Daily Digest - July 30, 2021

“I love what I see when a person starts serving Jesus. They just come alive, and the power of the Holy Spirit engages with their lives because they're doing holy work.”The Rev. Lisa Ausley, associate pastor of the South Crestview campus of Crosspoint, a United Methodist church in Florida.


TODAY’S HEADLINES

Volunteerism is a priority at Florida church

NICEVILLE, Fla. (UM News) — More than 90% of attendees at the South Crestview campus of Crosspoint, a United Methodist church, do volunteer work. The Rev. Lisa Ausley, associate pastor, tries to find the right volunteer job for each church member, “because of what it does for the individual.” Jim Patterson reports.
Read story

World Council of Churches
At Olympics, plenty of prayer opportunities

TOKYO — The Olympics are usually when local churches roll out evangelistic outreach and big events for competitors and spectators. While COVID-19’s menace is preventing large church gatherings, some sports chaplains are on site to provide spiritual care. Other Christian groups are encouraging prayer throughout the games for the people of Japan and Olympic participants. 
Read story

Martinsville Bulletin
Former Higher Ed executive Wingfield dies

MARTINSVILLE, Va. — Myron Wingfield, former associate general secretary for the Division of Ordained Ministry at the United Methodist Board of Higher Education and Ministry, has died at age 60. He had last served as executive director of Connectional Ministries for the California-Pacific Conference and was living in San Diego. A native of Martinsville, Virginia, he is remembered by his hometown paper. Bill Wyatt reports.
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New Haven Register
Man in sanctuary granted stay

NEW HAVEN, Conn. — Almost four years after taking sanctuary in a United Methodist church to avoid deportation, Nelson Pinos has some relief: U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement granted him a one-year stay of deportation, according to his attorney. Meghan Friedmann has the story. 
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UM News: Hearing set for church's sanctuary guest


PRESS RELEASES

The Foundation for Evangelism
Remembering evangelist Eddie Fox

LAKE JUNALUSKA, N.C. — The Foundation for Evangelism issued a statement mourning the loss of the Rev. H. Eddie Fox, famed United Methodist evangelist, who died July 28 at age 83. Gaye Nell Heck, Fox’s daughter, serves as a foundation trustee and asks that memorial gifts go to the Rev. Dr. H. Eddie and Mary Nell Fox Endowment for Evangelism at the foundation. 
Read press release
UM News: Rev. Eddie Fox, evangelism pioneer, dies


EVENTS

Thursday, Aug. 19

Webinar series: Engaging the Community for Social Transformation

Monday, Aug. 23-Friday, Sept. 3 
Online course: Communication, Public Speaking and the Church


TOP STORIES FROM THE WEEK

Young Methodists raising climate change awareness

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UM News) — Young Methodists around the world are trying to educate as many people as possible about the danger of climate change and ways to combat it. The effort is called Climate Justice for All, or CJ4A. Jim Patterson reports.
Read story
UM News: Agencies set greenhouse gas emissions goal

Sisters in ministry nurture one another
RUSAPE, Zimbabwe (UM News) — They may be more than 8,000 miles apart, but two district superintendents — in Indiana and Zimbabwe — have formed a genuine friendship, and United Methodists are benefiting. Kudzai Chingwe has the story.
Read story

Ask The UMC
What does resurrection mean to United Methodists?

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — United Methodists affirm the Christian belief in the resurrection of the dead. But what exactly is resurrection? Is it like a resuscitation of the bodies of those who have died? Ask The UMC, a ministry of United Methodist Communications, explores these questions and others in a special series on United Methodist beliefs about death and resurrection.
Read story
Read series
Read more Ask The UMC

North Georgia Conference, Mt. Bethel
Conference and megachurch enter mediation

ATLANTA — The North Georgia Conference and Mt. Bethel United Methodist Church have agreed to enter a mediation process in an effort to resolve their dispute stemming from a pastoral appointment. They will refrain from public comment on this matter until the mediation process has concluded. Mt. Bethel also held a prayer rally July 25 that included leaders of the Wesleyan Covenant Association. 
Read conference statement
Watch prayer rally on Facebook live
UM News: Conference assumes management of megachurch

Northern Illinois Conference
Faith-based film premieres in church

ELGIN, Ill. — Mark Stewart Iverson held the premiere of his film "For Prophet" at First United Methodist Church. Iverson, who grew up attending Our Saviour's United Methodist Church in Schaumburg, Ill., filmed several scenes inside the Elgin church. The movie tells the story of an entrepreneur's encounters with the Archangel Raphael. Amanda Marrazzo reports.
Read story

