Daily Digest - June 17, 2022

TODAY’S HEADLINES

Photo essay: Reflections of a father’s love

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UM News) — As we head into Father’s Day in the U.S. this weekend, UM News photographer Mike DuBose shares images to remind us that fathers from all over the world and all walks of life have dreams for their children and deserve to be celebrated.
View photo essay

Central Conference of Central and Southern Europe
United Methodists continue helping Ukrainian neighbors

ZURICH — A gasoline shortage poses a challenge for distributing humanitarian aid in Ukraine, but United Methodist responders in Poland, Romania, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Slovakia report that their communities are continuing to help refugees and send supplies into the embattled country as it resists a Russian invasion. Urs Schweizer has an update.
Read report (PDF)

Global Ministries
Congo health centers coming back

ATLANTA — A health clinic looted during 2017 fighting in the Democratic Republic of the Congo has been reinvigorated, along with 19 other clinics in remote areas. The facility in the village of Nganza has used grants from the United Methodist Committee on Relief to get its maternity unit up to par and also improve community outreach. Christie R. House reports.
Read story

Rethink Church
UFOs, extraterrestrials and faith

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — In the latest episode of the Compass podcast, the Rev. Ryan Dunn explores the theological implications of discovering life outside of our planet. In addition to speaking with clergy who also work in scientific fields, Dunn mines the archives of United Methodist Communications for episodes of “Night Call,” a 1960s-era production of The Methodist Church that occasionally delved into topics such as UFO sightings. 
Listen to podcast

No Daily Digest on Monday, June 20
There will be no Daily Digest on Monday, June 20, due to the Juneteenth holiday. UM News wishes everyone a blessed Juneteenth.


PRESS RELEASES

Texas Conference
Bishop Jones announces retirement

HOUSTON — Texas Conference Bishop Scott Jones plans to retire from the active episcopacy at the end of 2022. Earlier this month, he had said he was willing to lead the Texas Conference through 2024. But in a June 17 letter to the conference, he said he changed his mind after further thought and prayer. He added: “Increasing disobedience and escalating conflict in the denomination have made my service as a bishop of the whole church seem much more problematic.”
Read bishop’s full letter to the conference


RESOURCES

Smoky Mountain News
Lake Junaluska plans summer worship series

LAKE JUNALUSKA, N.C. — Lake Junaluska Conference and Retreat Center plans to host outdoor, lakeside Sunday worship services led by inspirational United Methodist preachers from June 26 through Aug. 14 as part of the Summer Worship Series. The services will be at 9 a.m. U.S. Eastern time at the lakeside tent near Stuart Auditorium. 
See list of preachers


EVENTS

Wednesday, June 22-Friday, June 24
North Alabama Annual Conference

Thursday, June 30
Learning session: Facebook Groups for Churches with live Q&A


TOP STORIES FROM THE WEEK

Clergy session vote highlights LGBTQ divide

LAKELAND, Fla. (UM News) — The Florida Conference clergy session last week decided against approving an entire 16-person slate for advancement on the track to becoming ordained elders or deacons. The decision roiled the conference, reverberated across The United Methodist Church and underscored the denomination’s conflict over full LGBTQ inclusion. Sam Hodges reports.
Read story

Conference, megachurch reach legal settlement
MARIETTA, Ga. (UM News) — The North Georgia Conference and its largest-membership church have reached a settlement that will see the church pay millions to leave the denomination with property. The settlement ends a public dispute that began when Mt. Bethel refused its senior pastor's reappointment to a new conference position. However, at least some Mt. Bethel members are disappointed in the agreement. Heather Hahn reports.
Read story

Mothers on border share stories of desperation, hope
TIJUANA, Mexico (UM News) — Three mothers describe the ordeals and dangers they have faced as immigrants trying to move their families to a safer life in the United States. The Rev. Gustavo Vasquez has their stories.
Read story

Striving for equity in pastor salaries
DURHAM, N.C. (UM News) — A study on salary disparities between Black and white United Methodist pastors in North and South Carolina shows that Black pastors make substantially less than their white counterparts. The researchers suggest revenue sharing and moving salary decisions involving pastors out of local churches to annual conferences. Jim Patterson reports.
Read story 

Commentary: The metaverse and Methodism
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (UM News) — Online worship services are a great start, says digital marketing expert and lay minister Kelly Price, but it is time to move into digital spaces such as the metaverse if the church wants to be relevant in the future.
Read commentary

Ask The UMC
Why do United Methodist pastors change churches?

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Many United Methodist congregations in the United States will receive new clergy leadership beginning July 1. Ask The UMC, a ministry of United Methodist Communications, has more about the history of how and why clergy are moved to new appointments. 
Read story
Read more Ask The UMC

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Daily Digest - July 1, 2022

Farming ministry helps women prepare for retirement; Jurisdiction announces plans to elect 3 bishops; Top stories from the week

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HIV and AIDS Conference encourages acceptance, not fear; Church faces obstacles to help war-displaced; Agency unveils e-newsletter

Daily Digest - June 29, 2022

Photo essay: United Methodists stand with Ukraine; Georgia church shares garden through ingenuity; Q&A with immigration ministry’s new leaders