Daily Digest - November 20, 2014

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“What we’ve learned from new people is that people come because someone invited them.” — The Rev. Jacob Armstrong, pastor of Providence United Methodist Church in Mount Juliet, Tennessee.

New churches rise; overall vitality dips

MOUNT JULIET, Tenn. (UMNS) — Providence United Methodist Church had 140 people at its first worship service. Six years later, the church has a weekly worship attendance of about 1,000 — enough to fill a middle school gym from floor to bleachers twice each Sunday. Providence is among successful new church starts highlighted in a report presented to the Council of Bishops. Church starts are up, but the percentage of United Methodist churches considered highly vital has dipped. Heather Hahn reports.

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United Methodist pastors feeding Ebola orphans

MONROVIA, Liberia (UMNS) — The cases of Ebola infection seem to be decreasing in Liberia and while that is something to celebrate, many are still facing starvation — including Ebola orphans. Two United Methodist pastors have started feeding programs to address the needs in two communities not receiving any government assistance. Julu Swen has the story.

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Mozambique women celebrate 50th anniversary

INHAMBANE, Mozambique (UMNS) — More than 750 members of the Women’s Association of the South Mozambique Conference celebrated the group’s 50th anniversary Jubilee at the Chicuque Mission. Representatives from six countries joined Bishop Joaquina Filipe Nhanala, the only woman bishop in Africa, in honoring the group’s work on issues affecting women in the church and in the community. The United Methodist Commission on the Status and Role of Women’s Susan Keaton reports on the celebration.

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NCC calls for justice, compassion for Ferguson

ST. LOUIS (UMNS) — With a ruling over the shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, expected soon, the National Council of Churches issued a statement Nov. 19 promoting peace and justice and calling on “those who exploit emotions surrounding this grand jury action in ways that bring further division to consider their motivations and act compassionately.”

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Meharry public health program accredited

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) — The master of science in public health program at Meharry Medical College has earned full accreditation from the Council on Education for Public Health, the accrediting body recognized by the U.S. Department of Education for public health programs. Meharry is one of The United Methodist Church’s historically black colleges.

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E-Reader Project gets Portuguese content

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) — The Angola Bible Society and a Methodist theological school in Brazil are providing Portuguese content for e-readers for theological schools in Angola and Mozambique. The United Methodist Board of Higher Education and Ministry’s Marcie Smeck has the story.

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Looking ahead

Here are some of the activities ahead for United Methodists across the connection. If you have an item to share, email [email protected] and put Digest in the subject line.

Sundays, Nov. 23 and Nov. 30
"Day 1" — The Rev. Sue Haupert-Johnson, North Central District superintendent in the Florida Conference, will be the featured preacher on “Day 1” with host Peter Wallace, the nationally broadcast ecumenical radio program also accessible online at Day1.org.

You can see more educational opportunities and other upcoming events in the life of the church here.

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