"When I looked at the Wesleyan doctrine of grace, I realized I really was at home, and that’s why I’m UM." — Montgomery (Alabama) Area Bishop Paul Leeland.
Top court affirms Schaefer’s reinstatement as clergy
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (UMNS) – The Rev. Frank Schaefer will remain a clergyman in The United Methodist Church, the denomination’s top court has ruled. The Judicial Council decision affirmed a June decision by a regional appeals committee to reinstate Schaefer’s ministerial credentials, modifying the penalty imposed upon the Pennsylvania pastor after he was found guilty last November of violating church law by performing a same-sex wedding for his son in 2007. In its decision, the Judicial Council also recognized the fact that “some within the church do not support this outcome today.”
Take the rice bucket challenge for Ebola
NORTH CANTON, Ohio (UMNS) — The deadly Ebola outbreak in West Africa has created another potential crisis – starvation. The East Ohio Conference has launched the Rice Bucket Challenge to help feed United Methodists in Liberia and Sierra Leone. Every $70 donated will buy one 110-pound bag of rice. Communicator Rick Wolcott has a report.
Religion and race agency awards $1.2 million in grants
WASHINGTON (UMNS) — The United Methodist Commission on Religion and Race, at its fall board meeting, voted to award more than $1.2 million in grants for projects to increase intercultural competency among United Methodist leaders, vital conversations about race and systemic equity. This marks the first time the agency has distributed grants to the central conferences, church regions in Africa, Europe and the Philippines.
Bishop: Why I’m United Methodist
MONTGOMERY, Ala. (UMNS) — The Alabama-West Florida Conference is kicking off a series titled “Why I’m UM” in which videos highlight why conference members are part of the denomination. Bishop Paul Leeland kicks off the series. You can follow future testimonials on Twitter using the hashtag #whyimum.
Hymns that change our lives
HOUSTON (UMNS) — Jonathan Aigner, a United Methodist worship leader in the Houston area, was recently asked which five worship songs he would want on a CD if he were trapped on a desert island. Aigner instead decided to answer with five favorite hymns that have shaped his — and many other Christians’ — faith.
Advent resources already available
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) — The season of Advent begins this year on Nov. 30. Various United Methodist-related groups are offering free resources to celebrate the start of the Christian year and prepare for Christ’s birth. They include:
- Devotional home and church resources from United Methodist Discipleship Ministries
- Sermon starters and advertising help from Rethink Church, part of United Methodist Communications; deadline to order is Monday, Dec. 1.
- "The Season for Change" from the United Methodist Board of Church and Society
- Advent devotions including booklet, "Prince of Peace," from United Methodist partner Society of St. Andrew
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, Oct. 28
Free webinar "Leading with Style" — 6:30 p.m. CT. Participants in this webinar will explore different leadership styles, discern their own approach to group engagement, understand the influence stress has on the ways they interact in group settings, and strategize ways they can help groups function most effectively. Details.
Native American Heritage Month — United Methodist Discipleship Ministries and Native American Comprehensive Plan offer prayer and worship resources.