Daily Digest - June 15, 2017

"The truth is that even if you have 10 churches in a ZIP code, you will find that there are still 70 percent of the people in the area who are unreached by the gospel of Jesus Christ." — The Rev. Bener Baysa Agtarap, the head of New Church Starts (Path 1).

Growing impact of new churches

EAST POINT, Ga. (UMNS) — In all the news of shrinking U.S. worship attendance, it’s worth noting that starting new churches is an area where The United Methodist Church shows strength. Just look at the example of Impact Church, one of the fastest-growing congregations in the U.S. Heather Hahn reports.
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718 graduate at Africa University

MUTARE, Zimbabwe (UMNS) — An Africa University alumnus told the 718 graduates from 23 African countries that it was time for them to give back to Africa. Washington Madziwadondo told graduates to remember that “Africa University built you to stand tall and lead.” Andra Stevens has the story. 
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North Korea releases comatose Otto Warmbier

WORTHINGTON, Ohio (UMNS) – United Methodist Bishop Gregory Palmer offered prayers for Otto Warmbier, who was in a coma when released from a North Korea prison. Kathy L. Gilbert reports.
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2017 annual conference reports

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) — United Methodist News Service is posting reports from all annual conference sessions. New this week are reports from the Alabama-West Florida, Florida, North Alabama, Michigan, Illinois Great Rivers, Oklahoma, Peninsula-Delaware and South Georgia conferences.
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North Georgia bishop focuses on tolerance

ATHENS, Ga. — Bishop Sue Haupert-Johnson delivered a message of tolerance June 13 to the North Georgia Annual Conference. “We still have churches that are saying, ‘Don’t send us a woman pastor.’ We still have churches that say, ‘Don’t send us an African-American pastor,’ ” she said. “I don’t want to hear that anymore.” Lee Shearer reports for the Athens Herald-Banner.
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Family planning funds critical, agencies say

ATLANTA — The Global Health Unit, United Methodist Board of Global Ministries, joins the denomination’s Board of Church and Society in calling for continued U.S. assistance for international family planning and reproductive health programs. United Methodist clinics and hospitals are filling the gaps in reproductive health services in many low-income countries, said Kathy Griffin and Dr. Olusimbo Ige.
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Looking ahead

Here are some of the activities ahead for United Methodists across the connection. If you have a United Methodist event to share, you can add it to the calendar with this submission form.

Thursday, June 15-Monday, June 19

Desert-Southwest Conference — Renaissance Phoenix Glendale Hotel, 9495 W. Coyotes Blvd. Glendale, Arizona. The annual conference meets. Details

Friday, June 16-Sunday, June 18

North Carolina Annual Conference — The North Carolina Annual Conference will be at the Greenville Convention Center in Greenville, North Carolina. The theme is “Generosity in All Places.” Details

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