Daily Digest - July 8, 2015

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"We’re not going to live in fear. It’s still about the church being a beacon of hope and life." — The Rev. Robin Dease, superintendent of the Hartsville District of the South Carolina Conference, on violence against black churches.

Black churches weigh security vs. openness

DALLAS (UMNS) — Churches are responding in various ways to the June 17 shootings at Charleston’s Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal. But for many black United Methodist churches, reviewing safety procedures is a priority. “We are looking at how we balance hospitality and security,” said the Rev. Kelvin Sauls, pastor of Holman United Methodist Church in Los Angeles. Sam Hodges reports.
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Q&A: Responding to Charleston

DALLAS (UMNS) — Bishop Marcus Matthews of the Baltimore-Washington Conference grew up in South Carolina and joined in civil rights demonstrations there as a college student. He answered questions from UMNS about how the church should respond to the June 17 massacre at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina.
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Commentary: Confessions of a white Southerner

WASHINGTON (UMNS) — The Rev. Clayton Childers was a pastor in South Carolina when state residents debated removing the Confederate battle flag from the top of the statehouse. Now that South Carolina legislature is discussing removing the flag from the capitol’s grounds, Childers reflects on how his understanding of the U.S. Civil War and the flag has changed since childhood. Childers is director of conference relations for the United Methodist Board of Church and Society.
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Philippines bishop hears stories, tears of children

BAGUIO CITY, Philippines (UMNS) — Children of victims of “extrajudicial killings” who shared their stories in June with United Methodist Bishop Pete Torio and his staff have tears but also hope. The United Methodist Church is part of the Regional Ecumenical Council in the Cordillera, which is supporting the children with scholarships and psychosocial intervention, reports the newsletter of the Baguio Episcopal Area.
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Women’s commission launches clergy family website

CHICAGO (UMNS) — Building upon a clergy-family care summit held last November, the United Methodist Commission on the Status and Role of Women has launched a website dedicated to addressing the needs and concerns of clergy families. Heather Peck Travis reports for the commission.
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Abingdon Press books take home awards

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) — Three Abingdon Press titles received honors from the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association, including the Golden Scrolls Novel of the Year Award. Abingdon, part of the United Methodist Publishing House, also garnered seven honors from Christian Retailing’s Best Awards. In addition, Abingdon fiction writer Ace Collins won the Christy Award in the suspense category for “The Color of Justice.”
Read Golden Scrolls Award press release
Read Best Awards press release
Read press release on Ace Collins

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.

Monday, July 20
Deadline to register for "Advocating for Women and Girls of Sacred Worth" ambassador training — 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. CDT Saturday, July 25 in Lincoln, Nebraska. The Healthy Families, Healthy Planet project, an initiative of The United Methodist Board of Church and Society, is bringing together faith leaders from across the Great Plains Conference to strengthen local movements for a healthier world for mothers and their children. An optional advocacy visit will be from 9 a.m. to noon Monday, July 27. Details.

Saturday, July 25
Circuit 7 Mission Workday — Starting at 8 a.m. CDT with breakfast at Jim Falls United Methodist Church, 13883 County Highway S.S., Jim Falls, Wisconsin. Jim Falls, Holcombe and Anson United Methodist churches have an annual day of service in their neighborhoods including work at food pantries, homeless shelters and park cleanup. Work sites are selected from suggestions from the three churches and include members of the churches and non-members selected by the three congregations. The project also includes collecting shoes for the Souls for Soles project. To help, contact Michelle Stoffel at 715-828-5041 or [email protected].

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

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