Daily Digest: May 23, 2014

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“I, for one, would like to avoid the kind of situation that some of our other sister denominations have gone through—the bitter splits.” – The Rev. Larry Baird, pastor of Trinity United Methodist Church in Grand Island, N.Y., about a statement suggesting a denominational split.

Group calls for amicable split of UMC
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) — Differences within the United Methodist Church over homosexuality and other issues are so deep that an amicable split of the denomination is needed, a group of United Methodist pastors and theologians argues in a just-released statement. The group describes itself as traditionalist and says its ranks include more than 80 members, including pastors of some of the larger United Methodist congregations. The group's statement met with early opposition from some, including the Rev. James Howell, pastor of Myers Park United Methodist Church in Charlotte, N.C., who says denominational division would split congregations.

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Military caregivers face lifelong battles with few resources
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) — They are the “hidden heroes” — 1.1 million parents, spouses and friends serving as caregivers for post-9/11 military veterans. They are overwhelmed, under-trained and mostly unsupported in their unexpected lifelong roles as caregivers. United Methodist congregations can offer vital support.

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Bishop urges Scout leaders: Be loyal to God
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) — Mississippi Area Bishop James E. Swanson Sr. shared the stage with country star Lee Greenwood at the national Boy Scouts of America prayer breakfast. “I know it is tough in this day in which we live in to be loyal. All around us people are asking us to be selfish,” he said. “But in Scouting, we are asking you not to put yourselves first.”

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‘Bridges’ program connects North Georgia, Philippines
CABANATUAN CITY, Philippines (UMNS) — A new congregation has been strengthened by a partnership between Wesleyan University-Philippines and Bridges Philippines, a project of the United Methodist North Georgia Annual (regional) Conference in the U.S. Gladys P. Mangiduyos has the story.

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AU grad influences change in Malawi
KATONDO, Malawi (UMNS) –– Mercy Chikhosi Nyirongo remembers her early struggles — divorced parents at age 5, minimal education and a teenage marriage with children. Now, the 2010 nursing graduate of Africa University in Zimbabwe helps empower former street kids, prostitutes and school dropouts without parents. Tom Gillem reports in Interpreter Online.

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Armenia: Stepping in for special needs children
GYUMRI CITY, Armenia (UMNS) –– A unique school in Armenia that provides special needs children with love, support and everyday care receives help from the United Methodist Committee on Relief.

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Remembering our fallen on Memorial Day
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) — As he shares a story from Arlington Cemetery, United Methodist Chaplain Ray Bailey asks others to help him “to never forget the price that is beyond imagination paid by our warriors and their families.”

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UMNS will observe the Memorial Day holiday on May 26. The next UMNS Daily Digest will be May 27.

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