Daily Digest - September 16, 2022

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“We put our focus on the mission and ministry of who we are, rather than on the conversations about splintering.”The Rev. Jessica Rooks, district superintendent in the Mountain Sky Conference, on helping churches in discernment. 


TODAY’S HEADLINES

Churches discern whether to stay or go

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UM News) — United Methodists are tackling the question of whether to leave The United Methodist Church because of differences in theology and LGBTQ participation in church life. Pastors and church leaders reflect on how they are trying to be faithful while working toward a difficult decision. Jim Patterson has the story.
Read story
Ask The UMC: What should congregations know about disaffiliation?
Coming next week: Sam Hodges reports on grassroots groups making a case for remaining in The United Methodist Church.

Global Ministries
UMCOR helping with drought-related hunger 

ATLANTA — Hunger caused by severe drought threatens lives in East Africa, and the United Methodist Committee on Relief is stepping up with emergency grants to get people fed. Nearly 18 million people in Somalia, Kenya and Ethiopia are in danger because the region has had lower-than-average rainfall for four consecutive years, according to the U.S. State Department. The United Nations notes the cost of an average food basket has risen by 66% in Ethiopia and 36% in Somalia. Many people are unable to afford even basic items. Christie R. House has the story.
Read story


PRESS RELEASES

Center for Scouting Ministries
Update on BSA bankruptcy 

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The Center for Scouting Ministries, part of United Methodist Men, has issued an update on the Boy Scouts of America bankruptcy restructuring plan after a judge’s key ruling. As part of the plan, The United Methodist Church — a major sponsor of Scouting troops over many years — has agreed to contribute $30 million to a fund for survivors of Scouting-related sex abuse. Local United Methodist churches continue to provide meeting space and other support for troops and to join in stepped-up child safety protocols. The center also has a new conference resource page that helps with answering questions about the current BSA and United Methodist Church relationship. 
Read update
See resource page
UM News: New era for church and Boy Scouts of America

Claremont School of Theology
Kuan to step down as Claremont president

CLAREMONT, Calif. — The Rev. Jeffrey Kuan has announced that he will step down as president of Claremont Theological School. He is in his 10th year of leading the United Methodist seminary. Kuan will begin a six-month sabbatical on Jan. 1, 2023, and officially end his presidency on June 30. Claremont trustees have named Bishop Grant Hagiya, who will retire as an active bishop Dec. 31, to serve as interim president. Kuan plans to remain on the faculty and resume teaching.
Read press release
Read Kuan’s letter

The Nyadire Connection
Raising funds to rebuild mission clinic

PITTSBURGH — The Nyadire Connection, which partners with the Nyadire United Methodist Mission in Zimbabwe, is holding a “Meet the Match” fundraiser to support the mission’s clinic rebuild program. The clinics have been in disrepair, with no running water, flush toilets or electricity and not enough space. The faith-based nonprofit has been helping to renovate the clinics in partnership with Nyadire and the Zimbabwe Ministry of Health. To date, five of the mission’s health clinics have been rebuilt. A Pittsburgh District couple has agreed to match every dollar the mission raises up to $25,000 in order to help rebuild Chindenga, the sixth and final clinic.
Read press release
UM News: TNC celebrates 15 years of sharing God’s love


COMMENTARIES
UM News includes in the Daily Digest various commentaries about issues in the denomination. The opinion pieces reflect a variety of viewpoints and are the opinions of the writers, not UM News staff.

Laurel Heights United Methodist Church
Experiencing ‘Tēnā Koe’ at WCC gathering

KARLSRUHE, Germany — “Tēnā Koe” is a Maori greeting that means, “I see you,” but it goes much deeper than that, writes Byrd Bonner. He reflects on that deeper meaning and shares other insights that he learned as a United Methodist representative to the recent World Council of Churches Assembly.
Read commentary (PDF)


RESOURCES

The Methodist Church in Britain
Reflections on queen's passing

LONDON — The Methodist Church in Britain has collected several reflections and prayers from church leaders on the passing of Queen Elizabeth II, as well as offering resources such as prayer vigil services, hymn suggestions and links to view funeral events online. In addition, Methodist Central Hall Westminster, located near Westminster Abbey, reports that over 1,000 journalists, presenters, tech crews and other staff are using the building to cover the event. “We thank God that Methodist Central Hall Westminster is one of the key media centres for the Royal Funeral, which could be watched by about 4.1 billion viewers globally,” wrote the Rev. Tony Miles, superintendent minister.
View resource

