"I honestly think it’s great because it means the church is getting outside its walls. Deacons are really a crucial part of church vitality." — The Rev. Victoria Rebeck on more deacons having their primary appointment outside the local church.
Deacons: Bridging the church and the world
CHICAGO (UMNS) — Today, 44 percent of United Methodist deacons report that their primary appointment is beyond the local church. They serve as teachers, lawyers and in many other professions. Susan Keaton reports on how 20 years after their order was established, deacons are serving their distinctive call.
Taylor Swift donates to conference flood relief
BATON ROUGE, La. (UMNS) — Part of Taylor Swift’s $1 million pledge to help flood relief victims will go to the Louisiana Conference. The singer-songwriter’s gift will be used for recovery and rebuilding after last month’s historic flood. “Taylor is a wonderful model for humanitarian aid as she reaches out to communities across the country and the world,” said Bishop Cynthia Fierro Harvey.
Church pizza oven feeds community
ST. PAUL, Minn. (UMC.org) — Hamline Church United Methodist’s outdoor pizza oven has resulted in days of fellowship that culminate in a community pizza and movie night several times a year. “The bread oven has enabled us to take our altar from inside the church to our front lawn,” said the Rev. Mariah Furness Tollgaard, pastor.
South Carolina: After the flood
COLUMBIA, S.C. (UMNS) — It’s been one year since devastating floodwaters ravaged much of South Carolina, claiming 19 lives, breaching dams, closing roadways and displacing thousands of families. The United Methodist Church has been there through it all, but a year later, much work remains. Advocate Editor Jessica Brodie reports.
Higher education and ministry celebrates 150 years
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) — The United Methodist Board of Higher Education and Ministry is 150 years old. A celebration of the agency’s founding included speeches by current and former top executives and videos highlighting the agency’s growth and achievements. A website created to preserve the history of the agency features documentary-style videos, historic images and multimedia content.
Read press release
How to fix 3 common communication mistakes
WASHINGTON (UMNS) — Ryan Holck, an expert on church communication, says that leaders tend to throw so much information at their congregants that nothing sticks. Writing for the Lewis Center for Church Leadership, he shares some simple fixes for these common communication challenges.
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.
Wednesday, Oct. 12
Webinar “Advent: Shaping Our Eschatological Imagination” — Noon EDT. Don Saliers, William R. Cannon professor of theology and worship emeritus and theologian-in-residence at Emory University’s Candler School of Theology, will talk about how Advent scriptural images, hymns and sung prayer express a congregation’s prophetic hope. Free but registration required. Details
Sunday, Oct. 16
Laity Sunday — This year’s theme for Laity Sunday, “Disciples Called to Action: Living Vital Worship,” calls United Methodists to see worship not as passive spectators, but as active participants. Discipleship Ministries offers resources to celebrate the day. See resources