"Whenever I sing about Jesus, he just comes through." - Ronda Kingwood, a member of the Saint Mark United Methodist Church's choir, which will be featured on ABC-TV on Christmas Eve.
Mandela family, leaders gather at Methodist church
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa (UMNS) - South African President Jacob Zuma reflected on the values represented by the late Nelson Mandela during a Sunday service at Bryanston Methodist Church, in a Johannesburg suburb, attended by Mandela family members and religious and political leaders. A public memorial service for Mandela is planned Dec. 10 and the state funeral is scheduled for Dec. 15.
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Mandela and Methodism
Stop Hunger Now aids Typhoon Haiyan survivors
MANILA (UMNS) - Stop Hunger Now was in the process of setting up an office in Manila when Typhoon Haiyan struck in November. The United Methodist partner and hunger relief agency had shipped some 1.8 million meals, along with water filters, to the Philippines for typhoon survivors as of early December.
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ABC-TV features choir on Christmas Eve
WICHITA, Kan. (UMNS) - Saint Mark United Methodist is a church known for its music ministry. On Christmas Eve 2013, the church will showcase the talents of more than 100 singers and musicians during a special ABC-TV broadcast.
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Campaign aims to help Philippines youth
DES MOINES, Wash. (UMNS) - The Rise Up! campaign hopes to raise $22,500 by Dec. 16 to restore the Christmas Institute events for youth in the Philippine areas ravaged by Typhoon Haiyan. The campaign is a joint project of the Greater Northwest Episcopal Area in the United Sates and the Davao Episcopal Area in the Philippines.
History of Hymns: 'Of the Father's Love Begotten'
DALLAS (UMNS) - This hymn, written when the Roman Empire was still a going concern, is perhaps the oldest hymn many congregations sing. Its author, Aurelius Prudentius Clemens (A.D. 348-c. 413), was a Spanish poet and successful lawyer. C. Michael Hawn of Southern Methodist University's Perkins School of Theology, in collaboration with the United Methodist Board of Discipleship, shares how the hymn was a response to an old heresy.
Let's keep Herod in Christmas
ATLANTA (UMNS) - "Every true story admits that even in the midst of blinking decorations and flickering candles, darkness threatens the light," writes the Rev. Brett Younger, a Baptist professor at Mercer University's McAfee School of Theology. "Ignoring the darkness is ignoring reality." His commentary appears on the Ministry Matters site, part of the United Methodist Publishing House.
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Shoebox Christmas says 'thanks'
SHEYENNE, N.D. (UMNS) - "We are now in the delivery stage," writes Dakotas Annual (regional) Conference missionary Mike Flowers, "and have received more than 2,800 shoeboxes from out of conference. That's 48 percent of all the boxes we got this year." The treat-filled shoeboxes go from the Spirit Lake Ministry Center here to children living on impoverished reservations in the Dakotas and often are the only Christmas gift they receive. Meeting this year's goal of 6,000 shoeboxes, Flowers says, "We were able to take the Standing Rock Reservation 600 boxes. This is the first time we have been able to support them. You made the difference in the lives of many children this year. Blessings."
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Maine clergy urge transparency on CIA report
BANGOR, Maine (UMNS) - In a full-page ad Dec. 7 and planned for Dec. 10 in the Bangor Daily News, Maine religious leaders have signed an open letter urging U.S. Sens. Susan Collins, R., and Angus King Jr. to release the Senate Intelligence Committee's report on CIA torture. The letter organized by the Maine Council of Churches has 111 signers, including New England Conference's Bishop Sudarshana Devadhar and 12 other United Methodist clergy.