Daily Digest - October 22, 2015

“It is in some ways a challenging location. In other ways, it’s really exciting.” —The Rev. Donna Pritchard on ministering in highly secular Portland, Oregon.

How a church shares faith where faith is suspect

PORTLAND, Oregon (UMNS) — First United Methodist Church in Portland is defying its city’s religious trends, with growing worship attendance and Sunday school classes filled to bursting. Heather Hahn reports on how the United Methodist church closest to the 2016 General Conference site is cultivating disciples where many residents claim no religious affiliation.
Read story and post a comment

Commentary: Speak out about persecuted church

WASHINGTON (UMNS) — The first two Sundays in November are set aside as a time to speak out and pray for Christians who face persecution for their faith. “Remembering our persecuted sisters and brothers is always important and necessary,” writes Bill Mefford of the United Methodist Board of Church and Society.
Read commentary
Worship resources from Discipleship Ministries

Pension board releases sustainability report

GLENVIEW, Ill. (UMNS) — The United Methodist Board of Pension and Health Benefits has released its annual sustainable investment report. The “Global Investor, Global Impact” report summarizes United Methodist investment philosophy, which is designed to abide by church social teachings and protect the future financial security of 91,000 plan participants and institutional investors.
Read press release
Read report

Perkins professor gives Yale lectures

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (UMNS) — The Rev. Alyce McKenzie, a United Methodist elder and professor at Southern Methodist University’s Perkins School of Theology, is giving the prestigious Beecher Lectures this week at Yale Divinity School. Her title for the three-part series is “Making a Scene in the Pulpit: Vivid Sermons for Visual Listeners.”
Read press release
Watch livestream of lectures

Faith leaders push for criminal justice legislation

WASHINGTON, D.C. (UMNS) — Forty faith organizations supporting bipartisan criminal justice and sentencing reform legislation sent a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee before a hearing on the legislation. The faith leaders said they believed the legislation “is an important step toward fixing the federal prison crisis.” The Interfaith Criminal Justice Coalition organized the campaign, and the United Methodist General Board of Church and Society was among the organizations that supported the letter.
Read letter
Read Reuters story on hearing

Methodist Central Hall turning blue for U.N. Day

LONDON (UMNS) — Methodist Central Hall Westminster, the location of the first meeting of the United Nations General Assembly in 1946, will join other iconic monuments, buildings and landmarks bathed in blue lights to honor United Nations Day on Oct. 24.
Read press release

New features enhance Find-A-Church

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) — Today’s tech-savvy seekers turn to the Internet as their primary source for information. United Methodist churches can reach out through an updated profile on Find-A-Church, which now allows easily viewed events, social media and worship information.
Read press release

Looking ahead

Here are some of the activities ahead for United Methodists across the connection. If you have an item to share, email newsdesk@umcom.org and put Digest in the subject line.

Wednesday, Oct. 28
Deadline to register for Next Generation Leadership Conference on Saturday, Nov. 7 — Missouri Conference church leadership and Next Generation Ministries are collaborating on a conference at Stephens College in Columbia, Missouri. This event is for local church leaders of children, youth and college-age students as well as senior pastors. Sessions will deal with such topics as Safe Sanctuaries, ministry tools, mentoring and recruiting volunteers. $10. Details.

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

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