Daily Digest - June 4, 2021

“Through this project, churches are roofed and members are getting back to worshipping their God and making disciples for Jesus Christ.”Bishop Mande Muyombo of the North Katanga Episcopal Area.


South Carolina Conference
Partnership helps ‘raise the roof’ in Congo

WALTERBORO, S.C. — The Rev. Joey McDonald, a South Carolina district superintendent, and Bishop Mande Muyombo, who leads three annual conferences in Africa, struck up a friendship while both were pastors. That partnership has led to the new “Raise the Roof Campaign” to keep churches covered during Congo’s severe rainy season. Jessica Brodie has the story.
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United Methodist Communications
Life together: The UM Social Principles

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The United Methodist Social Principles call us to faithful engagement with the world around us. On the latest episode of the “Get Your Spirit in Shape” podcast, the Rev. Sharon Austin, who was part of the team that worked on the revision of the Social Principles, talks about their importance and why they have been revised — although still waiting for General Conference approval.
Listen to podcast

Eastern Pennsylvania Conference
Building to change hands, stay Methodist

BRYN MAWR, Pa. — The oldest church building in Delaware County will change hands from a United Methodist to an African Methodist Episcopal congregation. A ceremony is planned for June 7 to mark the gift to Saint John African Methodist Episcopal Church from Radnor United Methodist Church. The latter is shutting down because of low membership, with its remaining members joining another United Methodist congregation. John W. Coleman has the story.
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Bristol Herald Courier
Small church gets big donation

CHILHOWIE, Va. — A church with four members got a $700,000 donation from the estate of a former member. The leadership of Tate’s Chapel United Methodist Church is using the contribution to develop a cooperative parish among seven churches in southeast Virginia. Cassie Clark reports.
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Western Methodist Justice Movement
Webinar looks at Christmas Covenant proposal

PORTLAND, Ore. — The Western Methodist Justice Movement, an organization supporting the Christmas Covenant legislation, is hosting a webinar at 3 p.m. U.S. Pacific time June 5. Group members will discuss how they see the Christmas Covenant proposal helping to decolonize the structure of The United Methodist Church. 
To register


Wednesday, June 16-Saturday, June 19

East Ohio Annual Conference

Wednesday, June 16-Friday, June 18
New Mexico Annual Conference


Bishop Arichea, Bible scholar, dies at 87

TAGUIG, Philippines (UM News) — Bishop Daniel C. Arichea Jr., a Bible scholar who championed full inclusion in The United Methodist Church, died June 1 of complications related to COVID-19. He was 87. Heather Hahn reports.
Read obituary
Read press release

United Methodist Communications
How sweet it is: United Methodists and bees

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — "I never feel more connected to the earth and to God than when I'm surrounded by a million venomous insects," says United Methodist Jay Williams about his beekeeping avocation. While Williams' statement may surprise some people, he and other United Methodist apiarists say delving into the complex world of bees has deepened their faith. Crystal Caviness reports.
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Watch video

UMCOR assists displaced people in Congo
BENI, Congo (UM News) — In northeastern Congo, many farmers are afraid to work in their fields, due to threats by Allied Democratic Forces rebels. Hunger and starvation are daily realities. In response, the United Methodist Committee on Relief recently provided almost $100,000 USD, buying a one-month supply of food and other necessities for more than 850 vulnerable households. Philippe Kituka Lolonga reports. 
Read story

Florida Conference
‘God is going to build something new’

KISSIMMEE, Fla. — Experience with responding to Hurricane Marie helped First United Methodist Church Kissimmee take on the emergency needs that resulted from the pandemic, says its pastor. Joe Henderson reports on how Florida congregations met the challenges of the past 15 months.
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Central Texas Conference
New bishops named for three conferences

FORT WORTH, Texas — Great Plains Conference Bishop Ruben Saenz Jr. will extend his work to provide interim episcopal leadership to the Central Texas Conference when Bishop Michael Lowry retires on Jan. 1, 2022. Rio Texas Conference Bishop Robert Schnase will do the same for the New Mexico Conference when Bishop Earl Bledsoe retires on that date. Bledsoe also oversees the Northwest Texas Conference, and Oklahoma Conference/Oklahoma Indian Missionary Conference Bishop James Nunn will fill the gap there until episcopal elections in November 2022.
Read press release
Council of Bishops approves episcopal supervision recommendations

Commentary: Understanding effects of white privilege
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (UM News) — Learning about white privilege led Laura Derr to the realization that she must work to change the systems that have helped her but adversely affected others. Derr’s story is highlighted in UM News’ Personal Encounters With Racism feature.
Read commentary

