Daily Digest - March 25, 2019

“I saw such a need for churches to respond to the epidemic. In every town, we’ve got at least one church filled with good people who just need a little bit of education and a shove out the front door.”The Rev. Barry Steiner Ball, West Virginia Conference, on the opioid epidemic. 


NEWS AND FEATURES

'What If' the church confronted opioids?

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (UMNS) — Constant media coverage of the national opioid epidemic makes it seem like a losing battle, but churches in West Virginia are offering hope. This is the first in an ongoing series about the response to the opioid crisis in that state. Joey Butler reports. 
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Appeals court backs tax-free housing allowances 
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) — United Methodist clergy welcomed an appellate court ruling that allows clergy to keep getting tax-free housing allowances. The ruling by a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit reverses a 2017 federal court ruling that the tax exemption amounted to an unconstitutional establishment of religion. Kathy L. Gilbert and Heather Hahn report.
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Future uncertain for Liberians living in US
MONROVIA, Liberia (UMNS) — While some Liberians living in the U.S. fear deportation when their temporary protection status expires at the end of this month, The United Methodist Church in Liberia is preparing to welcome its brothers and sisters back home. E Julu Swen reports.
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Great Plains Conference
Kansas town evacuated as river rises

ELWOOD, Kan. — United Methodist disaster response teams continue their work helping people dealing with floods in Nebraska. Meanwhile, the flow of the Missouri River is now prompting some evacuations in northeast Kansas. Todd Seifert reports. 
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Mlive.com
United Methodists aid water distribution

FLINT, Mich. — Asbury United Methodist Church was one of the five distribution points for 12 truckloads of donated bottled water on March 22, World Water Day. Volunteers loaded the water into the vehicles of residents, who lined up for blocks. Jake May reports.
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WSET-TV
Pastor still hospitalized after shooting

DURHAM, N.C. — A United Methodist pastor shot March 9 in the parking lot of a shopping center still has life-threatening injuries and remains hospitalized. Police believe the Rev. Ryan Ware may have been the victim of an attempted robbery. Elizabeth Tyree reports.
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PRESS RELEASES

United Methodist Committee on Relief
Facebook Live Cyclone Idai update

ATLANTA — Thomas Kemper, top executive of the Board of Global Ministries, will share an update from 12:15 to 12:30 p.m. EDT Tuesday, March 26 on the response to Cyclone Idai by the United Methodist Committee on Relief. The update will be live via the relief agency’s Facebook page.
Visit UMCOR Facebook page


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