"Availability of water from the dam was also seasonal, so pupils would miss lessons while searching for water, and school staff traveled up to 5 kilometers to get safe water for household consumption." — Pastor Lloyd Gomba on water problems at Nyamacheni Mission.
Raining blessings on drought-ravaged community
GOKWE, Zimbabwe (UMNS) — The United Methodist Church has created an oasis in this small community vulnerable to perennial drought, quenching the Gokwe people’s thirst for water and education. The church continues to help expand a secondary school it established more than two decades ago. Last year, the focus turned to providing clean water for the mission school. Eveline Chikwanah with the Zimbabwe East Annual Conference reports.
Bishop recalls Texas farm workers march
SAN ANTONIO (UMNS) — Retired United Methodist Bishop Joel N. Martínez reflects in a Rio Texas Conference video on the 50th anniversary of a strike by farm workers along the Texas-Mexico border. Martínez marched with the protesters then and spoke at a recent remembrance event.
UMW mourns deaconess coordinator
NEW YORK (UMNS) — United Methodist Women mourns the passing of Becky Dodson Louter, 46, executive secretary for the Deaconess and Home Missioner Office, which oversees the lay order of the church dedicated to workers in vocations that alleviate suffering. She was a member of Wesley Memorial United Methodist Church in Johnson City, Tennessee.
Read press release
Bishops, cabinets focus on vital congregations
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (UMNS) — U.S. bishops and their extended cabinets will gather Nov. 2-4 to focus on building strong and vital congregations. Similar gatherings will be held in Europe, the Philippines and two locations in Africa.
Read press release
Sept. 21: Act, pray for Syria
WASHINGTON (UMNS) — A “Global Day of Action and Prayer for Syria” is planned Sept. 21, with a focus on nonviolent resistance and a call for an immediate ceasefire and peace negotiations. Pew Research Center reports that about six of 10 Syrians are now displaced from their homes.
See Pew study
Forrester to head national disaster organization
NEW YORK (UMNS) — Gregory A. Forrester, director of U.S. disaster relief for the United Methodist Committee on Relief, is leaving that agency, effective Nov. 11, to become chief executive of an association of relief organizations, National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster.
Week for Peace in Palestine, Israel
GENEVA (WCC) — This week is being observed as World Week for Peace in Palestine and Israel. The theme for the annual event in 2016 is “Dismantling Barriers.” Churches throughout the world will join in prayer for the sake of peace based on justice for the peoples of Israel and Palestine, the World Council of Churches says.
United Methodist youth wins national contest
ALLENDALE, N.J. (UMNS) — Grace VanderWaal, 12-year-old member of Archer United Methodist Church, won NBC’s “America’s Got Talent” on Sept. 14. VanderWaal, who sings solos at her church during the summer, has been supported by her congregation. Josh Kinney, editorial manager for the Greater New Jersey Conference, has the story.
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.
Wednesday, Sept. 21
Webinar “Fair Labor Standards Act and the Church” — Noon to 1 p.m. CDT. The U.S. Department of Labor is increasing the number of employees who qualify for overtime pay. The Rev. Nate Berneking, the Missouri Conference director of finance and administration, will conduct this webinar to discuss recent changes. Details
Wednesday, Sept. 21 to Friday, Sept. 23
New Room Conference — The Seedbed-organized conference for United Methodists will be at Church of the City in Franklin, Tennessee. Speakers include Bishop James Swanson, New Testament professor the Rev. Ben Witherington III, activist Danielle Strickland, and the Rev. Jerry Kulah, dean of the Gbarnga School of Theology in Liberia. Details