Daily Digest: October 23, 2014

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"Having an opinion, even a strongly held opinion, is not a disqualification from serving on a judicial body in The United Methodist Church." — The Rev. Scott Campbell, during a Judicial Council hearing on the reinstatement of the Rev. Frank Schaefer.

Top court hears appeal in Schaefer case

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (UMNS) — The question of whether an appeals committee was correct in restoring the clergy credentials of the Rev. Frank Schaefer opened the Judicial Council’s Oct. 22-25 fall meeting. Schaefer lost his standing in the denomination’s Eastern Pennsylvania Conference after being found guilty in a church trial last November of performing a same-sex wedding ceremony for his son. Judicial Council is the denomination’s top court. A decision is not expected until after the meeting ends.

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More than 10 ways to appreciate your pastor

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) — In honor of Pastor Appreciation Month, Laurens Glass of United Methodist Communications asked clergy to share some of the ways church members had made them feel valued. She found that for congregants and clergy alike, simple acts of caring help build a connection beyond the pulpit. Here are some ideas.

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Church hosts daily prayer vigil during manhunt

MOUNTAINHOME, Pa. (UMNS) — Mountainhome United Methodist Church has been hosting a daily prayer vigil at noon outside the church during the prolonged manhunt for Eric Frein, who is accused of shooting two state troopers in that region more than six weeks ago. One of the troopers died. John Coleman has the story for the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference.

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Northern Illinois Conference planning aid to Sierra Leone

SKOKIE, Ill. (UMNS) — Sierra Leone natives attending Central United Methodist Church are organizing a fundraiser Nov. 1 to send a TRU-D Robot, an $85,000 disinfecting remote machine, to Sierra Leone. Also mobilizing efforts to send medical supplies is Dr. Samuel C. Kormoi, founder of Pan-African Rural Health And Social Services (PRHeSS), a United Methodist Global Advance based in Chicago. Anne Marie Gerhardt of the Northern Illinois Conference has the story.

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Retired bishop named to Perkins post

DALLAS (UMNS) — Retired Bishop D. Max Whitfield has been named director of the Center for Religious Leadership at Perkins School of Theology, part of Southern Methodist University in Dallas. SMU Provost Paul Ludden made the appointment, following a nomination by Perkins Dean William B. Lawrence. Whitfield will continue serving as Perkins’ bishop in residence.

Read press release

New director of Hispanic/Latino Communications joins agency

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) — The Rev. Gustavo Vasquez has joined United Methodist Communications as the new director of Hispanic/Latino Communications. He most recently served a Presbyterian-United Methodist church in West New York, N.J., and before that was a corporate journalist in his native Venezuela. His duties will include developing communications tools to grow the church in Hispanic/Latino communities.

View Hispanic umc.org

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, Oct. 23
Early bird deadline for 50/50 Missional Equipping Workshop: Best Practices in Transformational Community Engagement Locally & Globally — Event is 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. ET Saturday, Nov. 15 at First United Methodist Church, 618 Eighth Street, Columbus, Indiana. How do you empower others without creating dependency? The paradigm-shifting 50/50 Partnership equips your church to move from short-term, needs-based charity to long-term, asset-based development. $39 for individuals, $149 for five or more. Details.

Free "iKids Webinar 5 — Digital Identity and Digital Inc." — 10 a.m. CT. This session will look at how video games such as Skylanders and product lines such as Disney Princesses influence the everyday lives of children and their families. Details.

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

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