Daily Digest: May 8, 2014

“I learn things from other people, and it makes me feel better about my situation.” – Fred Harmon, a United Methodist whose son has schizophrenia, about a church-based support group for those with mentally ill loved ones.

S.C. United Methodists reach out to mentally ill
SUMTER, S.C. (UMNS) — Thanks to a support group Fred Harmon now leads at St. John United Methodist Church, he, his son and others who live with mental illness have a safe place where they can talk, learn coping strategies and get the help they need. Jessica Connor of the South Carolina United Methodist Advocate shares the work of St. John’s ministry and others.

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See more stories on faith and mental health

Judge: Agency can maintain control of UMCmarket
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) — A federal judge on May 6 granted a request from the denomination’s finance agency for “temporary injunctive relief” in its ongoing lawsuit regarding UMCmarket. The order says Foundation Automation must stop using United Methodist trademarks and says the company must transfer registration of the domain name UMCmarket.org and UMCmarket Facebook account to the United Methodist Council on Finance and Administration. The order essentially extends an earlier temporary restraining order as the suit continues. The judge also granted the finance agency’s request to begin the discovery process in the suit. Foundation Automation has not filed any responses with the court since the lawsuit started.

To read more background on the case

TV station features church’s special-needs ministry
BOAZ Ala. (UMNS) — A very special prom night took place in April thanks to organizers from St. Paul United Methodist Church in the North Alabama (regional) Conference. The church organized the annual Circle of Friends prom for special-needs adults. WAFF-TV, an NBC affiliate in Huntsville, featured the ministry. St. Paul has offered the Circle of Friends ministry since 2002, the Rev. Jeff Bayne, a retired United Methodist pastor, told United Methodist News Service. “Each month’s event, with a different theme monthly, begins with a circle/prayer time before a light supper is served, followed by a great program time,” he said.

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UMTV: Family saves baby from certain death
MORENCI, Mich. (UMNS) –– A United Methodist family recalls the dramatic circumstances that saved one baby's life and changed their future. Tedd Galloway and his wife, the Rev. Donna Galloway, adopted Ana, a child from Zambia who was slated to be buried with her mother who died of malnutrition.

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Sri Lanka: Village livelihoods vs. migration
NEW YORK (UMNS) — After nearly three decades of ethnic-based conflict and enormous devastation inflicted by the 2004 tsunami, Sri Lanka might seem to have endured more than enough misfortune. But now an evolving threat stands in the way of the country’s recovery and development — work in which the United Methodist Committee on Relief has been involved ever since the tsunami’s aftermath. David Tereshchuk has the story.

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School of Congregational Development coming
MATTHEWS, N.C. (UMNS) — Conference leaders, pastors and laity can learn the best practices for revitalizing their congregations and starting new churches at the School of Congregational Development 2014 on Aug. 14-17 in Matthews, N.C. The event is sponsored by the United Methodist Board of Discipleship, New Church Starts (Path 1) and the United Methodist Board of Global Ministries.

Read news release

To register

Finance agency selects general counsel
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) — The board of the General Council on Finance and Administration, The United Methodist Church’s finance agency, selected Steven Lambert as general counsel at the May board meeting. He will assume his duties fulltime in June.

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New Hispanic.UMC.org goes live
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) — The United Methodist Church has a new website highlighting Hispanic ministries and resources. Hispanic.UMC.org went live this week as the portal for Spanish-language resources and content in the church. Designed by United Methodist Communications, it will aggregate resources from around the denomination and also provide original content.

See the site

Bishop to lead United Christian Ashram International board
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) — Retired United Methodist Bishop William W. Hutchinson was elected president of the United Christian Ashram International board of directors at its meeting May 1-3 at the Upper Room in Nashville. He succeeds Roberto Escamilla, who has served as president for the last five years. The Rev. Tom Albin is the executive director, part-time.

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