Daily Digest: September 3, 2014

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“The annual conference gave each pastor a bicycle and we had to pay for it in installments.” – The Rev. Jairos Mafondokoto, a pastor in Zimbabwe.

Judicial Council plans hearing for Schaefer appeal
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (UMNS) — Judicial Council, the United Methodist Church’s top court, will hold an oral hearing as it considers the appeal of the decision to reinstate Frank Schaefer, a Pennsylvania pastor who had lost his ministerial credentials after performing a same-sex marriage ceremony for his son. The case is one of 21 docket items for the council’s fall meeting Oct. 22-25.

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Pastors recall circuit riding on bicycles
HARARE, Zimbabwe (UMNS) — A bicycle was the only way they had to travel from one United Methodist congregation to another in 1977, recalled two pastors who found much to celebrate at the largest United Methodist Church convention ever held in Zimbabwe. Eveline Chikwanah, a communicator of the Zimbabwe East Annual (regional) Conference, interviewed the Revs. Jairos Mafondokoto and Kelvin Mwandira  about how things have changed.

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Fire damages historic Pittsburgh church
PITTSBURGH (UMNS) — “It’s pretty devastating, but God is bigger than any fire,” the Rev. Sue Hutchins said after a three-alarm fire burned through the roof of Hill Top United Methodist Church in Pittsburgh’s Allentown neighborhood. Jackie Campbell of the Western Pennsylvania Annual (regional) Conference reports on the fire damage and the broader United Methodist response.

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Where to follow the Game Changers Summit
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) — The Game Changers Summit today through Friday, Sept. 5, will bring together leaders from around the globe in using information and communications technology for community development. You can follow the summit on Twitter @UMCommunication and @UMCom_ICT4D or by searching #ICT4Dsummit14.

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DS/DCM orientation cultivates vital ministries
LAKE JUNALUSKA, N.C. (UMNS) — “This training is like receiving a large suit of clothes that I haven’t grown into yet.” That’s an insight that the Rev. Myron Wingfield, coordinator of the event, heard from a 2013 participant. The Rev. Michael Rich, web and communications manager, Western North Carolina Annual (regional) Conference of the United

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Intentional relationships serve people in poverty
GREENVILLE, S.C. (UMNS) — It’s daytime in Tent City 2 — safe time. “Don’t come here after dark — you’d get eaten alive. Eaten clean up,” a man warns, displaying bruises on his face from a beating two nights before. The Rev. Jerry Hill and other United Methodists reach out to Tent City residents through programs that form relationships and offer assistance.

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New Mountain Sky Area communicator named
DENVER (UMNS) — Charmaine Robledo will be the new director of communications of the Mountain Sky Area, which includes the Rocky Mountain and Yellowstone annual (regional) conferences. She will begin work on Sept. 8.  Previously, she worked as a community journalist for YourHub.com at the Rocky Mountain News and The Denver Post.

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