Daily Digest: September 9, 2014

“Most of the folk at Revel that just lost their jobs had found a job after they had been laid off at other casinos.” — The Rev. Juliann Henry, whose husband lost his job as a lighting designer when the two-year-old Revel Casino Hotel closed Sept. 2 in Atlantic City.

Church extends support to Atlantic City workers

ATLANTIC CITY (UMNS) — The Rev. Brian Roberts sees a storm headed for Atlantic City, New Jersey, that could inflict just as much damage as Superstorm Sandy did two years ago. This time, the telltale signs are not fierce winds and a churning ocean but an avalanche of pink slips as closing casinos disrupt the regional economy. United Methodists in the Greater New Jersey Annual (regional) Conference are responding to the crisis.

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Liberia DS died of complications due to hypertension

MONROVIA, Liberia (UMNS) — A district superintendent in Liberia died of complications due to hypertension, but because he died at an Ebola center there is little chance his body will be released for burial.

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Perkins pushes storytelling in preaching

DALLAS (UMNS) — The Rev. Alyce McKenzie, a professor at Southern Methodist University's Perkins School of Theology, wants preachers to make a scene in the pulpit. Stories are made of scenes, and storytelling is a focus of Perkins’ new Center for Preaching Excellence. McKenzie helped secure Lilly Endowment funding for the center, which will involve church pastors as well as seminary students.

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Emerging Ministry Grants launch new programs

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) — Two deacons in The United Methodist Church have been awarded 2014 Emerging Ministry Grants by the United Methodist Board of Higher Education and Ministry. One will launch a community-wide day of service in Lancaster City, Pa., and the other will develop a ministry of spiritual formation for formerly incarcerated people in the West Ohio Conference. The Board of Higher Education and Ministry’s Nicole Burdakin reports.

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Is the simplest form of church a dinner table?

PORTLAND, Ore. (UMNS) — The Rev. Jeremy Smith shares the experiences of two United Methodist church plants — one in Massachusetts and one in Michigan — that begin with people sharing a meal together. Smith wonders what we can learn from these models of smaller religious communities.

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History of Hymns: ‘We Are Called’

DALLAS (UMNS) — “We are called” captures the energy and enthusiasm of the folk song style, writes C. Michael Hawn in his column for the United Methodist Board of Discipleship. He shares the story of this hymn that appears in “The Faith We Sing,” a United Methodist songbook.

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