Daily Digest: June 20, 2014

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“Without our memory, the church can’t be the church.” – The Rev. Robert Williams, retiring top staff executive of the United Methodist Commission on Archives and History.

History is connecting factor for Bob Williams
MADISON, N.J. (UMNS) — For as long as he can remember, the Rev. Robert Williams has been passionate about God, history, and the Jersey Shore. Now, the New Jersey pastor is retiring — effective Aug. 1 — after nine years as the top executive of the United Methodist Commission on Archives and History.

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Unity is byproduct of a Christ-centered life, says bishop
LAKELAND, Fla. (UMNS) — “Unity is not our goal,” said Bishop Ken Carter in an address to the Florida Annual (regional) Conference. “Unity is a byproduct experienced by those who are devoted to the mission of being faithful and fruitful disciples in the vineyard… . At a time when division, schism and unity are common topics, I invite us to pray for a transformation that is beyond our human capacity or imagination — that our lives would be more Christ-centered — that our unity would be rooted in him and not in our natural sympathies, political convictions or tribal affiliations.”

Read the entire meditation

Video: 20 things churches should do
PEACHTREE CORNERS, Ga. (UMNS) — The North Georgia Annual (regional) Conference has consistently reported membership growth for more than 40 years. For annual conference, its Office of Congregational Development recently put together a seven-minute video that shows the “20 Things Churches Can Do More Often.” Tips include being willing to try new things, putting aside competition and knowing your community.

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Feeling the call? You won’t succeed ‘in hiding from God’
SYRACUSE, N.Y. (UMNS) — The Upper New York Annual (regional) Conference has the distinction of having two United Methodist seminary presidents among its clergy members. The Rev. Wendy Deichmann, president at United Theological Seminary in Dayton, Ohio, and the Rev. Thomas Wolfe, president of Iliff School of Theology in Denver, were both at the conference’s annual meeting and shared their insights. Christian Vischi of the Upper New York Conference has the story.

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Blog: Moving from associate to senior pastor
MACON, Ga. (UMNS) — The Rev. Ben Gosden of the South Georgia Annual (regional) Conference is now a full week into his new appointment as senior pastor. He shares some of what he’s learned in that brief time. His blog post “goes out to all of you fellow former associates who, like me, now find yourselves buried under a mountain of work ranging from renewing church insurance policies, to preaching plans that come every week now, to requests for handouts, to pastoral care calls that you can no longer share with other clergy on staff.”

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