Daily Digest - November 19, 2021

“This will require a sense of ownership of ‘being’ the Connectional Table rather than ‘going to’ the Connectional Table.”The Rev. Jerry DeVine on the Connectional Table’s proposal to change its makeup. 


Connectional Table aims to restructure

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UM News) — The United Methodist leadership body that coordinates the denomination’s mission and ministry is looking to both shrink and become more global in membership. The goal is to become a body that serves the whole church rather than certain constituencies. Heather Hahn reports. 
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Church joins fight against river pollution
FREETOWN, Sierra Leone (UM News) — The Council of Churches in Sierra Leone is urging the government to help reduce health risks to the 150,000 to 200,000 people living along rivers where diamond and gold mining is occurring. United Methodist Thomas Gbappy, paramount chief of the Kori Chiefdom, said the situation is worrisome. “The color of the river has deteriorated so badly; it is now brown. … My people can no longer drink from the Taia River.” Phileas Jusu has the story.
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Setting criteria for a 2022 General Conference
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UM News) — General Conference organizers plan to decide early next year whether the pandemic-postponed legislative assembly can go forward as scheduled next summer. In the meantime, commission members approved a list of values that will guide their decision. Heather Hahn reports.
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Read press release 

Louisiana Conference
Pastor finds a flock in Ida survivors 

BELLE CHASSE, La. — The Rev. JoAnne Pounds, of Belle Chasse United Methodist Church, spends much of her time delivering UMCOR supplies and snacks to south Louisiana residents still cleaning out their homes after the devastation of Hurricane Ida. The Louisiana Conference recently followed the pastor as she made her rounds one day.
Watch video

Church brings back family dinners

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Twice a month, people in cars line the drive of Norwood United Methodist Church for home-cooked meals they often share with their families. “There’s just a way to communicate love, however brief that interaction,” said Annette Spence, one of the ministry’s volunteers and editor of The Call to Cook blog.
Watch video and read transcript 
Read The Call to Cook

Northern Illinois Conference
Church chartered near Chicago

SKOKIE, Ill. — The Jesus Love Korean New Faith Community was chartered as a United Methodist church on Nov. 14. It was planted in 2008, but the coronavirus pandemic delayed its chartering for two years. The church, which shares space with Central United Methodist Church, has 145 chartering members.
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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.

Encountering racism but extending love 
DOVER, Del. (UM News) — The Rev. Margret Powell’s experiences of racism began at age 4 in kindergarten and continued into adulthood. Whether in school or the workplace, she experienced hostility and ridicule as a person of color, but she persevered. In her pastoral career and retirement, she has focused on serving people holistically.
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‘Doing Ministry from the Right Side’

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The United Methodist Strengthening the Black Church for the 21st Century’s national conference is coming up Dec. 1-2. "Shift Happens: Doing Ministry from the Right Side" will be at St. John's United Methodist Church in Houston. The hybrid event is expected to attract 200 in-person attendees. Participants will learn tools for effective ministry post-pandemic and ideas for cultivating new voices. Key leaders also will discuss the future of the church.
Learn more
To register


Tuesday, Nov. 23

Tuesdays at the Table: After I’m Saved, What’s Next?

Tuesday, Dec. 7
Navigating Next: Equipping Leaders for Their Next Season of Ministry


Video of church incident goes viral, causes fallout

OKLAHOMA CITY (UM News) — A video shows a Hispanic woman being told to leave Penn Avenue Redemption United Methodist Church amid volunteers' accusations that she had brought in drugs — something she tearfully denied. The church is focused on prison and addiction recovery ministry and has strict rules required by the Oklahoma Department of Corrections. But the video, which didn't include that context, went viral and has resulted in a deluge of negative responses, including death threats. Sam Hodges reports.
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Helping people 'from womb to tomb'
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UM News) — A ministry of United Methodist Women with roots in social justice movements of the early 1900s, Bethlehem Centers offer programs to people of all ages, from child care to senior clubs. Joey Butler reports, with photos by Mike DuBose.
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German pastor sentenced for providing asylum
PEGNITZ, Germany (UM News) — In January, the Rev. Stefan Schörk granted asylum in his church to a young man from Iran. Now, the United Methodist pastor faces a penalty of 1,500 Euros (more than $1,700 U.S.) and two years of probation for “aiding and abetting unauthorized residence.” Klaus Ulrich Ruof reports.
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Pastor found ‘treasures’ in depression battle
HOUSTON (UM News) — In 1999, the Rev. Juanita Rasmus was co-pastor of rapidly growing St. John’s United Methodist Church in downtown Houston. Depression ambushed her, leaving her barely able to get out of bed for months. She’s written a memoir about the “treasures” of insights she gained in coming back from depression, and she’ll be elaborating on those in a Nov. 20 event titled “Learning to Be: Immersive.” Sam Hodges reports.
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Ask The UMC
Where and why to donate on Giving Tuesday

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Giving Tuesday emerged in 2012 to encourage people all over the world to embrace generosity. As the movement has grown, an increasing number of nonprofits, including denominational agencies and local churches, have taken the occasion to promote special opportunities for giving. Ask The UMC has more on Giving Tuesday and suggestions for how United Methodists can make good decisions about entities they may want to support on Nov. 30.
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