Daily Digest: May 7, 2014

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“…the church should continue to stand for justice (and) advocate for peace and rule of law to reduce the threat of war and instability.” – The Rev. Kimba Kyakutala Evariste, Democratic Republic of Congo.

Paine College president asks for prayers after campus shootings
AUGUSTA, Ga. (UMNS) — The president of United Methodist-related Paine College is asking for prayer after campus shootings this week that resulted in one student in the hospital and another in police custody. “The investigation is still ongoing,” said George C. Bradley, the college’s president. “Without all the information, we are taking every precaution. Safety is the primary concern.”

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Scholars to focus on peace in Hiroshima
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) – Coming from a country where recent civil war and corruption claimed 3 million lives, the Rev. Kimba Kyakutala Evariste of Democratic Republic of Congo understands firsthand the importance of peace and reconciliation. He will join United Methodist scholars from around the world for the triennial International Association of United Methodist Schools, Colleges and Universities conference in Hiroshima, Japan, May 24-28.

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Programs geared toward young clergy receive grants
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) — Twenty-nine grants totaling $1.36 million have been awarded for programs geared toward increasing the number of young clergy in The United Methodist Church and supporting the young clergy already serving the denomination.

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Concern mounts over abduction of Nigerian girls
NEW YORK (UMNS) — As the crisis over the abduction of several hundred Nigerian schoolgirls continued, the Rev. Olav Fykse Tveit sent a letter to Nigerian president Goodluck Jonathan encouraging “swift and peaceful” action to bring the students home. The World Methodist Council also expressed concern. “We believe that every human being is born with a God-given dignity, and a fundamental right to an education,” it stated.

Read WCC letter

Read WMC statement

Read Associated Press story

Church leaders call for end to South Sudan war
JUBA, South Sudan (UMNS) — A World Council of Churches ecumenical delegation visiting South Sudan expressed solidarity with local churches, advocated for a cease-fire, urged progress in the ongoing peace talks and encouraged support to humanitarian initiatives in the country.

Read WCC news release

New York Times update

SMU to honor Heitzenrater
DALLAS (UMNS) — Richard P. Heitzenrater, a historian of Methodism, will receive an honorary doctor of humane letters degree at Southern Methodist University’s May 17 graduation ceremony. Heitzenrater, retired from Duke Divinity School, is a leading authority on John Wesley. SMU also will give honorary degrees to journalist Isabel Wilkerson and SMU law professor Joseph W. McKnight.

Read news release

Commission will fund intercultural ministries
WASHINGTON, D.C. (UMNS) –– The United Methodist Commission on Religion and Race is seeking to fund “innovative, bold, transformative” initiatives that will increase intercultural competency or support vital conversations about race, cultural diversity, and systemic equity. Applications are available in multiple languages.

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Council seeks prayers, stories from youth, young adults
LAKE JUNALUSKA, N.C. (UMNS) — The World Methodist Council has launched a three-year project of gathering prayers, liturgies and worship material from youth and young adults for an e-book titled “Why We Worship.” Young people are invited to submit prayers, photos and stories for the first-year emphasis on “Jesus Christ for the Healing of Nations.”

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