“When we arrived here, almost everywhere was the forest, the bush. That’s why we ask our believers, as Nehemiah told the people of Israel, ‘Get up and rebuild.’ ” — Bishop Gabriel Unda, episcopal leader for East Congo Conference.
East Congo Conference teaching, preaching, growing
KINDU, Democratic Republic of Congo (UMNS) — In the family of the worldwide United Methodist Church, the East Congo Conference is the infant. General Conference created the denomination’s newest episcopal area in 2012, but the history of the church in the area is much longer. Kathy L. Gilbert and Mike DuBose report.
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Honoring first black congressman, a Methodist
WASHINGTON (RNS) — A Methodist minister, the Rev. Hiram Revels, was honored in a worship service in the shadow of the U.S. Capitol almost a century and a half after he was sworn in as the first African-American member of Congress. Adelle Banks has the story for Religion News Service.
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Jennifer Garner says film led her back to church
ATLANTA — Actress Jennifer Garner says filming “Miracles in Heaven” inspired her to start going to a United Methodist church again. AJC.com reports on Garner's faith journey and the film, based on a memoir by Christy Beam.
Forum offered on Scripture and sexuality
LIVERPOOL, N.Y. (UMNS) — The Upper New York Conference will host and livestream a forum titled “Human Sexuality and Biblical Interpretation” on Saturday, March 5, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. EST. The event, at Liverpool United Methodist Church, anticipates the General Conference debate on sexuality. The Rev. Althea Spencer-Miller, of Drew Theological School, and the Rev. Bill T. Arnold, of Asbury Theological Seminary, will be featured speakers.
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5 things you can learn from a new church start
DECATUR, Ga. (UMNS) — Three pastors leading new church starts in the North Georgia Conference share what they have learned about being the church while starting a ministry from the ground up. Rachel Reiff Ellis reports for the conference.
Families need to encourage call to ministry
MEMPHIS (UMNS) — The Rev. Joe Geary, Memphis Conference director of connectional ministries, believes biological families and “faith families” have a role in encouraging young people in a call to ministry. In an essay, he shares the questions that ought to be asked.
New resource helps teens explore dating relationships
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) — A new resource to help high school teenagers learn about developing healthy dating relationships is now available from Young People’s Ministries, a unit of Discipleship Ministries.
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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.
Sunday, March 6
One Great Hour of Sharing ─ Offering on this Special Sunday supports the administrative costs of the United Methodist Committee on Relief, the denomination’s disaster-response organization. United Methodist Communications is providing new resources for pastors and lay leaders to use in promoting One Great Hour of Sharing.