Daily Digest - June 11, 2021

“The setting in which you get the vaccine matters because people want to be where they feel comfortable, and churches represent a place of comfort and security for a lot of people.” — Dr. James E.K. Hildreth, president and CEO of United Methodist-related Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Tennessee. 


Churches have a role in overcoming vaccine hesitancy

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UM News) — People mistrustful of other institutions may still trust faith leaders to address their concerns about getting a COVID-19 vaccination. Joey Butler reports and Mike DuBose has photos. 
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Ask The UMC
Where is John Wesley's birthplace?

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — John Wesley was born and raised in Epworth, a small town in England. His father, Samuel Wesley, was the Church of England rector of the Epworth parish. Ask The UMC, a ministry of United Methodist Communications, has more on key historic places and sites from John Wesley's birthplace.
Read story
Read more Ask The UMC

National Association of Filipino American United Methodists
Remembering Bishop Daniel Arichea

MANILA, Philippines — The National Association of Filipino American United Methodists is hosting a global virtual service remembering Bishop Daniel Arichea, who died June 1. The service will be livestreamed on the United Media Channel TV Facebook page at 8 p.m. U.S. Eastern time June 13 and 8 a.m. Philippines time June 14.
Watch livestream
UM News: Bishop Arichea, Bible scholar, dies at 87

New Hampshire Union Leader
Church’s new cross an answer to prayers

FREMONT, N.H. — When the Rev. Frank O. King came to People’s United Methodist Church three years ago, a congregation member told him that the church needed a cross because many people didn’t know it was a place of worship. Jason Schreiber reports how the 95-year-old church got its new cross. 
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We Are God's Family: Personal Encounters with Racism
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — UM News is inviting people to share their personal stories about encounters with racism, as well as ideas for combating it. We are seeking voices that reflect the diversity of the church to build understanding of how racism affects us all. 
Read reflections and share your story


Monday, June 14

Virtual Vigil for World Refugee Day

Friday, July 16-Saturday, July 17
Northern Illinois Annual Conference


Hanke looks back at UM Men tenure

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UM News) — The chief executive of United Methodist Men, who is preparing to retire and helping to find his successor, looks back over his decade-plus tenure. Gilbert C. Hanke's accomplishments include establishing regular virtual class meetings for thousands of men. Jim Patterson has the story.
Read story
Newest issue of UM Men looks at combating racism

Former bishop known for ‘reconciling spirit’
DALLAS (UM News) — Former Bishop James E. Dorff, who led the formation of what is now the Rio Texas Conference, died June 7 of pancreatic cancer. United Methodists remember Dorff for his ability to bring people together. Heather Hahn reports. 
Read obituary

Church takes on xenophobia
JOHANNESBURG (UM News) — Xenophobia, the fear or hatred of strangers or foreigners, is widespread in South Africa. Harassment and violence against African and Asian non-nationals are routine and sometimes lethal, according to Human Rights Watch. In response, United Methodists are educating young people about xenophobic attacks and the meaning of being "foreign." Alvin Tiri Makunike has the story.
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Ask The UMC
Exploring death and resurrection

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — What happens when we die? Is there life after our lives here on Earth, and what will it be like? Many have written to Ask The UMC over the years asking how United Methodists answer these and other questions about death, resurrection and life in the new creation. A new series gathers these questions in one place for easy reference and reflection. 
Read Part 1: What happens when we die?
Read more Ask The UMC

Global Ministries
Displaced families get help from UMCOR

ATLANTA — The United Methodist Committee on Relief is striving to get food to people who have been displaced by the civil war in Yemen. More than 80% of the population there is in need of assistance, and 2.3 million children are in danger of acute malnutrition. Christie R. House has the story.
Read story
Couple 'sows the word' with garden

New 2021 annual conference reports posted
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UM News) — United Methodist News is posting 2021 annual conference reports. New this week are the Alabama-West Florida, Eastern Pennsylvania and North Alabama conferences.
Read reports

Commentary: Asking United Methodist polity questions
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (UM News) — Discussions over a split in the denomination raise complicated questions related to United Methodist polity. The Rev. William Lawrence, former president of the United Methodist Judicial Council and retired dean of Perkins School of Theology, used a combination of historical research and pastoral experience to address several of those questions. 
Read commentary

Louisiana Conference
Amid disaster, a network of house churches forms

LAKE CHARLES, La. — The past year has brought natural disasters as well as COVID-19 to this city in southwest Louisiana. The Rev. Chris Hyde might have given up on his church-planting plans, but instead joined others in creating The Bridge, a network of house churches. Hyde is a recent Harry Denman Evangelism Award winner. Britney Winn Lee reports.
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Northern Illinois Conference
Churchgoer oldest American to conquer Everest

