“Do No Harm helps us talk about something we have been reluctant to talk about. The church needs to be a safe place for everybody.” — Bishop Mary Virginia Taylor of the Holston Conference.
Same-sex wedding complaint moves forward
LANSING, Mich. (UMNS) — A complaint against the Rev. Michael Tupper for helping to officiate at a same-sex wedding is moving forward in a process the clergyman hopes will culminate in a church trial. After an impasse in attempts to reach a resolution, Michigan Area Bishop Deborah Lieder Kiesey announced Oct. 16 that she had referred the complaint against Tupper to a counsel for the church. Heather Hahn reports.
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Gathering addresses sexual ethics
CHICAGO (UMNS) — “A church that is healthy has healthy boundaries,” said Bishop Debra Wallace-Padgett. “Do No Harm,” a United Methodist sexual ethics summit in Chicago on Oct. 15-17, explored what healthy boundaries look like and what to do when people violate those boundaries. Jenn Meadows of the United Methodist Commission on the Status and Role of Women has the story.
Fractured families seek strength, support
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) — One pastor told a domestic violence survivor that she and her husband could work through their problems. A second provided empathy and concern for her, her children — and her parents — as she weathered a divorce and custody battle. Barbara Dunlap-Berg draws on Stephanie Greiner’s story for an Interpreter magazine article on how congregations can respond to the domestic violence survivors in their midst.
WCC expresses concern over Jerusalem violence
GENEVA (WCC) — The World Council of Churches’ top executive expressed concern over recent violence in Jerusalem in an Oct. 19 letter to member churches in Palestine and Israel. “We are following with increasing dismay events throughout the region and especially in the Holy City of Jerusalem, which we hold in our hearts and prayers as an open city of two peoples (Israelis and Palestinians) and three faiths (Judaism, Christianity and Islam),” wrote the Rev. Olav Fykse Tviet.
A more meaningful Halloween treat
NEW YORK (UMNS) — The “Trick-or-Treat with UMCOR” campaign offers a meaningful way to celebrate Halloween by encouraging youth to raise funds for the United Methodist Committee on Relief to assist people around the world in times of crisis. Imagine No Malaria also offers ideas on how to incorporate the anti-malaria campaign in churches’ fall events.
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Tips from Imagine No Malaria
3 ways churches are using text messaging
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) — Congregations can have good reason to encourage texting both inside and outside of church, writes Tricia Brown for United Methodist Communications. She lists three ways texting can contribute to Christian discipleship.
History of Hymns: ‘Wade in the Water’
DALLAS (UMNS) — Water is a repeated image in many African-American spirituals, and for good reason, writes C. Michael Hawn of Southern Methodist University’s Perkins School of Theology. Africans began their captivity in a middle passage and many of their descendants crossed to freedom across the Ohio River. Hawn writes about the underpinnings of this well-known spiritual.
Here are some of the activities ahead for United Methodists across the connection. If you have an item to share, email firstname.lastname@example.org and put Digest in the subject line.
Tuesday-Thursday, Oct. 27-29
National Church Planters Gathering in Orlando, Florida — Registration is open for this event, sponsored by United Methodist Discipleship Ministries and Path 1. Speakers will include the Rev. Michael Baughman on “Flipping Church: How Successful Church Planters are Turning Conventional Church Wisdom Upside Down.” Details.
Tuesday, Oct. 27
"Get Positive Publicity" seminar — 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. CDT at United Methodist Communications, 810 12th Ave. South, Nashville, Tennessee. This interactive one-day seminar will help people develop basic skills for communicating effectively with print, radio and television reporters. $149. Details.