South Georgia Conference
Friendship, outreach help church grow

BRUNSWICK, Ga. — A proponent of friendship evangelism, the Rev. Ken Sharpe has a habit of starting conversations and making friends wherever he goes. Members of Emanuel United Methodist Church have started to follow his lead. Kara Witherow has the story of how the small church doubled in size.
Read story

California-Nevada Conference
Church distributes food, vaccines

RANCHO CORDOVA, Calif. — With about 100 in average attendance, Rancho Cordova United Methodist Church isn’t a big church. But the congregation is having a mighty impact in distributing food and COVID-19 vaccines in its community. The California-Nevada Conference has the story.
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Citizen Times
Church makes ‘hard decision’ to sell property

ASHEVILLE, N.C. — Biltmore United Methodist Church, which has occupied a spot on the southeast side of Interstate 40 for over a half-century, decided this month to sell its property. It is on the market for $4.9 million. "It was a hard decision to make," the Rev. Lucy Robbins said. “We've been in that process for a couple of years now, beginning with the question of, ‘What do we do with all this empty space? And how do we use it to offset the maintenance costs?’” John Boyle has the story.
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Michigan Conference
Flood relief continues in Michigan

LANSING, Mich. — Elbow grease is being applied in Wayne and Washtenaw counties to help 16,000 homes come back from last month's flooding. Five United Methodist churches suffered about $200,000 in combined damages. Kay DeMoss has the story.
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Amplify Media, United Methodist Publishing House
Small groups key in post-pandemic period

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — A two-part webinar series titled “We Gather Together: How Small Groups Bring Connection to the Post-Pandemic Church” will be offered at 1 p.m. U.S. Central time Aug. 10 and Aug. 12 by Amplify Media, a multimedia platform of the United Methodist Publishing House. The Rev. Ryan Dunn, minister of online engagement for United Methodist Communications, will host. 
For more information and to register

Greater Northwest Area
Commentary: Tales of COVID
 
PUYALLUP, Wash. — Like so many others, the Rev. Cara Scriven struggled to adapt and balance her work, personal and spiritual life during the pandemic. Before long, even her spiritual disciplines no longer provided grounding. Eventually, she writes, "I had to let go of routine expectations I had of myself and create deeper boundaries between my work and my personal life." She hopes this will help ground her as communities reopen.
Read commentary

Council of Bishops
David Field named ecumenical staff officer

WASHINGTON — The Council of Bishops has hired David N. Field as the new ecumenical staff officer for faith and order and theological dialogue. Field, a member of the Central and Southern Europe Central Conference, will support United Methodist dialogues and full-communion work with other denominations, especially relationships with the Episcopal Church, Catholic Church, Moravian Church and Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
Read press release

United Methodist Men   
Virtual National Men’s Gathering announced

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The Commission on United Methodist Men has announced that its 2021 Virtual National Men’s Gathering will be Aug. 28, beginning at 10 a.m. U.S. Central time. The event will feature keynote speeches from the Rev. Ron Bell of Camphor Memorial United Methodist Church in St. Paul, Minnesota, and the Rev. Tom Albin, recently retired as director of Spiritual Formation and Congregational Life for The Upper Room.
Read press release
Register for event

Discipleship Ministries
Rebuilding church choirs after the pandemic

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The impact of the year-plus-long pandemic on singing in the church and on choirs in particular is difficult to overstate. Diana Sanchez-Bushong, Discipleship Ministries’ director of music ministries, gathered a panel of church musicians for a podcast on revitalizing the church choir.
Listen to podcast

UM Disability
Commentary: Deaf people share spiritual gifts of music

LAUREL, Md. — It's a natural assumption that Deaf and hard-of-hearing people have no interest in music, writes the Rev. Leo Yates Jr. However, music performances can come alive for this community through sign language or technological assistance, and even the vibrations and dramatization can be pleasing. Yates encourages churches to consider the musical contributions Deaf and hard-of-hearing members could make to a worship service.
Read commentary

Team USA
Triathlete takes sixth in Olympics

TOKYO — Less than a week before he'll celebrate his 29th birthday, Kevin McDowell has a lot to celebrate. The cancer survivor placed sixth in the triathlon, the highest ranking of any U.S. man in the Olympic event's history. In high school, McDowell began attending Flowing Forth United Methodist Church in Aurora, Illinois, and he still visits the church when in town. Lisa Costantini has the story.
Read story
Read Northern Illinois Conference story

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