Daily Digest - September 13, 2017

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“I have established relationships with the people and they ask me to come to their houses when they are experiencing bad moments.” — The Rev. José Roberto Peña, chaplain at Honduras cigar factory.

Most of the employees at the Tabacos de Oriente cigar factory in Danlí, Honduras, are women. After the tobacco leaves are cured, they are sorted by color and size.  Photo by Kathy L. Gilbert.

Chaplain brings word of God to cigar factory workers

DANLÍ, Honduras (UMNS) — Every Friday, for about 10 minutes, the sound being blasted to the employees of Tabacos de Oriente is the word of God instead of Gun N’ Roses or some other rockin’ soundtrack. That word comes from the Rev. José Roberto Peña, pastor of Danlí Central United Methodist Church, who serves as chaplain of the cigar factory. Kathy L. Gilbert has the story and photos. Jan Snider has video.
Read story 
Watch video interview with chaplain

Houston churches go flat out with flood relief 

HOUSTON (UMNS) — From mucking out homes to passing out supplies to looking after children whose schools are closed, United Methodist churches here are still busy providing relief from the floods that came with Hurricane Harvey. Texas Conference Bishop Scott Jones is cheering them on, but also encouraging them to pace themselves. Sam Hodges has the story and Kathleen Barry has photos.
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United Methodist orphanage a beacon of hope

JALINGO, Nigeria (UMNS) — More than 189 orphans, from babies to young people, live at the United Methodist Orphanage in Jalingo. Founded in 1999, the home has cared for, educated and given love to Nigerian children with no earthly parents. The orphanage recently celebrated the accomplishments of its residents at a high school graduation ceremony. Ande I. Emmanuel reports.
Read story 

The unexpected at 'Blessing of the Backpacks'

PADUCAH, Ky. — Lone Oak United Methodist Church hosted a “Blessing of the Backpacks” this month. The Rev. Jason W. Jones writes about what happened when three young people not affiliated with the church showed up.
Read Memphis Conference story 

Agency offers post-Charlottesville toolkit

WASHINGTON — In the wake of Charlottesville and other protests around the U.S., the United Methodist Commission on Religion and Race is providing church leaders with resources to promote awareness and foster relationships across lines of difference. The toolkit is a curation of resources that may be beneficial for a small group, or congregation on the themes of white supremacy, hate and violence.
See toolkit 

Commentary: Talking about politics in church

WASHINGTON — The church should be a sanctuary for conversations about subjects that too often polarize Americans, write the Rev. Kristopher Norris and Mike McCurry. The two are co-directors of the National Capital Semester for Seminarians at United Methodist Wesley Theological Seminary.
Read commentary 

Looking ahead

Here are some of the activities ahead for United Methodists across the connection. If you have a United Methodist event to share, you can add it to the calendar with this submission form.

Monday, Sept. 18-Monday, Oct. 9

New Sunday school teacher online training — This course looks at teaching children from preschool through sixth grade. Participants will be able to access the course at their convenience. A minimum of four to five hours per week is necessary to benefit from the course content. BeADisciple.com and Practical Resources for Churches are sponsors. $45. Details

See more United Methodist events

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