“Could God’s presence possibly be so great that it could be found even in the deeps of a valley of thorns where the shadow of death still looms?”
– Alex Devoid, United Methodist mission intern, reflecting on the dangers when immigrants try to cross the U.S.-Mexico border.
Mission Musings: Desert walk at U.S. border
TUCSON, Ariz. (UMNS) — For Alex Devoid, a mission intern with the United Methodist Board of Global Ministries, the plight of migrants trying to cross into the U.S. is more than a political debate. The Pfeiffer University graduate, assigned to Borderlinks, leads groups who come to the border to learn more about the complexities of the immigration issue.
Fast-growing church may replace bowling alley
VERONA, Wis. (UMNS) — Sugar River United Methodist Church, a fast-growing congregation in Verona, is close to finalizing plans for the purchase of a once-popular bowling alley and banquet facility that has fallen on hard times. Doug Erickson of the Wisconsin State Journal reports on the church’s growth and how its request fared before the city council.
Imagine No Malaria launches new website
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) — Imagine No Malaria has launched an easier-to-use website, providing visitors with a visual introduction to malaria, which claims a life every 60 seconds. The site also explains the importance of Imagine No Malaria, a United Methodist initiative, in beating this disease through prevention, communication, trained health workers and improved health facilities, and grassroots education.
Candler to explore today's theological education
ATLANTA (UMNS) — Emory University's Candler School of Theology, a United Methodist seminary, has received a $460,000 grant from Lilly Endowment to lead a study of the purposes of theological education in a time of significant change.
Here are some of the activities ahead for United Methodists across the connection. If you have an item to share, email firstname.lastname@example.org and put Digest in the subject line.
Deadline to register for five online courses from United Methodist Communications, Tuesday, July 8 — United Methodist Communications will offer the following courses July 9-Aug. 20. “Communicating Faith in the 21st Century,” “Connectional Giving,” “Moodle 200 — Advanced Training,” “Web Ministry 100: What is Web Ministry?” and “Welcoming Ministry 100.” Costs vary. Connectional Giving is free. Details.
Free webinar “Finding Treasure: The Story of our Newest Stewardship Resource,” Thursday, July 10 — 6:30 p.m. CT. Jacob Armstrong, pastor and church planter, will share how he helped his congregation discover “where our treasure goes, our hearts will follow.” Details.
Deadline to register for Boards of Ordained Ministry Mid-Quadrennial Training, Friday, July 11 — Event for board officers and cabinet representatives will be Tuesday, Aug. 12 and ends by noon on Friday, Aug. 15 in Denver. The United Methodist Board of Higher Education and Ministry is sponsoring. Details.
SOULfeast, Sunday-Thursday, July 13-17 — Gathering sponsored by Upper Room Ministries of the United Methodist Board of Discipleship at Lake Junaluska, North Carolina. The theme is “Living Psalms.” Details.
Deadline to register for School of Congregational Development 2014, Tuesday, July 15 — Gathering Thursday-Sunday, Aug.14-17 sponsored by the United Methodist boards of Discipleship and Global Ministries at Matthews United Methodist Church, Matthews, 801 S. Trade St., Matthews, N.C. $425. Details.
Free webinar “What’s the Job of Conference and District Lay Leaders?” Wednesday, July 16 — 6:30 p.m. CT. Jodi Cataldo of the United Methodist Board of Discipleship will facilitate a conversation on these ministries. Details.
Free webinar “Creating a Culture of Innovation Part 1: Can My Leaders Innovate?” Thursday, July 17 — 6:30 p.m. CT. This 90-minute session led by Craig Kennet Miller of the United Methodist Board of Discipleship will introduce tools for implementing new ministry strategies in local churches. Details.
Aldersgate 2014 Conference, Thursday to Sunday, July 17-20 — The national conference of Aldersgate Renewal Ministries will be at the Prairie Capital Convention Center in Springfield, Ill. The theme is freedom. Details.
Free webinar “Congregations as Discipling Communities” Tuesday, July 22 — 6:30 p.m. CT. This webinar will focus on a model where congregations can create safe, open and relational spaces where disciples at all stages of their faith journey can share their experiences. Details.
Introduction to United Methodist Board of Church and Society seminar program, Wednesday-Friday, July 23-25 — Youth group and young adult leaders are invited to attend a three-day “In Focus” familiarization event about United Methodist Seminars on National and International Affairs. The program will introduce the seminars and will explain how to organize and lead a group for these tailored study experiences in the U.S. capital. Details.
Korea Peace March and Vigil, Friday-Saturday, July 25-26 — The event in Washington sponsored in part by the United Methodist Board of Church and Society will include an ecumenical roundtable and focus on how to establish lasting peace and eventual reunification on the Korean Peninsula. Details.
Festival of Wisdom and Grace, Monday to Thursday, July 28-31 — Columbia (S.C.) Area Bishop Jonathan Holston will be the conference preacher at this time of worship and learning at Lake Junaluska (N.C) Conference and Retreat Center. The theme is “Living Ordinary Time with EEEEs — Enthusiasm, Encouragement, Engagement and Empowerment.” Details.
Deadline to register for United Methodist conference “Walking with Palestinian Christians,” Wednesday, July 30 — Gathering Thursday-Friday, Aug. 7-8 sponsored by the United Methodist Board of Global Ministries and host Ginghamsburg Church, 6759 S. County Road 25A, Tipp City, Ohio. Details.
Deadline for early-bird registration for “Make Worship More Creative” workshops in the Upper New York Conference, Friday, Aug. 1 — Day-long workshops featuring worship coach Jason Moore will be Monday, Sept. 8 through Thursday, Sept. 11 at different churches around the conference. Costs $25 per person, and $65 per church. Details.
Lion & Lamb Christian Festival, Friday-Sunday, Aug. 8-10 — A number of United Methodist entities, including the Indiana Annual (regional) Conference, are sponsors of this gathering at Fort Wayne, Indiana. $25. Details.
Shreveport, Louisiana, Skeeter Run, Saturday, Aug. 9 — The first of six 5K and one-mile run/walks in the Louisiana Annual (regional) Conference to support Imagine No Malaria, the denomination’s initiative to eradicate preventable deaths from the disease. The other five runs will take place across the state on Saturday, Oct. 11. $20 registration. Details.
Deadline to apply to join regional Healthy Families, Healthy Planet advocacy training, Friday, Aug. 15 — The free United Methodist training in advocating for women and girls will be Saturday, Sept. 6 with an optional session on Monday, Sept. 8 in Peoria, Illinois. Applications are required. Details and application.