Daily Digest - July 22, 2021

“Robinson’s a Methodist. I’m a Methodist. God’s a Methodist. We can’t go wrong.” — Actor Harrison Ford as Branch Rickey in the film “42,” about Jackie Robinson integrating Major League Baseball.


NEWS AND FEATURES

United Methodist Communications
The two Methodists who integrated baseball

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The man who integrated Major League Baseball had a little-known ally in his quest. Jackie Robinson had his Methodist faith, something he shared with Brooklyn Dodger executive Branch Rickey, who recruited him for the task. Robinson never publicly lost his composure while dealing with death threats, racial abuse and physical danger. Jim Patterson has the story.
Read story
UM News: Church TV show and Jackie Robinson

Western Pennsylvania Conference
Outdoor services build community

ELRAMA, Pa. — A very small church in a very small village (population 356) has become outward-focused and is reaching new people. Because of the pandemic, Elrama United Methodist Church began having outdoor drive-in worship services at the local fire hall's parking lot and pavilion so that its own members could come to worship, but those services became an outreach that is still growing. Gwen and Clay Kisker report in a video story.
Watch video

Northern Illinois Conference, NBC
Olympic triathlete’s church connection

AURORA, Ill. — One of the U.S. competitors in the Olympic triathlon will be a familiar face to a number of United Methodists. Kevin McDowell was in high school when he started attending Flowing Forth United Methodist Church, said his former pastor and now district superintendent, the Rev. Jeffry Bross. McDowell, 28, also has a story of triumph over cancer. Anne Marie Gerhardt has the story for the Northern Illinois Conference.
Read conference story
Read and watch NBC story on McDowell

Religion News Service, Baltimore-Washington Conference
Faith leaders advocate for vaccine equity

WASHINGTON — Faith leaders, including United Methodists, gathered July 20 on Zoom and at the National Mall in Washington to urge President Joe Biden to share COVID-19 vaccine stockpiles around the globe. “The United Methodist Church has declared global ‘health care is a human right,’ an ethical obligation and a moral imperative,” said a statement on behalf of Bishop LaTrelle Easterling. Renée Roden reports. 
Read story

New 2021 annual conference reports posted
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UM News) — United Methodist News is posting 2021 annual conference reports. New this week are the Memphis, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oregon-Idaho and Tennessee conferences. 
Read reports

Religion News Service
Church celebrates Funk’s spaceflight

SOUTHLAKE, Texas — Six decades after being denied a spot in the space program by NASA because of her gender, 82-year-old Wally Funk finally reached space aboard the first human flight of billionaire Jeff Bezos’ space tourism venture, Blue Origin. Few people were more excited for Funk than her fellow congregants at White’s Chapel United Methodist Church in Southlake, Texas. Emily McFarlan Miller has the story.
Read story


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