Daily Digest: September 29, 2014

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“To understand Stephen Crane you really need to understand where he’s coming from, spiritually and emotionally.” - Paul Sorrentino, author of a new biography of Crane that explores the writer’s Methodist roots.

Great American novelist had Methodist background

DALLAS (UMNS) — When young Stephen Crane went to family reunions, nearly every man there was a Methodist preacher. At one such event in 1874, 14 of them attended, including his father and maternal grandfather and a great uncle who was a bishop. The writer of the “The Red Badge of Courage” would go the other way, living fast and hard while creating a groundbreaking body of literature.

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Liberia UMW feeding minds, stomachs during Ebola crisis

MONROVIA, Liberia (UMNS) — United Methodist Women in Liberia are handing out love, food and information to communities stricken by Ebola where United Methodist churches are located. “Women are the most powerful entity in the church,” said the Rev. Rudolp Merab, lay leader of the Liberia Annual Conference.

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Foodies flock to North Carolina’s hot dog church

GREENSBORO, N.C. (UMNS) — Foodies come from hundreds of miles away to sample the dressed dogs and secret chili recipe served every Saturday by Carraway United Methodist Church – nicknamed “the hot dog church.” The cooks say the secret behind their red-hot success is no mystery: they give away every dime and dollar they make.

View the video


Future of Missouri Conference camps uncertain

COLUMBIA, Mo. (UMNS) — Next summer, the four camps owned by the Missouri Conference will be closed, and the conference has dismissed the camps’ directors. Conference officials say there will be camping ministries next year, just done in a new way. Still, a number of United Methodists oppose the camps’ closure.

Read story in the October issue of the Missouri Methodists

Read Columbia Daily Tribune story

Watch video of Camping and Retreat Ministries Board

Looking ahead

Here are some of the activities ahead for United Methodists across the connection. If you have an item to share, email [email protected] and put Digest in the subject line.


Deadline to register for online course “United Methodism 101,” Tuesday, Sept. 30 — United Methodist Communications will offer the course Oct. 1-Nov. 12. $9.99. Details.

Free webinar “Education in and for Mission,” Tuesday, Sept. 30 — 6:30 p.m. CT, how to provide “hands-on” experiences in Christian discipleship. Details.

Deadline to apply for Central Conference Theological Education Grants, Tuesday, Sept. 30 — Applications for the 2015 grants for theological education in Africa, Europe and the Philippines are available. The Central Conference Theological Education Commission expects to award an additional $1 million to theological institutions, Boards of Ordained Ministry, and agencies integrally related to training United Methodist pastors. Details.

Free webinar “Covenant Discipleship with Children,” Wednesday, Oct 110 a.m. CT, the webinar explains covenant discipleship and why it’s important for children to go deeper in their understanding of loving God and loving neighbor. Details.

Deadline to apply for two discernment events for Deaconesses and Home Missioner Ministry, Wednesday, Oct. 1 — Events are Friday-Sunday, Nov. 7-9, in St. Louis and Friday-Sunday, Nov. 21-23 in Tempe, Ariz. A discernment event is an opportunity to explore a sense of call to lay ministry with a group of fellow discerners. Details.

Free “iKids Webinar 2 — The Digital Child and Digital Brain,” Thursday, Oct. 210 a.m. CT. This session will talk about the Three Laws of Digital Life and will focus on how brain development in children is influenced by digital media. Details.

Free webinar “Missional Advent — Living Advent Outside the Church,” Thursday, Oct. 2 — 6:30 p.m. CT. Explore ways we can follow Jesus to be the church in the world during Advent. Details.

Free webinar “Focusing on the True Meaning of Christmas with Children,” Thursday, Oct. 27-8 p.m. ET, ecumenical webinar shares how to teach children the true meaning of Advent and Christmas through crafts, games, drama, music and snacks. Details.

Moving Beyond Prejudice workshop, Saturday, Oct. 4 — 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. CT, Paul Saltzman, an Emmy Award-winning filmmaker, will lead workshop at The Great Hall, McDaniel student center, Oklahoma City University. The Oklahoma Commission on Religion and Race is the sponsor. $25. Details.

“Builders, Boomers and Busters: Bridging the 21st Century” conference, Saturday, Oct. 48:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. CT, Older adult ministry experts will speak at St. James United Methodist Church, 321 Pleasant Valley Drive, Little Rock, Arkansas. $25. Details.

World Communion Sunday, Oct. 5 — United Methodists observe World Communion Sunday by celebrating communion with other Christians around the world on this special Sunday. Churches are also encouraged to receive a special offering to support ethnic undergraduate and graduate students, which often enables first-generation students to attend college. To download the World Communion Sunday pastor’s kit. World Communion envelopes.

Early-bird registration deadline for Reach New Disciples Conference: “Taking Church to the Community,” Monday, Oct. 6 — Lewis Center for Church Leadership Conference is 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. ET Saturday, Nov. 1 at Wesley Theological Seminary, Washington. $40. Details.

Class for the Native American Course of Study, a national school for Native American local pastors and local pastors who work in Native ministries “Personal and Social Ethics,” Monday-Friday, Oct. 6-10 in Window Rock, New Mexico. Details or contact the Rev. Fred Shaw at [email protected].

Online courses from Upper Room in October, November and December Oct. 6-31: “A Quiet Pentecost;” Oct. 20-31: “Living into the Answers: A Workshop on Personal Spiritual Discernment;” Nov. 3-7: “Companions in Christ Small Group Facilitator Training;” Nov. 20: “Speaking Your Mind to God;” Nov. 30-Dec. 27: “Taste and See: Experiencing the Stories of Advent and Christmas.” Details.

Webinar “Overcoming Obstacles to Change in Your Church Two-Part Series,” Tuesday, Oct. 7 and Monday, Oct. 20 — Both sessions are 7-8 p.m. ET, Practical strategies for overcoming six major obstacles to local church change. $20 for both. Details.

2014 Wright Lectures: Practical Approaches to Emerging Ministries, Sunday-Tuesday, Oct. 12-14 — Gathering will be at Menucha Retreat and Conference Center near Portland, Ore. Keynote speakers include the Revs. Jim Walker and Jeff Eddings, co-founders of Hot Metal Bridge, an emergent church in Pittsburgh that is a joint ministry of United Methodists and Presbyterians. Details.

South Central Jurisdiction Church Planting Convocation, Monday-Tuesday, Oct. 13-14, and New Church Leadership Institute, Tuesday-Thursday, Oct. 14-16 — Gathering in Dallas to celebrate church-planting successes and equip church planters. Details.

Deadline to apply to be part of 2015 Generation Transformation, Wednesday, Oct. 15 — Generation Transformation, an initiative of the United Methodist Board of Global Ministries, offers mission opportunities for young adults aged 18-30. Details.

“Peg-leg Flamingos: Native American Youth Leadership Training,” Thursday-Sunday, Oct. 16-19 — The Native American International Caucus of The United Methodist Church will hold the gathering at Gretna Glen Camp and Retreat Center in Lebanon, Pennsylvania. The gathering is for seventh-graders through high school seniors. $70. Details on PDF.

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