"We live in a vibrant city and vibrant community, and we know we need to be a vibrant church in that context." — David Booth, Asbury United Methodist Church, talking about the Texas Conference's Vibrant Church Initiative.
How Texas churches work to be vibrant
HOUSTON (UMNS) — In three years, 29 churches have enrolled in the Texas Conference's Vibrant Church Initiative. Marshall (Texas) First United Methodist Church is among the churches reporting success so far. "VCI has helped our members catch the same vision at the same time," says one church leader. The Texas Conference has the story.
Happy, sad milestones for N.C. churches
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Two churches in the Western North Carolina Conference marked very different milestones. The Wilkes Journal-Patriot reports that Eschol United Methodist Church near Wilkesboro, which began in the 1850s, officially closed June 30. At the same time, the Gaston Gazette wrote about First United Methodist Church in Stanley celebrating "200 years of doing the impossible with God."
Read about Eschol United Methodist
Read about First United Methodist
Commemorating 70th for Hiroshima, Nagasaki
WASHINGTON (UMNS) — The United Methodist Board of Church and Society has highlighted resources for action and events that are available to commemorate the 70th anniversaries of the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki Aug. 6 and 9.
Elders honored for contributions to faith and health
MEMPHIS (UMNS) — Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare will honor the Revs. Elvernice "Sonny" and Cynthia Davis for their outstanding work in the realm of faith and health during the annual Living Awards benefit on Aug. 13. Sonny Davis is an elder of the Mississippi Conference and the former senior vice president of faith and health division at Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare. His wife, Cynthia, is an elder in the Memphis Conference and the current district superintendent of Metro McKendree District.
Two at Duke to do justice projects
DURHAM, N.C. (UMNS) — Two students at Duke Divinity School, a United Methodist seminary, have been named 2015-16 World Vision Justice Fellows. Each will get a $2,000 scholarship to do a project engaging the wider Duke community in a justice issue of global concern. Duke Divinity's Center for Reconciliation announced that Jarred White and Brett Stuvland are the fellowship winners
Read press release
Commentary: Toward a theology of barbecue
DENVER (UMNS) — "Barbecue, theologically speaking, is about bringing people together, creating a space where we can recognize the divine in each other," writes Adrian Miller, a certified barbecue judge and lifelong member of the African Methodist Episcopal Church. In a commentary for Duke Divinity School's Faith and Leadership, he writes about barbecue's historic role in church culture, especially the African-American church.
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.
Friday, July 31
Deadline to apply to be a volunteer marshal or page at General Conference — Volunteers can apply online to serve as marshals or pages during The United Methodist Church's 2016 General Conference. The denomination's top legislative assembly will meet in Portland, Oregon, May 10-20, 2016. Volunteers are responsible for their own travel and expenses. Those interested should submit an online application.
Friday, Aug. 14
MountainTalk, a ministry conversation at United Methodist-related Henderson Settlement in Frakes, Kentucky — The theme is "Preaching and Storytelling," and the settlement is bringing in folks who have spent some serious time thinking about storytelling and preaching in Appalachia. Speakers include authors the Rev. Michael Williams, senior pastor at West End United Methodist Church in Nashville, Tennessee; Loyal Jones, director of Appalachian Studies at Berea College in Berea, Kentucky; and the Rev. Charles Maynard, Maryville District superintendent in Holston Conference. $35 (including meals); an additional $25 if you stay overnight. Details