Daily Digest: September 10, 2014

The Affordable Care Act was a game-changer because clergy now have a viable alternative to the conference health insurance.” — The Rev. Richard A. Van Giesen, Illinois Great Rivers Conference treasurer and benefits officer.

Can health care law save conferences money?

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (UMNS) — Facing mounting health care costs for an aging risk pool, some United Methodist annual (regional) conferences are turning to the Affordable Care Act for relief. Turning to state insurance marketplaces can bring both advantages and drawbacks for church employees. First in a two-part series.

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Coming Thursday: Meet a United Methodist deacon who has helped hundreds of uninsured people sign up for coverage.

United Methodists work to reverse Scout losses

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) — The number of young people involved in Scouting declined nationwide from 2012 to 2014, and programs in The United Methodist Church followed that trend – dropping from 365,565 in 2012 to 349,614 in 2013. Leaders of United Methodist Men are working to reverse that loss, Rich Peck reports.

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Faith on the roof: Pastor goes high to fight malaria

BROSVILLE, Va. (UMNS) – Through storms and dark of night, the Rev. Faith Weedling kept her promise to spend one hour on the church roof for every $100 her church raised for Imagine No Malaria. Her stay was longer than she expected, since Weedling’s congregation at Brosville United Methodist Church and members of the two-point charge her husband pastors raised $3,800 for Imagine No Malaria, The United Methodist Church’s effort to fight the disease that kills a person every minute around the world. Neill Caldwell, editor of the Virginia United Methodist Advocate magazine, has the story.

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United Methodist students launch fundraising campaign for Zimbabwe clinic

PITTSBURGH (UMNS) – Two United Methodist college students have launched an online campaign to raise $30,000 to help rebuild the rural Nyahuku health clinic in northeastern Zimbabwe. Natalie Geer, a junior at Ohio Wesleyan College, and Jessi Mazzoni, a senior at Allegheny College, said that if they reach their goal, they’ll take the 2014 Pittsburgh Polar Bear Plunge into the Allegheny River in December. Jackie Campbell of the Western Pennsylvania Annual (regional) Conference has the story.

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Mission churches face tough times

NORTHPORT, Mich. (UMNS) – More than a hundred years ago, Methodist missionaries set up Indian Mission churches in northern Michigan. Today those missions serve small congregations that can’t afford to pay their pastors. In the past, the United Methodist missions have survived with lots of financial help from the denomination, but now leaders say they have to scale back. Linda Stephan with Interlochen Public Radio has the story.

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