Daily Digest - November 4, 2014

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"The challenge is for us to come together on that which we agree is most important and lead together in a cooperative way. In other words, we must speak as pastors to the church and keep the Wesleyan spirit." — Bishop Warner Brown Jr.

Bishops called to be more accountable to each other

OKLAHOMA CITY (UMNS) — United Methodist bishops must be accountable to both United Methodists in their areas and the full Council of Bishops, asserted the council’s new president. Bishop Warner Brown Jr. takes the helm as the denomination is struggling with declining U.S. membership, deep divisions regarding homosexuality and questions of what it means for church leaders to be accountable. Heather Hahn reports.

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A `Faith'-based look at urban ministry

DALLAS (UMNS) — A new book by the Rev. Faith Fowler, "This Far By Faith," recounts her 20 years in leading Cass Community United Methodist Church in Detroit and a related nonprofit, Cass Community Social Services. The story-laden memoir shares her ups and downs in urban ministry, as well as creative approaches to helping people on the margins with food, shelter and jobs. Sam Hodges has the story.

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Ribbon-cutting marks Hurricane Sandy Anniversary

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. (UMNS) — A ribbon-cutting for Christopher Camuso’s rebuilt home marked the Oct. 29 anniversary of Hurricane Sandy. Camuso’s family returned home with the help of Yellow Boots USA, Guyon Rescue, and the New York Conference of The United Methodist Church. But many homes are still in need of repair. Gina Grubbs, assistant coordinator for the New York Conference Sandy Recovery, reports.

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Louisiana church baptizes 17 in one service

JENNINGS, La. (UMNS) — It was a banner day for baptisms at Mallalieu United Methodist Church when 17 children and adults received the sacrament by immersion. The Louisiana Conference shares a photo feature.

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Is church planting only for those under 35?

PORTLAND, Ore. (UMNS) — The Rev. Jeremy Smith, in his blog “Hacking Christianity,” ponders the question of whether you have to be under 35 years old to start a church that reaches young people.

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History of Hymns: ‘Out of the Depths’

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) — Psalm 130, beginning “Out of the depths have I cried unto thee, O Lord,” was a favorite of Martin Luther, the Protestant reformer. Luther’s version of the Psalm, No. 515 in the United Methodist Hymnal, was sung at his funeral. C. Michael Hawn of Southern Methodist University’s Perkins School of Theology discusses Luther’s contributions to worship music.

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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.

Wednesday, Nov. 5
Free webinar "Holy Play!" — 10 a.m. CT. This session will explore ways to make learning playful and meaningful for children and those who guide them.Details.

Thursday, Nov. 6
Welcome Table at Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington — 4 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. ET. Events for prospective students include a campus tour, networking opportunities and the chance to attend a class. Details.

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

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