story


AME bishops speak on Roof conviction

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) — The Council of Bishops of the African Methodist Episcopal Church described as “just” the conviction of Dylann S. Roof for the June 2015 massacre of nine people at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina. The bishops said the tragedy should prompt advocacy, and specifically want background checks for gun purchases and stepped-up efforts to address racial injustice.

Read statement 


Epiphany message from Way Forward moderators

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) — The moderators of the Commission on a Way Forward issued an Epiphany message to The United Methodist Church. “In this year of particular challenges, let us celebrate Epiphany in the spirit of making Jesus Christ not only our Lord but also the Lord of lords,” the three bishops wrote.

Read message 

Religion News Service explains Epiphany 


Reclaiming Common Good webinar, events

WASHINGTON (UMNS) — United Methodists around the United States are encouraged to host or join house/church parties on Jan. 20 from 6:30-8:30 p.m. to discuss and engage in ways to “Reclaim the Common Good.” These conversations will explore challenges facing local communities and the nation as a whole. The United Methodist Board of Church and Society and other church agencies will have a webinar at 3 p.m. EST Jan. 10 about organizing a local event.

Register for webinar


Advocating for persecuted Christians

ATLANTA (UMNS) — The commitment of The United Methodist Church to religious freedom as a civic and theological right and to advocacy and action on behalf of persecuted Christians worldwide has increased in recent years, reports the denomination’s Board of Global Ministries. The board said that is particularly true in Pakistan, Nigeria and the Middle East.

Read statement


United Methodist Men build Little Free Library

HENDERSON, Tenn. (UMNS) — United Methodist Men of Henderson First and Trinity United Methodist churches worked together to build a Little Free Library in front of the local post office. The book exchange is seeing “brisk interest,” the pastor of the two churches said.

Read Memphis Conference report


New Course of Study options for part-time pastors

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) — Three new Course of Study options for part-time licensed local pastors are available, reports the United Methodist Board of Higher Education and Ministry. One is at United Theological School in Dayton, Ohio, and another is a satellite program, offered in Hays, Kansas, with Saint Paul School of Theology. The third is a pilot Spanish language program in Denver.

Read press release



Looking ahead

Here are some of the activities ahead for United Methodists across the connection. 


Tuesday, Jan. 10

Church and Society grants deadline — The United Methodist Board of Church and Society is seeking applications for Peace with Justice, Human Relations Day and Ethnic Local Church grants. The deadline is Jan. 10.Details


Sunday, Jan. 15

Human Relations Day — United Methodist communities come together on Human Relations Day to invest in those in need of hope and an opportunity to thrive. The offerings from this Special Sunday support after-school programs, prison outreach, gang intervention, youth development and other important ministries.Get reources



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