“When you write a prayer, that’s a very intimate thing. It has occupied my mind for some time.” — The Rev. Steven R. Bailey, who will give the invocation at the Republican National Convention on July 21.
Offering a prayer in Cleveland
CLEVELAND (UMNS) — The Rev. Steven R. Bailey, a local United Methodist pastor, will give the invocation Thursday night at the Republican National Convention. Linda Bloom reports.
Group asks bishops to remove discriminatory language
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) –– Love Prevails, a group that advocates for full inclusion of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people in The United Methodist Church, has sent a letter to the Council of Bishops. The group asks the bishops for “full removal of all language from The Book of Discipline which categorically discriminates against and punishes LGBTQ people, as well as policies which penalize those who seek to be in ministry with and for LGBTQ people.”
Church council addresses crisis in Zimbabwe
GENEVA (WCC) — The head of the Zimbabwe Council of Churches said the council and its ecumenical partners are seeking urgent meetings with the government there over what the council sees as a crisis of leadership. One of the biggest challenges, added the Rev. Kenneth Mtata, a Lutheran, is dealing with corruption. Robert Bartram reports for the World Council of Churches.
Baton Rouge clergy discuss violence, plan vigil
BATON ROUGE, La. (UMNS) — United Methodist clergy had already planned a gathering on July 19 to discuss the next steps in the wake of the shooting of a 37-year-old black man by police. But after a former U.S. Marine gunned down law enforcement officers, the meeting became a discussion of grief, anger and the deep division in the community. The clergy agreed on another prayer vigil to be held on July 21. Todd Rossnagel has the story for the Louisiana Conference.
Churches embrace Pokémon GO
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMC.org) — If you see people walking around a church campus staring at their smartphone, they may well be playing Pokémon GO. And some United Methodist pastors are finding ways to use the game's popularity for evangelism. Christopher Fenoglio has the story.
Candidates pressed on hunger, poverty
WASHINGTON (UMNS) — United Methodists are among the Christian leaders who have formally asked the presumptive presidential nominees what they'll do about poverty and hunger. The Rev. Kah-Jin Jeffrey Kuan, president of Claremont School of Theology, and Dean Jan Love, of Candler School of Theology, are among the United Methodist signers of letters to Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. The group Circle of Protection reports.
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.
Monday, July 25-Sunday, Aug. 7
BeADisciple online course “Rediscovering Our Spiritual Gifts” — This Lay Servant Ministries course teaches participants how to find and re-find their spiritual gifts, and participants are encouraged to share the techniques they learn with their local congregations. Details