“It’s just hard to be mad when you’re playing the ukulele.” — The Rev. Joe Stobaugh, founder of a church ukulele choir.
Ukulele choir strikes chord
DALLAS (UMNS) — Watch out, all you hand bell choirs. There's a ukulele choir at Grace Avenue United Methodist Church, in Frisco, Texas, and it’s growing fast. The unusual ensemble, which has doubled in membership, performs in worship services and even got to play at General Conference. Sam Hodges has the story.
Top Religion and Race exec resigns
WASHINGTON (UMNS) — Erin Hawkins, the top executive of the United Methodist Commission on Religion and Race, plans to depart Sept. 30 and become the California-Pacific Conference’s executive director of connectional ministries. She has led Religion and Race as it has extended its work to Africa. She also has dealt with efforts to eliminate the agency as an independent body. Heather Hahn reports.
Interfaith call to end AIDS threat by 2030
NEW YORK (WCC) — Faith leaders issued a call to action to end AIDS as a public health threat by 2030. The call came during a June 7 interfaith prayer service at the United Methodist-owned Church Center for the United Nations, sponsored by the World Council of Churches Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance. The service preceded the June 8-10 U.N. High Level Meeting on AIDS.
A small church with big ideas for evangelism
QUITMAN, Texas (UMNS) — Liberty United Methodist Church is a small congregation, but it’s acting large and in charge as it builds relationships with the community. The Texas Conference reports how the church is reaching neighbors and seeing record-breaking attendance while keeping to a budget.
Commentary: How to build church attendance
WASHINGTON (UMNS) — Many growing churches share the common practice of having Sundays during the year with a special focus. The Revs. Lovett H. Weems Jr. and Tom Berlin, both United Methodists, point to such Sundays as a way of sustaining energy and boosting attendance. In a commentary adapted from their book “Overflow,” the two give examples of such “Special Focus Sundays” and explain how they can contribute to growth.
Here are some of the activities ahead for United Methodists across the connection. If you have an item to share, email firstname.lastname@example.org and put Digest in the subject line.
Wednesday, June 15
Early bird deadline for HopeFest 2016: Building Hope for Humanity — Christian music fest to benefit Habitat for Humanity on Saturday-Sunday, Aug. 27-28. Milford United Methodist Church, 327 North River Road, Milford, New Hampshire, is the host. Overnight wooded camping sites are available. Performers include Mark Schultz, Jonas Woods, Epic Season, Ryan Stevenson and Rock My Soul. $25 for adults until June 15. Children under 12 are free. Details