Daily Digest - May 18, 2021

“I can finally step out and enjoy fresh air and the wonders of nature without fear of being deported into the hands of executioners.” Asylum seeker Maria Chavalan Sut, on her one-year Stay of Removal. 


Woman in sanctuary relishes new freedom
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (UM News) — After nearly three years in sanctuary at Wesley Memorial United Methodist Church, Maria Chavalan Sut’s confinement has ended. Immigration and Customs Enforcement granted her a Stay of Removal for one year that allows her to move freely until her asylum case is heard. Richard Lord has the story.
Read story 
Campaign to advocate for immigrants announced 

Baltimore-Washington Conference
Historic church begins update to 21st century
BALTIMORE — On a day filled with firsts, historic Lovely Lane United Methodist Church launched a $2.6 million redevelopment project May 16 to make the 19th-century church more user-friendly for the community and the congregation, including a new wheelchair ramp to the front door and four new, accessible bathrooms. The occasion marked the first time Bishop LaTrelle Easterling had preached at a local church in person since the beginning of the pandemic and her first time preaching at Lovely Lane. Erik Alsgaard reports.
Read story 

North Carolina Conference
Bishop, clergy join Procession for Peace
ELIZABETH CITY, N.C. — On May 18, a North Carolina prosecutor said that sheriff’s deputies were justified in fatally shooting Andrew Brown Jr. during an attempted arrest and no charges will be filed. The week following his death, Bishop Hope Morgan Ward and United Methodist pastors joined an ecumenical group of clergy to march to the location where Brown was killed. Chris Daniel has the story.
Watch video 
The Associated Press: Prosecutor finds deputies justified


Illinois Great Rivers Conference
Illinois megachurch departs denomination
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — The Illinois Great Rivers Conference has reached an amicable settlement with Christ Church of Fairview Heights, Illinois, allowing the church to leave The United Methodist Church. Under the agreement, the four-campus church will pay an undisclosed sum to the conference, which is relinquishing its claim to property through the denomination’s trust clause.  
Read press release 
UM News: Churches across theological spectrum exiting 

Greater Northwest Area
New outreach to Native Americans
DES MOINES, Wash. — The Circle of Indigenous Ministries has been started to provide resources, coaching, consultation and friendship to Native American and indigenous churches. The Rev. Allen Buck, pastor of Great Spirit United Methodist Church in Portland, Oregon, begins work July 1 as director of the new entity.
Read press release 

Greater New Jersey Conference
Schol addresses appointment controversy
NEPTUNE, N.J. — Greater New Jersey Conference Bishop John Schol has issued a statement giving his account of a pastoral appointment decision criticized by some traditionalist groups in The United Methodist Church. 
Read statement 

United Methodist Publishing House
Kidd to leave Publishing House
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Audrey Kidd is leaving her post as chief revenue and customer experience officer of the United Methodist Publishing House. Kidd, who helped the Publishing House through major transitions during the past decade, will lead a nonprofit that offers horseback riding as therapy for developmentally disabled children and youth. 
Read press release 


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 the UM News staff.

[email protected], Hispanics, Latinx: ¡Si! To all of it!
SWARTHMORE, Pa. — Latino/Latinx people in the United States are diverse in many ways, including theologically, “and nowhere is this more visible than in our current debate in The United Methodist Church,” writes the Rev. Lydia E. Muñoz. She gives an overview of the rich diversity and cautions against assuming that all Latino/Latinx United Methodists would go in the same direction if the denomination were to split. 
Read commentary 


Finance board gets update on giving, reserves

Churches get COVID-19 vaccines to thousands


Thursday, June 3-Saturday, June 5
North Georgia Annual Conference

Thursday, June 3-Sunday, June 6
West Virginia Annual Conference

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Groups help alleviate hunger in Zimbabwe; Ask The UMC: Is our time of death predetermined?; Church stretches outreach to India

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Cicadas show up for church, testing clergy; Bishop Taylor to retire; Church hosts memorial for Pulse victims

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