Daily Digest — July 30, 2015

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"This was the church being the church because these folks were essentially strangers to us. We were very honored that they remembered us in their time of need." — the Rev. Reed Shell, senior pastor of Hixson United Methodist Church in Chattanooga, about hosting the funeral of a U.S. Marine killed in a shooting rampage

More fallout from gay pastor’s departure

LANSING, Mich. (UMNS) — The fallout continues from the forced resignation of an openly gay African Methodist Episcopal pastor who was serving a growing United Methodist congregation in rural Michigan. Heather Hahn reports on a demonstration at the bishop’s office and the progress of complaints against nine clergy who helped officiate at the pastor’s wedding in defiance of church law.
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Family of slain Marine turns to church

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (UMNS) — Hixson United Methodist Church mobilized church members and the community to host the high-profile funeral for Staff Sgt. David Wyatt, one of five U.S. military killed in the shooting rampage July 16. Annette Spence, communicator for the Holston Conference, tells the story.
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UMW members connect with Chicago organizers

CHICAGO (UMNS) — Some 200 members of United Methodist Women are in Chicago this week to learn from local community organizers and social activists. National Seminar 2015, which continues through Aug. 2, will include two public events on mass incarceration and police accountability. Linda Bloom reports.
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Monument and mystery in front of church

CORNELIUS, N.C. — A monument to Confederate soldiers that stands in front of Mt. Zion United Methodist Church recently was defaced, which started officials down a rabbit trail looking for who owns the monument. Not the church, says the Rev. Mary John Dye, its senior pastor. The situation is not unique, says a law professor who has studied the ownership of historical monuments. The Charlotte Observer has the story.
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5 tips for effective school ministry

MOBILE, Ala. (UMNS) — The "back-to-school" season offers abundant ministry opportunities. In an article for United Methodist Communications, Jeremy Steele shares five tips churches can use to do effective outreach throughout the school year.
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United Methodist named chaplain of the year

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (UMNS) — The U.S. Air Force has honored the Rev. Keith Manry, an elder in the Upper New York Conference and U.S. Air Force chaplain, as its 2014 Chaplain of the Year. He was recognized for his work at both Malmstrom Air Force Base in Great Falls, Montana, and Bagram Airfield in Afghanistan. Kathleen Rubino of the Upper New York Conference reports on how he went above the call of duty.
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United Methodists, Lutherans look for ways to collaborate

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) — Leaders of The United Methodist Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America are discussing ways the two denominations can work together as they further explore what it means to be in full communion with each other. United Methodist Discipleship Ministries recently was host to a meeting with ELCA leaders. The two denominations have full communion.
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Video meditation for the journey

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) — United Methodist Communications has created a video meditation, “Psalm 121: A Prayer for Travelers,” which can be used as a source of comfort when commencing, continuing or concluding a journey. The video also could be used as part of a worship service.
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Looking ahead



Here are some of the activities ahead for United Methodists across the connection. If you have an item to share, email [email protected] and put Digest in the subject line.

Saturday, Aug. 1

Deadline to apply to Perkins School of Theology at Southern Methodist University and its Houston-Galveston Extension Program Perkins School of Theology/Southern Methodist University has extended the fall 2015 application deadline to August 1, with modified course schedules in Dallas and the Houston-Galveston Extension Program to better accommodate student needs. Details

Sunday, Aug. 2 – Sunday, Aug. 9

'We Are All Ferguson' conference — Wellspring Church, a United Methodist congregation in Ferguson, Missouri, will bring together community and business leaders to address the racial and economic issues that became widely known in the wake of the shooting of Michael Brown. The Revs. F. Willis Johnson Jr. of Wellspring and Steve Lawler of St. Stephen's Episcopal Church are organizers of the event. Details

Sunday, Aug. 2

The Rev. Quincy Brown preaches on ‘Day 1’ — Brown, associate pastor of Peachtree City United Methodist Church in Peachtree City, Georgia, is the guest. His sermon “You’re Not Yourself When You Are Hungry" is based on Exodus 16:2-4, 9-15. Details

You can see more educational opportunities and other upcoming events in the life of the church here.

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