"The physical damage is the tip of the iceberg. The economic impact to purchase food, pay tuition, repair homes and seek medical attention is what will be felt for months to come." — Valerie Mossman-Celestin, a United Methodist deaconess who works with Haitians in Mizak, on Hurricane Matthew.
United Methodist churches brace for Hurricane Matthew
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) — As Hurricane Matthew continues its destructive path to the eastern coast of the United States, people in Haiti, Cuba and the Bahamas are already starting the hard work of recovery from the deadly storm. Kathy L. Gilbert and Sam Hodges report.
Group: Accountability needed to avoid split
CHICAGO (UMNS) — A new United Methodist evangelical group urges bishops and other church leaders to find a way to hold church leaders accountable on matters of sexuality or prepare for a denominational split. The Wesleyan Covenant Association, holding its inaugural meeting with some 1,700 participants, approved a statement addressed to the Commission on the Way Forward, which bishops are forming to examine church policy related to homosexuality and work toward maintaining church unity. Heather Hahn reports.
Agency plans Faith and Guns Forum
WASHINGTON (UMNS) — The United Methodist Board of Church and Society will hold the Faith and Guns Forum from 9 a.m. EST Nov. 14 to 1:30 p.m. EST Nov. 16. During the event, United Methodists can learn about gun violence, gun control legislation and strategies for coalition building and mobilizing congregations to be the change God calls Christians to be.
Why United Methodists observe Children’s Sabbath
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMC.org) — On Oct. 9, The United Methodist Church recognizes Children’s Sabbath, a time to reflect on God’s gift of children and how congregations and individuals can renew their commitment to care, protect and advocate for all children. The Children’s Defense Fund has led and organized this ecumenical celebration since 1991. Joe Iovino has the story.
Religion and Race elects Bledsoe board president
WASHINGTON (UMNS) — The United Methodist Commission on Religion and Race has elected Bishop W. Earl Bledsoe, episcopal leader of the Northwest Texas-New Mexico Area, as president of its board of directors.
Read press release
Former chaplains' leader elected to devotional board
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) –– The Strength for Service board of directors invited the Rev. Charles “Ray” Bailey, former brigadier general and deputy chief of U.S. Army chaplains, to join the board, which oversees publication of the ecumenical Strength for Service devotionals. Bailey is associate general secretary of administration and operations for the United Methodist Board of Higher Education and Ministry.
Read United Methodist Men press release
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.
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
Thursday, Jan. 5 to June 2017
Creating a Culture of Renewal for churches in Western North Carolina — The Rev. Rebekah Simon-Peter, a United Methodist church consultant, leads this series of events aimed at helping churches reach their God-given potential. The opening retreat is Thursday, Jan. 5 through Saturday, Jan. 7, at the Catholic Conference Center in Hickory, North Carolina. The closing retreat will be held in conjunction with the Western North Carolina Annual Conference session at Lake Junaluska Conference and Retreat Center in North Carolina. In between, there will be monthly online group meetings from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. Mountain Time on the second Thursdays of each month. To register