“We’re losing candidates. We felt if we allowed for early ordination it would encourage younger people to stay in our system.” — Bishop Grant Hagiya on recommendations from the 2013-2016 Ministry Study Commission.
Ministry Study Commission favors quicker ordination
DES MOINES, Wash. (UMNS) — Ordination of United Methodist elders and deacons would be faster and training of licensed local pastors more rigorous under proposals by the 2013-2016 Ministry Study Commission. The commission’s just-released report doesn’t address security of appointment for ordained elders. Sam Hodges reports.
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Former first family joins Foundry’s 200th celebration
WASHINGTON (UMNS) — If you count all the senior ministers who have served Foundry United Methodist Church in its 200-year history, the line begins with the Rev. Thomas Burch in 1817. They were all male until 2014, when the Rev. Ginger Gaines-Cirelli was appointed. Only women spoke from the pulpit for the 200th anniversary, including Chelsea and Hillary Clinton. Former President Bill Clinton also attended the service. Erik Alsgaard of the Baltimore-Washington Conference has the story.
Bishop on migrants: ‘Meet people, not problems’
FRANKFURT, Germany (UMNS) — Germany’s Bishop Rosemarie Wenner is happy to tell of the extravagant hospitality offered by United Methodist congregations. “Several congregations tell stories of migrants and refugees who attend worship services,” Wenner wrote. Joe Iovino reports in a feature for umc.org.
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Asking U.S. to take more refugees
DALLAS (UMNS) — The National Council of Churches is among the religious groups asking the U.S. government to accept 100,000 Syrian refugees during the coming fiscal year and individual religious leaders also are expressing concern about the crisis. In a commentary for The Dallas Morning News, the Rev. Wes Magruder, pastor of Kessler Park United Methodist Church, calls on the United States to take more refugees and on Americans to be volunteers for refugee resettlement.
See NCC statement
Read Magruder commentary
United Methodists help prepare for pope’s visit
WASHINGTON (UMNS) — United Methodists joined with Roman Catholic leaders as the two faith groups celebrated the upcoming visit of Pope Francis to the U.S. capital and recommitted to work together in ministries of justice. Part of this effort will be a focus on criminal justice reform. Melissa Lauber of the Baltimore-Washington Conference reports.
‘Prayer bears’ spread God’s love
ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. (UMNS) — Visitors to Sunday services at Shores United Methodist Church will find seats filled by some unusual occupants. In each row of the worship hall, there’s a teddy bear sitting on a chair. B.C. Manion reports for the Florida Conference on these plush prayer buddies that aim to make people feel beary welcome.
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, Sept. 15 to Thursday, Oct. 15
Hispanic Heritage Month — United Methodist Communications offers ideas for being welcoming of Hispanics and Latinos in your community. Tips
Wednesdays, Sept. 16, Sept. 23, Sept. 30 and Oct. 7
“Technology and Christian Values” webinar series from Drew Theological School — 2–3:30 p.m. EDT. Living as Christians in a digital world calls people to rethink faith values and practices with new optics. This series offers a new perspective on how to assess digital technology use, development and expansion through a lens of Christian values. The first session will explore how to begin Thinking Theologically About Technology. The next three sessions will consider specific ethical issues related to technological changes, such as online activism in #TwitterActivism, Crowd Source Funding, Blogging; communication and privacy issues in Tech Etiquette; and sexting, pornography use, and cheating in Technology and Sexuality. A .5 CEU credit is available. $20 per session. Details