Daily Digest: October 10, 2014

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“When you have people deeply entrenched in social customs and suddenly someone is saying you can’t go to your mother’s funeral … we need to be remembering that in our prayers.” — Dr. Tim Jones, an epidemiologist and lifelong United Methodist.

Why care about Ebola? Hint: Not because you will catch it

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) — Ebola is not a major threat in the U.S., but it is devastating to countries who had little health care infrastructure before the outbreak and have far less now, said Dr. Tim Jones, state epidemiologist for the Tennessee Department of Health, and a lifelong United Methodist. What weighs heavier on his mind is the awful price Ebola is extracting on our neighbors in West Africa. Kathy Gilbert, UMNS multimedia reporter, has the story.

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Average debt for seminary graduates tops $49,000

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) — The average educational debt for a United Methodist student graduating with a Master of Divinity has reached $49,303, according to new findings of a United Methodist Board of Higher Education and Ministry task force. That level exceeds what is nationally considered manageable debt. Nicole Burdakin has the story.

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United Methodist churches work together to fight hunger

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) — Local United Methodist churches will “Rethink Church” and fight hunger this fall with a new effort aimed at feeding individuals and equipping communities near and far. Congregations are encouraged to dedicate a Sunday to hunger awareness with free bulletin covers and worship slides that are available for download. National advertising also will occur on the Food Network through Nov. 9.

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Music and dance groups sought for General Conference

PORTLAND, Ore. (UMNS) — United Methodist choirs and worship ensemble groups from around the world may now audition online to perform at the 2016 General Conference, The United Methodist Church’s top legislative assembly, which meets in Portland, Oregon, from May 10-20, 2016. The application should be emailed to [email protected] by January 12, 2015.

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Children’s Sabbath observed in October

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) — The United Methodist Church has designated the second weekend of October (Oct. 10-12) as Children's Sabbath. The Children’s Defense Fund sponsors the national observance, which encourages congregations to "renew and live out their moral responsibility to care, protect and advocate for all children." This occasion differs from Children's Sunday when the focus is on children in the congregation.

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5 ways to take your church’s fall festival to the next level

MOBILE, Ala. (UMNS) — One of the most-anticipated yearly events for many churches is welcoming the community for the fall festival. Here are some ideas collected by the Rev. Jeremy Steele for United Methodist Communications.

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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, Oct. 15
Deadline to apply to be part of 2015 Generation Transformation — Generation Transformation, an initiative of the United Methodist Board of Global Ministries, offers mission opportunities for young adults aged 18-30 years. Details.

Free webinar on domestic violence "Circles of Healing: Supporting Survivors in Your Community" — 2 to 3 p.m. ET (11 a.m. to noon PT), the webinar sponsored by United Methodist Women and FaithTrust Institute will explore how to help move the church from being part of the problem of domestic violence to being part of the solution. Details.

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

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