Daily Digest - December 18, 2012

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UMNS Daily Digest
Produced by United Methodist News Service
Open hearts. Open minds. Open doors. The people of The United Methodist Church
Tuesday, December 18, 2012

"Thinking about today, I have to ask, 'Where is the joy, God?' But, just now, this is a time of tears. The Bible is filled with tears, wailing and loud lamentations. I think of Rachel who refused to be consoled for her children who were no more. There are tears for children who endure sickness, suffer through wars, experience the pains of hunger." - The Rev. Mel Kawakami, senior pastor of Newtown United Methodist Church in his Sunday sermon.

A Sunday of tears and comfort in Newtown

NEWTOWN, Conn. (UMNS) - After the horrors of a school shooting, nothing seems right until Newtown United Methodist Church comes together to ask, "In our trials, Lord, walk with us." Two of the children killed were church members.
Read story and post a comment

Newtown grief transcends faith boundaries

NEWTOWN, Conn. (UMNS) - As the Dec. 16 televised interfaith service made clear, the response in Newtown, Conn., to the tragic shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School has transcended religious boundaries.
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Church coping in aftermath of school shootings

NEWTOWN, Conn. (UMNS) - Newtown United Methodist Church has a passionate history of reaching out in mission to the world, but now it finds the world's attention and caring riveted on its own tight-knit community in Connecticut. "It's amazing to see how the whole world has come to us," said the Rev. Sue Klein, a deacon.
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Congregational advocacy urged to stop violence

WASHINGTON (UMNS) - In the wake of the violence at Sandy Hook Elementary School, the United Methodist Board of Church and Society - the agency charged with advocating the denomination's social teachings - is calling on congregations to submit letters advocating actions to stop violence. Among the actions, the Board of Church and Society suggests: Require universal background checks no matter where the gun is purchased, reinstate a vigorous ban on assault weapons and increase access to mental illness diagnosis and treatment.
Read the board's statement

Chaplain tackles Mount Kilimanjaro

WASHINGTON (UMNS) - The Rev. Karen Meeker is between peaks in her career. Really, really tall peaks. Lt. Col. Meeker, an Army chaplain and United Methodist ordained elder, is on her way up Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania, Africa. She also is between two top Army posts.
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Bledsoe nominated to lead Northwest Texas/ N.M. Area

HOUSTON (UMNS) - The South Central Jurisdiction College of Bishops - that is, the bishops in the jurisdiction -has recommended Bishop W. Earl Bledsoe to fill the vacancy in the Northwest Texas/New Mexico Episcopal Area. Bledsoe was forcibly retired this summer before the United Methodist Judicial Council, the denomination's top court, ordered his immediate reinstatement.
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Judge named top Status and Role of Women exec

CHICAGO (UMNS) - Dawn Wiggins Hare, an Alabama circuit court judge and active United Methodist, has been named the top executive of the United Methodist Commission on the Status and Role of Women.
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Philippines elects two new bishops

BAYOMBONG, Philippines (UMNS) - The Philippines Central Conference elected the Rev. Pete Torio and the Rev. Cerrie Francisco over the weekend, Dec. 15-16. Francisco's election came less than half an hour before the consecration service was scheduled. Bishop Rodolfo Alfonso Juan also was re-elected Dec. 14. The United Methodist News Service plans more coverage of the newly elected and re-elected bishops later in the week.

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