Daily Digest - July 21, 2021

"It will be a while before we know who we are as a denomination." — The Rev. David Valera during the Western Jurisdiction special online session.

NEWS AND FEATURES

2 jurisdictions plan for church future
LAKE JUNALUSKA, N.C. (UM News) — Two United Methodist jurisdictions held special online sessions in recent days with an eye to The United Methodist Church's future. The Southeastern Jurisdiction approved the union of two annual conferences and the Western Jurisdiction looked at possible changes ahead, including to its number of bishops. Heather Hahn reports.
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Eastern Pennsylvania Conference
United Methodists respond to gun violence crisis

PHILADELPHIA — Gun violence is on the rise nationwide, and Philadelphia is experiencing a 34% increase in 2021, with 224 shootings in the month of June alone. Eastern Pennsylvania Bishop Peggy Johnson and other United Methodist leaders have joined ecumenical faith groups holding prayer vigils and T-shirt memorials, and calling for city leaders to increase funding for anti-violence efforts. John W. Coleman has the story.
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UM News: Seeking gun violence remedies, policing reforms

Greater New Jersey Conference
Churches become partners in ministry, mission

TRENTON, N.J. — In June, Turning Point United Methodist Church, African United Methodist Church and The Village Deaf Church NJ blended their different cultures, ideas and backgrounds to become the New Hope for Trenton Parish Ministry. Their vision is to combine resources to bolster the impact they make on the community. Heather Mistretta reports.
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California-Nevada Conference
63 weeks of bringing love and worship to kids

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — JB Brayfindley writes about how she and other United Methodists coordinated Children's Worship videos to help youngsters worship God and learn Bible lessons amid the pandemic. The 20-minute videos include music, messages and special friends to meet — including talking animals and a puppet called "Mort."
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CentralMaine.com, New England Conference
Church camp offers ministry as a food site

WINTHROP, Maine — While school has come to a halt for the summer, the need for meals that districts provide during the year has not. To help fill that need, United Methodist Camp Mechuwana is providing free meals to school-age children three days a week. "It highlights how even before the pandemic, there was a great deal of food insecurity in this area, and a lot of it is hidden and some people don't realize," said camp director Norman Thombs. Emily Duggan reports.
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WHYY-NPR
Church helps culinary entrepreneurs

WILMINGTON, Del. — Grace United Methodist Church will soon become home to the Wilmington Kitchen Collective, a group of 11 entrepreneurs including food truck operators and caterers. The collective is financially supported by the New Castle Presbytery and the United Methodist Peninsula-Delaware Conference. Mark Eichmann has the story.
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RESOURCES

North Georgia Conference
4 lessons from the pandemic-era church

ATLANTA — Church never stopped even as the pandemic forced so many activities to pause. The Rev. Blair Boyd Zant, director of the North Georgia Conference Center for Congregational Excellence, offers four lessons that can help congregations going forward, including that church buildings should be an asset of mission.
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RECENT HEADLINES

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