Daily Digest: March 18, 2014

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“We talk a lot in the church about visionary leadership. Well, Bob Morgan was the real deal.” – Louisville (Ky.) Area Bishop Lindsey G. Davis, who was a district superintendent under Bishop Morgan. advertisement

Bishop Morgan, ‘leader of leaders,’ dies
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (UMNS) — Retired United Methodist Bishop Robert “Bob” C. Morgan, who twice oversaw the merger of annual conferences and who guided a number of active bishops, passed away March 16, 2014. He was 80.

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Longtime Africa U. supporter Kennedy dies
BENNETTSVILLE, S.C. (UMNS) — Jonas T. Kennedy, who with his wife provided the first major gift to start Africa University, died March 14, 2014, in Bennettsville, S.C. In 1991, Kennedy and his wife, the late Odette Miller Kennedy, began contributing to Africa University.

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Bishop Khegay offers prayer for Ukraine
ZAKARPATIE, Ukraine (UMNS) — “In this politically conflicting time, the church continues to share the gospel way — the way of active ministry to people, preaching of hope and faith, proclamation of God’s power and providence in the history of humankind,” writes Bishop Eduard Khegay of The United Methodist Church in Eurasia. The Huffington Post reports that 97 percent of voters in Crimea supported leaving Ukraine to join Russia.

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Crimea referendum supports joining Russia

One couple’s inspiration now feeds hungry
PUEBLO, Colo. (UMNS) — Breakfast for the homeless and hungry started as a once-a-month mission in 2011. Steve and Carrie Worley of First United Methodist Church were inspired one day while reading their Bible. With the help of their congregation, the breakfast ministry was born. They tell The Pueblo Chieftain that their souls have been nourished as much as the bodies of those they serve in what is now a once-a-week ministry.

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United Methodist baptismal ritual at 25 years
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) — In a three-part series, the Rev. Taylor Burton-Edwards, director of worship resources for the United Methodist Board of Discipleship, looks at three developments in the last 25 years that have reshaped baptismal theology and refocused the sacrament of baptism.

Part 1: The background

Part 2: How vows are taught

Part 3: Closing the last mile

UMTV: Mardi Gras jazz mass
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) — Since 1999, West End United Methodist Church has celebrated the day before Lent begins with a Mardi Gras jazz mass. Congregants and community members feast at the church’s Shrove Tuesday pancake supper, then head to the sanctuary for a lively New Orleans-style jazz worship service.

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‘Witnessing Wednesdays’ for restored voting rights
LEXINGTON, Ky. (UMNS) — Nia Community of Faith of the United Methodist Kentucky Annual (regional) Conference is asking others to join its “Witnessing Wednesdays” prayer vigils for the Kentucky Senate to recognize that former felons should have voting rights restored. The United Methodist Board of Church and Society has joined an ecumenical group in writing a letter to key Kentucky Senate leaders urging their support.

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‘Change the World’ 2014
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (UMNS) — It was “Change the World” weekend in in this seaport city and members of Mandarin United Methodist Church stepped out in force to make a difference. Nancy Winckler-Zuniga explains that before the sun had set, children, the hungry, disaster victims and many others would be the recipients of the church’s effort to change the world.

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History of Hymns: ‘Take Up Thy Cross’
DALLAS (UMNS) — This hymn by Charles W. Everest remains one of the great hymns of Christian discipleship. As is the case with many hymns from the 18th and 19th centuries, the message is about faithfulness and even suffering in this life leading to heaven. C. Michael Hawn of Southern Methodist University’s Perkins School of Theology, tells the story of "Take Up Thy Cross."

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