Daily Digest: October 21, 2014

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"The students see the e-reader as a library of its own." — The Rev. Jerry Kulah, dean of Gbarnga School of Theology.

E-Reader Project set to expand

DALLAS (UMNS) — A United Methodist effort to get e-readers to pastors-in-training in developing countries will expand to 15 more schools in Africa and four in the Philippines. The E-Reader Project, which debuted at Gbarnga School of Theology in Liberia, provides an extensive library of e-books to students who struggle to find paper-and-print texts. Sam Hodges has the story.

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Early warning proposed for General Conference legislation

LAKE JUNALUSKA, N.C. (UMNS) — What if General Conference delegates could get a heads up that legislation might be in trouble without waiting for a Judicial Council ruling? That is an aim of the Advance Legislative Research Panel proposed by the Commission on General Conference. Heather Hahn reports on the proposal.

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Bermudians begin cleanup after Hurricane Gonzalo

WASHINGTON (UMNS) — Hurricane Gonzalo delivered a direct hit on Bermuda Oct. 17-18. The Rev. Joe Whalen, pastor of Marsden First United Methodist Church, said the church sustained major damage to its roof but that his home sustained no damage. The Rev. Dick Stetler, pastor of Centenary, reports that their end of the island was mostly spared of the damage. The churches in Bermuda have been a part of the Baltimore-Washington Conference since 2002 when they left the United Church of Canada. Erik Alsgaard has the story.

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Emanuel Cleaver’s friendly wager on the World Series

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (UMNS) — U.S. Rep. Emanuel Cleaver II, D-Mo., acknowledged on Facebook that he is usually not a gambling man. But the United Methodist elder is an unabashed fan of the Kansas City Royals. He has a friendly wager with U.S. Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and former Speaker of the House. If the San Francisco Giants win the World Series, Cleaver will provide Pelosi with Kansas City barbecue. If the Royals win, Pelosi will send Cleaver a basket of San Francisco chocolate. “Victory shall be sweet indeed,” Cleaver said.

See Cleaver’s Facebook post

See story from KSHB Kansas City

Working for healthier Mississippi

JACKSON, Miss. (UMNS) — Teams representing the districts in the Mississippi Conference have committed to improving and promoting healthier lifestyles in their churches and their communities. The United Methodist Board of Church and Society recently offered the teams training and some tough truths about church eating habits. Tamica Smith-Jeuitt of the Mississippi Conference has the story.

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History of Hymns: ‘The Voice of God Is Calling’

DALLAS (UMNS) — This hymn is based on Isaiah 6:8 — “Then I heard the Lord’s voice saying, ‘Whom should I send, and who will go for us?’ I said, ‘I’m here; send me.’” (Common English Bible). Author John Haynes Holmes was a Unitarian minister, pacifist through two World Wars, a founder of the NAACP and a partisan for prohibition. C. Michael Hawn in his column for United Methodist Discipleship Ministries has the story of this pastor who championed an eclectic mix of causes.

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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.

Thursday-Saturday, Oct. 23-25
Wesleyan Leadership Conference on baptismal living — Lay and clergy leaders will explore baptismal living in the Wesleyan tradition at the United Methodist Board of Discipleship in Nashville, Tennessee. Details.

Friday-Saturday, Oct. 24-25 
2014 Convocation on the Black Church — The event will be at Brandon Conference Center in Brandon, Mississippi. The theme will be “Living Out the Power of We through Vital Worship.” Details.

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

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