United Methodist Communications
Heralding the need when disaster strikes

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — When weather-related disasters strike, United Methodist Communications goes into action. Communications also plays an important role in sharing information and rallying support so that United Methodists know where their gifts and service are most needed. Brenda Smotherman has the story.
Read story

Archives and History, Greater Northwest Area
Course offered for local church historians

SPOKANE, Wash. — Faithfully recording the narrative of God’s work in the stories of each local church and congregation, and preserving each church’s records and artifacts, is an important ministry, writes John Townsend of the Pacific Northwest Conference. He suggests aspiring church historians take advantage of the Local Church Historians’ School, a self-paced online course offered by the United Methodist Commission on Archives and History. The course starts Sept. 26.
Read story
Learn more and register


EVENTS

Sunday, Oct. 2

World Communion Sunday

Sunday, Oct. 16
Laity Sunday


TOP STORIES OF THE WEEK

Bishop Spain, tireless counselor, dies at 96
BRENTWOOD, Tenn. (UM News) — Bishop Robert H. Spain, who served as the United Methodist Publishing House’s chaplain well into his 90s, is being remembered for his faithful and energetic ministry. He previously was bishop of United Methodists in Kentucky from 1988 to 1992 and served again as bishop in South Carolina in 1995-96. Heather Hahn reports.
Read story
Read Council of Bishops press release

WCC assembly focuses on reconciliation
KARLSRUHE, Germany (UM News) — Speakers at the World Council of Churches General Assembly connected the theme of the ecumenical gathering, “Christ’s Love Moves the World to Reconciliation and Unity,” to a splintering within The United Methodist Church. Bishop Harald Rückert pointed to the relationship between France and Germany after World War II as an example for the denomination that reconciliation is possible. Klaus Ulrich Ruof reports.
Read story
See photos from the WCC Assembly

Old Mutare Mission Hospital gets a facelift

MUTARE, Zimbabwe (UM News) — Despite the country’s economic crisis, good things are happening at The United Methodist Church’s Old Mutare Mission Hospital. A state-of-the-art outpatient department, kitchen and 120-panel solar system are among recent additions funded by the United Methodist Board of Global Ministries’ Global Health unit. “The outward appearance matches with the hearts and the welcome you receive inside,” said patient Pishai Muchauraya. Kudzai Chingwe has the story. 
Read story

Church helps displaced Central Africans 
YAKOMA, Congo (UM News) — The United Methodist Church helped nearly 1,000 families from the Central African Republic living in a refugee camp in Limasa. Through the United Methodist Committee on Relief’s Global Migration program, the church in East Congo helped disburse $50,000 to purchase food for people displaced by insecurity in the region. Chadrack Tambwe Londe reports.
Read story

Judicial Council
Church court releases fall docket

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The United Methodist Judicial Council has released a 24-item docket for its fall session. Because of the pandemic, the Judicial Council has been meeting online and deliberations are not yet scheduled. Briefs are due Oct. 12 and reply briefs are due Oct. 22. 
See docket

Commentary: Staying the course with vaccine access
BOISE, Idaho (UM News) — A United Methodist church’s campaign to create equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines among poor countries has raised nearly half a million dollars. However, challenges remain, so the campaign continues. Dr. David Boan, a member of Cathedral of the Rockies, writes about barriers that still prevent vaccines from being available to all.
Read commentary

Commentary: ‘Holler for your safety because you matter'
SEVERNA PARK, Md. (UM News) — The Rev. Dr. Tori Butler explores the risks that pastors — particularly clergywomen — face in the course of their work and practical ways to stay safe. In the second installment of her new “Hollering for Change” series for UM News, she interviews the Rev. Dr. Jalene Chase, former Metro Transit police officer in Washington and current pastor of Goshen United Methodist Church in Gaithersburg, Maryland.
Watch video
Read commentary

Commentary: 9/11 sparked life change for eyewitness
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (UM News) — The Sept. 11 terror attacks forced United Methodist Christina Ray Stanton and her husband to flee their dream apartment in Manhattan. In the aftermath, they found new identities in Christ and changed their careers. As a missions director, Stanton “pays forward” the transformative support she received by helping others in need.
Read commentary


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