Daily Digest - December 16, 2013

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"His life and death are actually great reminders of what resurrection power is all about." - The Rev. Cecil Rhodes, Methodist pastor from South Africa, speaking about Nelson Mandela.

Week of reflection on Mandela's legacy

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa (UMNS) - During a week celebrating the life of Nelson Mandela, United Methodists and those from other Methodist denominations and the ecumenical community continued to reflect on his legacy.
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Nelson Mandela and Methodism

Africa University begins search for next vice chancellor

MUTARE, Zimbabwe (UMNS) - Fanuel Tagwira, vice chancellor at United Methodist-related Africa University since 2009, will be leaving his position at the end of his contract on June 1, 2014. The university's board of directors will begin searching for his replacement in early 2014. The Rev. Kim Cape, top executive for the United Methodist Board of Higher Education and Ministry, said the university is working with Korn/Ferry International and its South Africa partner Talent Africa "to cast a wide net in the search process." After a one-year sabbatical leave, Tagwira will return as a distinguished professor in the Faculty of Agriculture & Natural Resources. He is the school's third vice chancellor.
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Wespath funds outperform benchmarks

GLENVIEW, Ill. (UMNS) - Wespath, the investment division of the United Methodist Board of Pension and Health Benefits, reports that all six funds had outperformed their benchmarks as of the end of November 2013.
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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.

Advent, through Tuesday, Dec. 24 - Resources for Advent wreath lighting and sermons from the United Methodist Board of Discipleship and resources for drawing and welcoming visitors to Advent and Christmas services from United Methodist Communications. Ministry Matters, part of the United Methodist Publishing House, also offers the free Advent series "Follow the Star."

Christmas Eve, Tuesday, Dec. 24 and Christmas, Wednesday, Dec. 25- The United Methodist Board of Discipleship offers worship resources to celebrate Christ's birth.. Ministry Matters, part of the United Methodist Publishing House, offers advice on the lectionary for Advent, Christmas and Epiphany.

New Year's Eve and Watch Night, Tuesday, Dec. 31Whether you are at home or at church, the United Methodist Board of Discipleship offers devotions and worship resources to start 2014 with a focus on God.

Epiphany, Monday, Jan. 6 Celebrate the magi and Christ's revelation to the world with resources from the United Methodist Board of Discipleship.

Free webinar "Church Council Leadership," Tuesday, Jan. 7 - 6:30 p.m. CT, advice for church council or leadership teams in overseeing a comprehensive plan for ministry and discipleship. To register.

Free webinar "Stewardship and Finance: Getting It Right at the Starting Line," Thursday, Jan. 9 - 6:30 p.m. CT, for stewardship team, finance committee and church council members from the United Methodist Board of Discipleship. To register.

Deadline to apply for Peace with Justice grants, Friday, Jan. 10 - The United Methodist Board of Church and Society has allotted $48,000 in grants for 14 Peace with Justice ministries around the world. To apply

Deadline to register for Young Clergy Leadership Forum, Friday, Jan. 10 - The United Methodist Board of Church and Society is accepting applications from people 35 and younger for gathering Sunday to Wednesday, Jan. 26-29, 2014, at the United Methodist Building on Capitol Hill in Washington. Event is $175. Details.

Certified Lay Ministers Academy, Friday-Monday, Jan. 10-12 - Lake Junaluska Program Ministries, in partnership with the Cal Turner Jr. Center for Church Leadership at Martin Methodist College, will present the academy at Lake Junaluska, N.C. Details.

Deadline to apply for local church racial/ethnic ministries grants, Wednesday, Jan. 15 - Applications for grants up to $10,000 to help local United Methodist churches build ministries that strengthen and support racial and ethnic church concerns are available from the United Methodist Board of Discipleship. Details.

Human Relations Day, Sunday, Jan. 19 - One of six churchwide Special Sundays with offerings of The United Methodist Church., Human Relations Day strengthens United Methodist outreach to communities in the United States and Puerto Rico, encouraging social justice and work with at-risk youth. Details

Early bird deadline for 2014 Large Church Initiative, Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2014 - April 28-30 at Mount Pisgah United Methodist Church in Johns Creek, Ga., for United Methodist churches with 1,000 or more members and/or with an average attendance of 350 or more in worship. Details.

Shift Happens: Hope in the Midst of Transition, A gathering of Urban and Rural Practitioners, Thursday-Saturday, Jan. 16-18, 2014 - Workshop in Houston sponsored by iRUN (The International Rural and Urban Network of the United Methodist Church), Church and Community Workers, and the United Methodist Board of Global Ministries. Registration is $185. Details

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