“Church volunteers have really stepped up, providing a 24-hour presence in case folks arrive and to assist our guests with the Red Cross. Folks have been bringing in food and other supplies.” — The Rev. Jaqueline King, pastor of First United Methodist Church in Denham Springs.
Louisiana churches provide help amid floods
BATON ROUGE, La. (UMNS) — As rising floodwaters forced thousands to flee their homes in Louisiana, United Methodist churches stepped up to provide shelter for flood survivors. Other churches prepared to help with recovery and the United Methodist Committee on Relief issued an initial $10,000 emergency grant to the conference. Bishop Cynthia Fierro Harvey said disaster response teams will be deployed as the waters recede. Betty Backstrom reports for the Louisiana Conference.
Church provides shelter
Fighting violence against women
CABANATUAN CITY, Philippines (UMNS) — United Methodist leaders in the Philippines are joining in the One Billion Rising movement to fight violence against women. Gladys Mangiduyos reports.
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Feeling ‘heard’ at U.N. women’s event
NEW YORK (UMNS) —Yasmin Beczabeth, 29, has been working for human rights since the age of five in Honduras. As one of 19 delegates for United Methodist Women attending the U.N. Commission on the Status of Women meeting this week, she shared her story and life challenges. The other delegates, she reported, “listened with unconditional love.” She said, “I felt heard.” Follow the UMW website, Twitter and Facebook accounts for updates this week as the event progresses.
Maryland church recognized for men’s ministry
BELTSVILLE, Md. (UMNS) — United Methodist Men leaders have given Queen’s Chapel United Methodist Church in Beltsville this year’s top award for effective ministry to and with men. Rich Peck reports on the ministry of the church’s 55-member EMS, which stands for Every Man Shares in Evangelism, Mission and Spiritual Life.
Light in the darkness in Syria
NEW YORK (UMNS) — Since war broke out in Syria in March 2011, the United Methodist Committee on Relief has worked with local and international partners to respond to critical needs of people in harm’s way, both within Syria and in the nearby countries where refugees have fled. As Linda Unger reports for UMCOR, the help reaches just a fraction of those affected by the war’s catastrophic impact.
How volunteers help small churches thrive
EDOM, Texas (UMNS) — Small-membership churches like First United Methodist Church in Edom depend on the willingness and flexibility of volunteers. The Texas Conference points to the example of longtime volunteers Keith and Karen Mills to highlight ways volunteers can get involved and benefit from that involvement.
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 20
Palm/Passion Sunday — This service can embody the sharp contrasts of Holy Week. In the entrance with the palms, Christians experience the joyous demonstration of loyalty to Jesus as he enters Jerusalem, even as they prepare to commemorate the more somber events of Christ’s passion. Worship resources from Discipleship Ministries.