Daily Digest: July 09, 2014

“We lost 250 souls that day. The cost of those lives cannot be measured. Thousands of people were injured and thousands of lives were changed forever.”
– Nancy Cole, North Alabama Conference, about 2011 tornadoes.





Lives were changed forever in Alabama
NEW YORK (UMNS) — United Methodist Nancy Cole vividly remembers April 27, 2011, the day that 62 tornadoes ripped through Alabama, leaving massive damage and killing 250 people. The United Methodist Committee on Relief contributed more than $2.1 million toward the recovery and hundreds of United Methodist volunteer teams responded. Susan Kim has the story for UMCOR.

Read story

Church shares space with Jewish congregation
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (UMNS) — A United Methodist church and a Jewish congregation here are sharing space and exploring ways to work together for social justice. The partnership by Via de Cristo United Methodist and Congregation Kehillah has the endorsement of Bishop Robert Hoshibata of the Desert Southwest Annual (regional) Conference. “I think it sends a positive message that we live in concert with our neighbors, regardless of the faith,” Hoshibata said.

Read the Arizona Republic story

Hispanic church mentors through music
DALLAS (UMNS) — A Texas congregation is using its music ministry to draw young people in the community to classes and the praise team at the church.

View UMTV report

Read UMNS story

Sexuality issues rarely create serious congregational conflict
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. (UMNS) — David Briggs offers an overview for the Association of Religion Data Archives of recent surveys across denominations that show issues such as same-sex marriage are seldom the cause of splits at the level of individual congregations. Briggs is a former United Methodist News Service editor.

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Congregations change: The question is how
WICHITA, Kan. (UMNS) — The Rev. Evelyn Fisher, director of congregational excellence for the Great Plains Annual (regional) Conference, says: “It is possible for a declining congregation to be renewed by reclaiming the vision and passion for mission.” She offers advice to church leaders in dealing with a congregation’s lifecycle.

Read blog

Playground dedicated to Sandy Hook victim
WOODBURY, N.Y. UMNS) — Woodbury United Methodist Church has dedicated a playground to Madeleine Hsu, one of the victims of the December 2012 shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.

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