CHICAGO — A member of North Shore United Methodist Church in Glencoe is now the oldest American to climb Mount Everest. Arthur Muir, 75, is a retired attorney who climbed Everest on his second try. Anne Marie Gerhardt has the story. 
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South Georgia Conference
Women find sisterhood through exercise group

CLIMAX, Ga. — To a handful of women, “yada” means anything but boring, predictable talk. These are the Yada Yadas. The close-knit group has been meeting, praying and exercising together since 2005. Kara Witherow has the story. 
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Commentary: Church must tackle its real estate crisis
ROCKVILLE, Md. (UM News) — The United Methodist Church has significant property holdings, but lack of a strategy for handling them poses a financial threat to the denomination, writes Rick Reinhard, who has worked in management positions involving a number of United Methodist properties.
Read commentary

South Carolina Conference
Meet 'John Wesley Church Mouse'

CHAPIN, S.C. — A former English teacher and longtime member of Chapin United Methodist Church has penned a children's book featuring a church mouse named John Wesley. Evelyn Anne Johnson-Neal's book, "John Wesley Church Mouse," is told from the perspective of a mouse who watches over the staff of the fictional Chapin Church, based on her real-life congregation. Jessica Brodie reports.
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National Association of Filipino American United Methodists
Urging sustainable peace in Israel, Palestine

CHICAGO — The National Association of Filipino American United Methodists has issued a statement on the urgency of a just and sustainable peace in Israel and Palestine. "We are deeply concerned that the sobering reality that conditions on the ground leading to the recent violence are far from being addressed," the statement said. The group called on its constituent congregations and members "to engage proactively and publicly in acts of peace with justice in Israel, Palestine, in the region, and in the world as an integral part of our discipleship."
Read statement on Facebook

Center for American Progress
Bishop Oliveto called a faith leader to watch

WASHINGTON — The Center for American Progress, a progressive think tank in the U.S., has named Mountain Sky Conference Bishop Karen Oliveto among 21 faith leaders to watch in 2021. The center says its list “celebrates those leaders — some well-known and others newly on the scene — who are using their platforms to fight for justice.”
Read press release
Read story on Oliveto and others recognized

Gammon Theological Seminary
Survey asks Black churches about worship

ATLANTA — Gammon Theological Seminary is collaborating with other United Methodist organizations to understand the factors informing how Black churches resume in-person worship and navigate virtual worship as pandemic restrictions lift. The insights from this research will be shared with African American pastors and laity as they navigate this changing ministry landscape. Partners in the survey include Strengthening the Black Church for the 21st Century, Convocation for Black Pastors in the UMC, Black Clergywomen of the UMC, and Black Methodists for Church Renewal. The survey will remain open through June 30.
To take survey
Florida Conference establishes Gammon scholarship

Discipleship Ministries
Training helps churches be good neighbors

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Discipleship Ministries, as an extension of its #SeeAllThePeople movement, has formed a partnership with the Good Neighbor Experience to help congregations discover new ways to be in ministry. The Good Neighbor Experiment is a nine-month training process for congregations that want to be better neighbors in their communities.
Read press release
Learn more

The Roanoke Times
Ex-church employee sentenced for embezzlement

ROANOKE, Va. — Citing what he called “likely the worst larceny embezzlement” he had seen in 13 years on the bench, a Roanoke Circuit Court judge sentenced a former church secretary to serve four years in prison. Amy Mauck Krohmer had previously pleaded no contest to a single count of embezzling from Roanoke’s West End United Methodist Church. She also will have to pay $195,186.43 in restitution, the sum she was convicted of taking. Neil Harvey reports. 
Read story

Wespath, United Methodist Publishing House
Events introduce financial-health program

GLENVIEW, Ill. — Wespath and Abingdon Press are offering informational events to familiarize clergy and local church leaders with Saving Grace, a biblically based Wesleyan curriculum that can help participants reach financial well-being goals. People can choose between two online events scheduled for noon to 4 p.m. U.S. Central time on July 20 and 26.
To register

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Daily Digest - July 30, 2021

Volunteerism is a priority at Florida church; At Olympics, plenty of prayer opportunities; Top stories from the week

Daily Digest - July 29, 2021

Rev. Eddie Fox, evangelism leader, dies at 83; Conference and megachurch enter mediation; Church distributes food, vaccines

Daily Digest - July 28, 2021

Ask The UMC: Understanding resurrection; Faith-based film premieres in church; Commentary: Tales of COVID