Daily Digest - September 30, 2022

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“Our members lacked the desire to study the Bible, which resulted in a lack of faith in the word and a failure to rely on it in times of difficulty. This will go a long way toward restoring our faith in the Bible.”Edmore Muzvimwe, lay leader at Ebenezer United Methodist Church in Chitungwiza, Zimbabwe.


TODAY’S HEADLINES

Community Bible study helps church make disciples

CHITUNGWIZA, Zimbabwe (UM News) — Churches in the Chitungwiza Marondera District are making disciples of Jesus Christ in their communities through in-depth Bible study. The district trained 40 class leaders through the Community Bible Study International program and today has 161 classes functioning. Priscilla Muzerengwa has the story and video.
Read story
Watch video

Ask The UMC
Tackling questions about the future of the church

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Is The United Methodist Church really asking all local churches to vote on whether to remain in The United Methodist Church or join the Global Methodist Church? Ask The UMC, a ministry of United Methodist Communications, has the answer to that question and others related to disaffiliation and the Book of Discipline. This is the fifth installment in a series aimed at clearing up misperceptions and misinformation regarding the future of the denomination.  
Read story
Read more in series

Centenary United Methodist Church
Providing beds and books for kids in need

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — Centenary United Methodist Church partnered with local nonprofit A Bed and a Book on Sept. 24 to build 40 twin-size beds for children in need. In a new episode of the church’s “Centenary Every Day” podcast, Doug Peninger talks with founder Anneliese Wall and Centenary UMC missions team member Amelia Caudle about the ministry.
Listen to podcast
Read Winston-Salem Journal story

Iowa Conference
Longtime organist honored

CHARLES CITY, Iowa — The organist at West St. Charles United Methodist Church was honored for her more than 65 years of service. “You weave your music into folks’ hearts, their joys, griefs and celebrations, and that touches them,” said Pat Fluhrer, who received a certificate on Sept. 25 for being a faithful servant of God. Iowa Conference staff report.
Read story

Ask The UMC
What is World Communion Sunday’s impact?

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — World Communion Sunday is an opportunity for United Methodists to call attention to the unity of all Christians at the table of the Lord, and to raise funds to support United Methodist students in the United States and worldwide. Ask The UMC has more on this observance held annually the first Sunday in October.
Read story 
Read more Ask The UMC


PRESS RELEASES

Archives and History
Yrigoyen, Pope-Levison honored

MADISON, N.J. — A professor and former top executive were honored during the United Methodist Commission on Archives and History’s virtual board meeting Sept. 15-16. The Rev. Charles “Chuck” Yrigoyen Jr., who died May 9, oversaw the move of the Archives and History collection from Lake Junaluska to Drew University. Priscilla Pope-Levison, an author and professor at Southern Methodist University, was recognized for research into the lives of the denomination’s pioneers, especially women in evangelism.
Read press release

Tennessee-Western Kentucky Conference
Conference plans 2 special sessions on disaffiliations

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — While expressing a desire for all United Methodist churches to remain in the connection, Bishop Bill McAlilly has called two special sessions next year to take up resolutions for church disaffiliations. The first is scheduled for 7 p.m. U.S. Central time May 22 and the second is scheduled for 7 p.m. Nov. 13, 2023. With these sessions, McAlilly said, the regular annual conference next June will not consider any church disaffiliations.
See announcement
See schedule for this year’s special sessions


EVENTS

Friday, Oct. 14-Sunday, Oct. 16

Choir Music Weekend at Lake Junaluska

Wednesday, Oct. 26
Discipleship in Urban Settings


TOP STORIES OF THE WEEK

Romanian hotel houses one-stop shop for ministry

CLUJ-NAPOCA, Romania (UM News) — A hotel and ministry center run by The United Methodist Church in Romania hosts numerous programs to help Ukrainian refugees, as well as the rest of the community. Joey Butler has the story, with photos by Mike DuBose and video by Francisco Litardo.
Read story
Watch video
UM News: United Methodist ministry with Ukraine

Bishops push back against recruitment tactics
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UM News) — As churches weigh disaffiliation, bishops are trying to set the record straight on misinformation being spread about The United Methodist Church’s future. They also are working toward building a church where traditionalists, centrists and progressives will all feel they belong. Meanwhile, a recent church court decision could have an impact on disaffiliation lawsuits in civil court. Heather Hahn reports.
Read story
UM News: Church court makes impact

Church says clergywoman faces trumped-up charges
CABANATUAN CITY, Philippines (UM News) — Church groups are rallying together in support of the Rev. Glofie Baluntong, a pastor known for her social justice work. The former United Methodist district superintendent and longtime deaconess has been charged with attempted murder, but she and her supporters say she is innocent and the charge is meant to silence her advocacy for indigenous people. Gladys P. Mangiduyos reports.
Read story

Florida Conference, UMCOR
Pray and give amid Ian’s devastation
 
LAKELAND, Fla. — Fully assessing Hurricane Ian’s devastation will take time after it left more than 2.5 million people without power in Florida and many evacuated from their homes. The United Methodist Committee on Relief has released a $10,000 solidarity grant to the Florida Conference to purchase supplies and provide urgent services to survivors. What is now a tropical storm is forecast to continue its damaging path up the U.S. East Coast. In the meantime, people can support those in Ian's path with their prayers and financial donations. Volunteers also are asked not to self-deploy.
To give to UMCOR’s U.S. Disaster Response
To give to the Florida Conference
To assemble cleaning kits

Lewis Center for Church Leadership
Young elder numbers hit record low

WASHINGTON — The Lewis Center for Church Leadership has published its annual report on clergy age trends in The United Methodist Church. The number of elders under age 35 is at a record low. Young deacon numbers are up slightly. The Rev. Lovett H. Weems Jr., senior consultant for the Lewis Center, has done an analysis of the trends. 
Read full report
Read Weems’ analysis
Read report highlights

Commentary: A plan to re-church rural America
COLUMBIA, Mo. (UM News) — Acknowledging that something significant must happen to reverse United Methodist declines in the U.S., a retired pastor traces the historical trajectory of the denomination. The Rev. Mel West outlines a “plan to re-church rural America.”
Read commentary

Commentary: Getting to a pro-choice and pro-life position
BOISE, Idaho (UM News) — The Rev. Duane Anders says it’s time to move beyond binary thinking about abortion. He believes it’s possible to be pro-choice, in terms of supporting women’s rights to control their bodies, but also pro-life, in opposing capital punishment and working to make sure all children born into this world get the help they need to flourish.
Read commentary

Commentary: United Methodists should support Dobbs
PITTSFIELD, Pa. (UM News) — Holly Fugate, a member of Otterbein United Methodist Church, believes United Methodists should support the Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. The June 24 ruling overturned Roe v. Wade, the court’s 1973 decision guaranteeing a right to abortion. Fugate looks to The United Methodist Church’s Social Principles in arguing that denomination members should back Dobbs.
Read commentary

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