Daily Digest: July 18, 2014

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“I left the meeting with the kind Border Patrol gentleman and the overwhelmed church leaders feeling like something extraordinary was going on in this spot of earth that I call my hometown.” – The Rev. Dottie Escobedo-Frank, who led a team to Nogales to learn more about the unaccompanied children being held there.

Arizona church leaders seek ways to help children
NOGALES, Ariz. (UMNS) —The Rev. Dottie Escobedo-Frank, superintendent of the South District of the Desert Southwest Annual (regional) Conference, led a team to Nogales July 14 to learn more about the conditions of unaccompanied migrant children being held in detention centers there. The team was told conditions have improved for the children as they wait at the processing center to be transferred to a relative or sponsor or shelter assigned by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Christina Dillabough, director of communication for the conference, has the story.

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A new presence in Nogales
NOGALES, Ariz. (UMNS) — Residents of Nogales are accustomed to the presence of the U.S. Border Patrol, writes the Rev. Dottie Escobedo-Frank. But having 1,000 children housed in the patrol’s facilities there is a startling development.

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Conference, IRD settle on mailing lists
DALLAS (UMNS) — The North Texas Annual (regional) Conference and the Institute on Religion and Democracy have reached an out-of-court agreement in a dispute about mailing lists.

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Bishops urge compassion, prayer for border crisis
WASHINGTON (UMNS) — In response to the rise in unaccompanied children crossing the U.S. border, the executive committee of the Council of Bishops has called on United Methodists across the connection to “pray, reflect and engage in acts of compassion.”

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Bishop: Blessed responsibility to God’s children
WORTHINGTON, Ohio (UMNS) — “From the Middle East to the U.S. border, children's lives seem to be ready pawns used in political arguments, economic wars and military conflicts,” writes Ohio West Area Bishop Gregory V. Palmer. He reminds United Methodists of Jesus’ words in Mark 9:37: “Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me, and whoever receives me, receives not me but him who sent me.” 

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Malaria goal gain in Alabama-West Florida
MONTGOMERY, Ala. (UMNS) — United Methodists in Alabama-West Florida Annual (regional) Conference had cause to celebrate at their annual gathering this year: An outpouring of grass-roots support has put them at almost 60 percent of a $1 million goal for Imagine No Malaria.

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Read Alabama-West Florida Conference report

Turkey: Caring in disaster’s aftermath
SOMA, Turkey (UMNS) — A horrific coal mine accident left 301 dead, many injured and families without regular income in the western Aegean region of Turkey. The United Methodist Committee on Relief is supporting the provision of essential food packages through its local partner, the Turkish charity International Blue Crescent.

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