Daily Digest: May 13, 2014

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“Charlie Curran is not a footnote in the history of American religion; he’s in the body of the main text of any writing anybody might do on important figures in American religious life.” –– The Rev. William Lawrence, dean of Southern Methodist University's Perkins School of Theology, on the Rev. Charles Curran

Curran found a home at SMU

DALLAS (UMNS) The Rev. Charles Curran, a priest and Christian ethics professor, found a happy, if unlikely, home at Southern Methodist University after years of academic wandering and controversy over his challenge of Catholic Church teachings on contraception and other social issues. At 80, he’s retiring from full-time teaching, but will stay in Dallas, and plans to teach part-time and continue writing.

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First Lady urges Dillard graduates to ‘think big’

NEW ORLEANS (UMNS) –– First Lady Michelle Obama addressed the 2014 graduating class of Dillard University, one of the denomination’s historically black colleges. She received an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters during the May 10 commencement ceremony.

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Social action agency offers prayer for kidnapped girls

WASHINGTON (UMNS)—The United Methodist Board of Church and Society has posted a prayer written for the more than 250 Nigerian schoolgirls kidnapped by Boko Haram.

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History of Hymns: ‘By Grace We Have Been Saved’

DALLAS (UMNS) — “What's the big deal about grace?” asked a student. The teacher, the Rev. Rusty Edwards, took the question seriously. C. Michael Hawn of Southern Methodist University’s Perkins School of Theology in Dallas, tells the story of Edwards' hymn on grace, a work found in the United Methodist “Worship & Song” songbook. This is part of Hawn's ongoing series for the United Methodist Board of Discipleship.

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United Methodists cancel meeting in Atlanta

WASHINGTON (UMNS) –– A coalition of 10 progressive United Methodist caucus organizations cancelled plans for a 2015 Atlanta meeting due to “racially offensive practices of the Atlanta Braves organization toward Native Americans.” The Love Your Neighbor Coalition told Atlanta's mayor, the Atlanta Chamber of Commerce and the Atlanta Braves, their city was at the top of the list for the meeting of 700 people, but the offensive caricature of “Chief Noc-A-Homa” on screen savers and Facebook pages along with the “tomahawk chop” provide “racist and demeaning images and stereotypes of our Native American citizens and friends.”

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Planning event in D.C. introduces seminar program 

WASHINGTON (UMNS) — Youth group and young adult leaders are invited to attend a three-day “In Focus” familiarization event, July 23-25, to introduce the United Methodist Seminars on National and International Affairs. The event will explain how to organize and lead a group for these tailored study experiences in the nation’s capital.

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N.C. pastor to ride 4,000 miles for human trafficking awareness

HICKORY, N.C. (UMNS) — The Rev. Mark Andrews, pastor of St. Luke’s United Methodist Church, plans to ride 4,000 miles to create awareness and raise money to combat human trafficking, with the enthusiastic support of the church’s United Methodist Women unit. The Hickoryrecord.com has the story.

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Correction: Pension board names managing director

GLENVIEW, Ill. (UMNS) -The Wespath Investment Management Division of the United Methodist Board of Pension and Health Benefits announced the hiring of Kirsty Jenkinson in a new position as managing director of Corporate Relations and Sustainable Investment Strategy, effective May 27. Jenkinson, previously a program director at World Resources Institute (Washington), will lead an environmental, social and governance strategic oversight team to more broadly integrate ESG issues more broadly into Wespath’s investment selection and processes.

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