Daily Digest - March 17, 2023

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“Cooking time has been reduced and multiple dishes can be prepared at a time. There is no smoke, which was hazardous to our health, and cleaning of dishes is much easier now.” Samuel Musareka, Nyadire Central Primary School head cook, on the installation of a biogas digester at the church school in Zimbabwe.


TODAY’S HEADLINES

Engineers cook up eco-friendly solution at church school

MUTOKO, Zimbabwe (UM News) — Students from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh have engineered an environmentally friendly solution to a problem facing a United Methodist mission school in Zimbabwe. The students with Engineers Without Borders worked with the Nyadire Connection to install a biogas digester, which converts animal and plant waste to methane used for cooking. The project cuts down on costs and prevents deforestation. Kudzai Chingwe has the story.
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Ask The UMC
More disaffiliation questions answered

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Ask The UMC, a ministry of United Methodist Communications, continues to receive questions related to local church disaffiliations and the future of the church. In Part 10 of its “Is The United Methodist Church Really…?” series, the team addresses whether a re-vote on disaffiliation is allowed, whether United Methodist seminaries teach doctrines contrary to those of The United Methodist Church, whether local churches will be compelled to host same-sex weddings and whether the church endorses critical race theory. 
Read story
Read previous installments

Michigan Conference
8 Easter books for children

DEARBORN, Mich. — An Easter-themed book for children should leave room for children to wonder, deal gently with the crucifixion and focus more on the resurrection, says children’s book author Glenys Nellist of Dearborn First United Methodist Church. The books also should have inclusive illustrations, she says. Nellist suggests eight books that meet her criteria. 
Read story


PRESS RELEASES

Claremont School of Theology
Claremont School of Theology moving to Los Angeles

CLAREMONT, Calif. — Claremont School of Theology, one of the 13 United Methodist seminaries, will relocate this summer from Claremont, California, to Westwood United Methodist Church in nearby Los Angeles. The seminary will keep its name. After a 10-year court battle, Claremont School of Theology is in arbitration with The Claremont Colleges over how much the latter will pay for the seminary’s Claremont campus, according to a seminary press release. Seminary officials said that, thanks to distance-learning programs, a separate campus is no longer needed. 
Read press release

Status and Role of Women
Commission preps for General Conference

CHICAGO — The United Methodist Commission on the Status and Role of Women is busy getting ready for General Conference in 2024, said top executive Dawn Wiggins Hare during the commission’s spring board meeting March 10-11. Hare noted that “the pandemic has allowed us to focus on denominational needs and has allowed us to find creative ways to increase accessibility to our resources for the church.” The commission also celebrated the election of eight new women bishops during last year’s jurisdictional and central conferences.
Read press release
Read “Celebrating Women Who Tell Our Stories” series


COMMENTARIES
UM News includes in the Daily Digest various commentaries about issues in the denomination. The opinion pieces reflect a variety of viewpoints and are the opinions of the writers, not UM News staff.

Lewis Center for Church Leadership
10 ways to engage online worshippers

WASHINGTON — In this time of hybrid worship, church leaders may overlook or not give enough intentional thought to the people who are worshipping online. Jim Keat, digital minister at The Riverside Church, offers 10 tips for congregations to strengthen engagement and build relationships with online worshippers.
Read commentary 


EVENTS

Sunday, March 19

UMCOR Sunday

Monday, March 20-Monday, April 3
Online course: Cultivating a Resilient Spirit


TOP STORIES OF THE WEEK

Church increases aid to displaced people in Congo

KIVU, Congo (UM News) — More than $400,000 from the United Methodist Committee on Relief and the United Methodist Board of Global Ministries helped provide emergency relief to approximately 25,000 displaced people in Congo. Jean Tshomba, coordinator of UMCOR’s disaster management office in eastern Congo, said people have fled their homes because of war to take refuge in Goma and other camps, and their situation is a major concern to the church. Chadrack Tambwe Londe reports.
Read story

Agency seeks role in complaint against bishop
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UM News) — As the suspension of Bishop Minerva Carcaño crosses the one-year mark, the United Methodist Commission on the Status and Role of Women is asking to serve as a monitor in the church complaint process. Meanwhile, leaders in the Western Jurisdiction say the process is moving forward. Heather Hahn reports on where things stand. 
Read story
Read Status and Role of Women press release

Plan to add 5 African bishops faces challenges
BRAUNFELS, Germany (UM News) — An international United Methodist group has long been working to increase the number of bishops on the African continent from 13 to 18. The Standing Committee on Central Conference Matters at its recent meeting learned about the challenges the plan faces in a time of disaffiliation. Klaus Ulrich Ruof reports. 
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International group pursues regionalization
BRAUNFELS, Germany (UM News) — A permanent committee of General Conference gave a boost to proposals to restructure The United Methodist Church so different geographic areas are on equal footing. The Standing Committee on Central Conference Matters agreed to form a task force to harmonize the Christmas Covenant and a Connectional Table proposal for a U.S. structure. Klaus Ulrich Ruof has the story.
Read story
UM News: Group plans for budget cuts, regionalization

Commentary: The many meanings of connectionalism
DECORAH, Iowa (UM News) — Church divisions have raised a host of questions about what it means to be connected, prompting a new look at this basic characteristic of Methodist community. David W. Scott asks, “If some people and churches leave The United Methodist Church, are they still ‘in connection’ with United Methodists?”
Read commentary


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