California-Pacific Conference
Bishop, cabinet speak to appointments controversy

PASADENA, Calif. — Bishop Grant Hagiya and the California-Pacific Conference cabinet have issued a statement addressing controversy over appointment decisions affecting three Korean American pastors. While they dispute accusations that the pastors were targeted for their traditionalist theological beliefs, they also say: "Our hearts are grieved that our covenant community is broken, and we are seeking to address the conflict in a way that represents the call of Christ on all of our lives."
Read statement
Read UM News story about the conflict

Virginia Conference 
Longtime lay leader, delegate dies

PORTSMOUTH, Va. — Darlene Amon, a longtime General Conference delegate and the first woman to serve as the National President of Annual Conference Lay Leaders, died on May 27. She was 81. The Virginia Conference has her obituary. 
Read obituary

Missouri Conference
Addiction ministry spreads

JACKSON, Mo. — Brandon Murphy found help for his struggle with addiction through a ministry called Breaking Bonds. That was in Arkansas, and now he and his wife, Michelle, are bringing the same faith-based recovery program to New McKendree United Methodist Church in Missouri. Fred Koenig reports.
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Commentary: Tragedy leads to trauma ministry, book
ST. PAUL, Minn. (UM News) — George Floyd's murder prompted questions as well as a drive to bring healing and address mental health challenges. Those questions led the Rev. Dr. Ron Bell to write a book on dealing with trauma and create healing ministries at his church.
Read commentary

Great Plains Conference
Online worship remains popular

OMAHA, Neb. — A virtual piano-side church service launched during the pandemic will continue, the Rev. Stephanie Ahlschwede confirmed. Community members were worried that it would end along with mask mandates and social distancing. The success of online-only services has some churches rethinking their virtual presence and taking things to the next level. David Burke has the story.
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Bowling Green Daily News
Pearl Harbor soldier laid to rest

MERRY OAKS, Ky. — Nearly 80 years after his death during the bombing of Pearl Harbor, the remains of Howard Scott Magers were returned for proper burial. Nearly 500 people attended the funeral at Merry Oaks United Methodist Church to see Magers saluted with full military honors. DNA testing and other technology allowed the remains to be identified. Don Sergent reports.
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Michigan Conference
Deaconess serves in Detroit

LANSING, Mich. — Anne Hillman lives out her calling as a deaconess by working with children, advocating for justice and teaching. The director of children, youth and family at Central United Methodist Church in Detroit also teaches Theology of Mission to aspiring deaconesses. Kay DeMoss reports.
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Oregon-Idaho Conference
Church to build LGBTQ senior housing

PORTLAND, Ore. — Christ United Methodist Church Cedar Mill has secured the last piece of funding needed to build an affordable housing project for LGBTQ+ senior citizens. Plans call for a 53-unit apartment complex located on two vacant lots the church owns. Kristen Caldwell has the story.
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News 6-ClickOrlando
After shooting, children’s home shuts program

VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. — The Florida United Methodist Children’s Home announced it was suspending its emergency shelter program. The announcement came less than 24 hours after two foster children ran away from the shelter and ended up in a shootout with sheriff’s deputies. The officers are uninjured, but one of the juveniles — a 14-year-old girl — was hospitalized. Adrienne Cutway reports.
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Western North Carolina Conference
Lake Junaluska to host Juneteenth festivities

LAKE JUNALUSKA, N.C. — The Western North Carolina Conference plans to have a Juneteenth Freedom Celebration starting at 2 p.m. U.S. Eastern time June 19 at Lake Junaluska Conference and Retreat Center. The event will include worship, a look at African American history, food trucks and family activities.
Read press release

Africa University Development Office
Scholarship to help female agriculture students

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Women studying agriculture at Africa University in Zimbabwe will get tuition help from the new $150,000 Jo Evans Winton and Ed H. Winton Jr. scholarship endowment. Although the couple never visited the United Methodist university, they stayed abreast of its development through their daughter, who now chairs the AU Tennessee corporation board. Barbara Dunlap-Berg has the story.
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United Methodist Communications
How do you hear God speaking?

MINNEAPOLIS — Many people struggle with discerning whether or not God is speaking to them, and Pastor Laquaan Malachi suggests the only way to get better at listening to God is to practice. "In a sense, many of us are already listening to God even if we don’t recognize it," he writes.
Read commentary

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Daily Digest - June 11, 2021

Churches have a role in overcoming vaccine hesitancy; Where is John Wesley's birthplace?; Top stories from the week

Daily Digest - June 10, 2021

Former bishop known for ‘reconciling spirit’; Displaced families get help from UMCOR; 2021 annual conference reports

Daily Digest - June 9, 2021

Church takes on xenophobia; Meet 'John Wesley Church Mouse'; Survey asks Black churches about worship