Daily Digest — July 31, 2015

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"Your witness in this crisis has been an inspiration to the ecumenical movement beyond your country." — World Council of Churches executive Georges Lemopoulos in a letter to the Liberian Council of Churches.

Liberia honors churches for service during Ebola outbreak

MONROVIA, Liberia (UMNS) — Prayers and action undertaken by the Liberian Council of Churches during the Ebola outbreak of 2014-2015 have been honored by the Liberian government with the distinction of “Commander, Order of the Star of Africa.” Julu Swen, Liberia Conference communicator, has the story.
Read story and post a comment

Judicial Council sets docket for October meeting

ST. LOUIS (UMNS) — The United Methodist Judicial Council has released the docket for its Oct. 20-24 meeting in St. Louis. Briefs are due August 20, with decisions about possible oral hearings to be decided after that date.
See docket

United Methodists take to the tube

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) — Even before NBC’s colorful peacock logo debuted in 1956, the Methodist Television, Radio and Film Commission — a predecessor of United Methodist Communications — was producing TV shows. Susan Passi-Klaus has the story as part of United Methodist Communications’ 75th anniversary celebration.
Read story

20 faith communities by 2020

JACKSON, Miss. (UMNS) — During the 2015 Mississippi Conference annual meeting, the Rev. Timothy Thompson revealed a conference-wide focus on creating 20 new churches by 2020 and church revitalization. He stressed faith communities do not necessarily refer to structures but to building the kingdom of God. Tamica Smith-Jeuitt of the Mississippi Conference reports.
Read story

Publishing House dedicates new campus

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) — A new campus for the United Methodist Publishing House was dedicated July 28 in a ceremony that included Nashville Mayor Karl Dean, Nashville Area Bishop William McAlilly and several former chairs of the publishing house’s board.
Read press release

Discipleship Ministries board denounces hate crimes

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) — The United Methodist Discipleship Ministries board has issued a statement opposing hate crimes in light of recent “acts of violence, destruction and murder based upon hatred, racism, fear, bigotry and prejudice.”
Read the full statement

Complaint vs. criticism: Do you know the difference?

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (UMNS) — The Rev. Dave Barnhart points to research that distinguishes between complaining and criticizing in a marriage. Complaints tend be part of a fruitful marriage, the research shows, while constant criticism can lead a couple to divorce. Barnhart, in a commentary for Ministry Matters, shares how this research shapes his approach to conflict.
Read commentary

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.

Tuesday, Aug. 11 and Thursday, Aug. 13

Webinar "Unlocking the Secrets of Bountiful Generosity" sessions 1 and 2 — Each session is 7 to 8 p.m. EDT. Church leaders struggle with financial giving every year, in every economic climate. Most do not want to preach about the topic, and some don’t even like to think about it. Some church leaders resort to gimmicks or even manipulation. This workshop will focus on the foundational issues of spirituality and leadership providing immediately do-able steps for growing generosity and transforming congregations. This workshop will equip leaders to shift their congregants’ hearts as well as their wallets. Details on Session 1 and details on Session 2.

Thursday-Sunday, Aug. 13-16

Crossroads: School of Congregational Development 2015 — Sheraton Indianapolis Hotel at Keystone Crossing in Indianapolis will host this United Methodist gathering sponsored by United Methodist Discipleship Ministries, Path1: New Church Starts, and the Board of Global Ministries. $475 on-site. Details

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

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