Daily Digest — October 1, 2015

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“I believe God is always on the side of life and not death – this is the narrative in Scripture from the Exodus through Jesus Christ to the Revelation.” – Florida Area Bishop Kenneth Carter, reflecting on the execution of Kelly Gissendaner.

Execution doesn’t halt church’s prayers

JACKSON, Ga. (UMNS) – Kelly Renee Gissendaner, 47, was executed by the state of Georgia at 12:21 a.m., Sept. 29, with people of faith, including many United Methodists, standing outside the prison walls praying for her. Prayer vigils continued after the execution, which evoked comments from some United Methodist leaders. Kathy Gilbert reports.
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From police officer to local pastor

PHILIPPI, W.Va. (UMNS) – The Rev. Gina Stewart is a former police officer who now leads four small rural West Virginia churches as a part-time licensed local pastor. She shares her unusual path to ministry in a story by Sam Hodges, with photos by Mike DuBose. It’s part of the series “Trending Local: The Rise of United Methodist Local Pastors.”
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Read the full series

Plant manager called home to preach

SISTERSVILLE, W.Va. (UMNS) – The Rev. Don Rush is the plant manager of Sisterville Tank Works, helping oversee a staff of 50 as it builds pressure vessels and more. He’s also a part-time licensed local pastor leading two small rural churches. His family’s history is intertwined with one, and his wife’s family with the other, so Rush considers himself “called home” to serve the churches. Sam Hodges reports, with photographs by Mike DuBose.
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Retreat is music to United Methodist souls

EAGLE CREEK, Ore. (UMTV) – The Rev. Laura Jaquith Bartlett, who will lead worship at the 2016 General Conference, regularly leads retreats on “Great Hymns of Faith” for United Methodist hymn fans who celebrate the songs and tradition. “Charles Wesley said he could sing religion into people faster than John could preach it in,” noted one participant.
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Ministry idea: Sharing gospel through love for pets

STALLSVILLE, S.C. (UMNS) – Stallsville United Methodist Church has an Animal Ministry Team to reach the surrounding community and help people dealing with issues involving pets. The team’s slogan: “Hand or paw, God loves us all.” Jessica Brodie reports on the impact of a ministry that goes beyond an annual blessing of the animals.
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Missionaries’ commissioning to be livestreamed

NEW YORK (UMNS) - United Methodists will commission new global missionaries at 2 p.m. EDT today, Oct. 1. The service at the Board of Global Ministries’ fall board meeting will be broadcast live. 
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Technologies to change the game

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) – The United Methodist Church uses technologies to transform the world. This French language story highlights the Game Changers Summit, sponsored by United Methodist Communications. Isaac Broune translated and adapted this story into French.
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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.

Tuesday, Oct. 6
Webinar "Handling Church Records" – 7 to 8 p.m. EDT. The webinar offers organizational tips and advice for caring for your church’s historical records in the face of time limitations, lack of space, multiple responsibilities and the possibility of disasters such as 2012’s Superstorm Sandy. Details

Tuesday, Oct. 13
Deadline to submit 2016 General Conference petitions online – To be considered at General Conference, petitions must be submitted online no later than Oct. 13. The denomination's top lawmaking assembly next meets on May 10-12, 2016, in Portland, Oregon. Details on how to submit

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

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