Daily Digest - May 17, 2019

“More churches in our rural areas should think about this. If you want to stay solvent and vibrant, we have to think outside the box.” — The Rev. Judy Kelfstrom about Kirbyville United Methodist Church’s new funding source — a herd of cows. 


NEWS AND FEATURES

Texas Conference
East Texas church keeps cow herd

KIRBYVILLE, Texas — Kirbyville United Methodist Church owns a small herd of cows and auctions the calves as a fundraiser. “We like to say that we’re building our herd for Jesus,” said the Rev. Judy Kelfstrom, pastor. Lindsay Peyton reports.
Read story

Rio Texas Conference
Border crisis presents mission opportunity

SAN ANTONIO — The first quarter of 2019 saw nearly 100,000 apprehensions by U.S. Customs and Border Protection along the Texas-Mexico border. With that surge has come an increased need for The United Methodist Church to help migrants released to await a court date and trying to reunite with family in the U.S. Abel Vega reports on coordinated conference efforts.
Read report

Church World Service
Mourning migrant toddler’s death

WASHINGTON — In response to reports that a child died in El Paso after arriving in the United States with his mother, the Rev. John L. McCullough, a United Methodist pastor and president and top executive of Church World Service, issued a statement demanding that all asylum seekers be welcomed and processed. “As a member of the clergy, my thoughts turn to Matthew 19:14: ‘Jesus said, Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these,’” he said. 
Read press release
Read Washington Post story

Holston Conference 
Hiwassee holds final graduation
 
MADISONVILLE, Tenn. — Some 73 students received their diplomas from Hiwassee College in the school’s final graduation. The United Methodist-related college announced in March that it would close after 170 years. John Shearer has the story. 
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UMNS: Hiwassee College closing in May
UMNS: Closures raise survival questions for small colleges

Dakotas Conference
Aid available for aspiring licensed local pastors

MITCHELL, S.D. — The road to becoming a licensed local pastor is easier now in the Dakotas Conference, where funds are available to help with the average $5,000 cost of the course of study to allow local pastors to preach, conduct worship and perform other duties of a pastor. An offering at the 2019 annual conference will support those scholarships. Doreen Gosmire reports. 
Read story


PRESS RELEASES

Connectional Table 
Bishops affirm work on US structure

CHICAGO — The United Methodist Council of Bishops approved a motion to work with the Connectional Table on proposed legislation for General Conference 2020 to create a regional structure similar to that of a central conference for churches in the United States. 
Read press release

United Methodist Insurance
New president for church insurance company

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Jeff Koch is the new president and CEO of United Methodist Insurance, replacing Mike Plesko, who retired. Robert Mallett now chairs the board. UMI was started by the denomination’s General Council on Finance and Administration and provides property and casualty insurance to United Methodist churches.
Read press release


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