December 21, 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
Friday, December 21, 2012

Note: We at the United Methodist News Service wish you and your loved ones a joyous Christmas and new year. The UMNS Daily Digest will return on Jan. 7.

"This gives me hope at least. I'm so close to my kids, and that's all I want is just to see my kids one more time." - Nancy Romero, participant in Las Posadas, which brings together families separated by the U.S.-Mexico border.

Border separates families at Christmas

TIJUANA, Mexico (UMNS) - United Methodist missionaries are part of an effort to unite families divided by deportations and immigration policies. For nearly 20 years, families have gathered at Christmas at Friendship Park in San Diego for a re-enactment of the Nativity called Las Posadas. A fence keeps families separated but they are able to make contact through the barrier.
Watch UMTV: Border Separates Families at Christmas
See what happens at the U.S.-Mexico border
Read Home for Christmas? Not for border families

Faith leaders join call to end gun violence

WASHINGTON (UMNS) - United Methodist Bishop Peter Weaver will join other religious leaders at the Washington National Cathedral Dec. 21 to honor those lost in the Newtown, Conn., school shootings and call for an end to an epidemic of gun violence. Houses of worship around the country are asked to join along as the cathedral's funeral bell tolls at 9:30 a.m., exactly one week after the tragedy that left 28 people dead, including the shooter.
Read story and post a comment

2012: Judicial rulings play big role

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) - To hear some United Methodists tell it, a handful of Judicial Council rulings this year have turned the denomination's polity on its head and made the top church court the most powerful branch in church government. Others, of course, disagree.
Read story and post a comment

2012: A year's worth of disasters

NEW YORK (UMNS) - A late-season hurricane that swept the U.S. Northeast coast and a typhoon flooding the island of Mindanao in the southern Philippines capped disaster-response efforts by United Methodists during 2012.
Read story and post a comment

2012: The year in pictures

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) - View images from around the world showing the church in action. The images are from the United Methodist News Service archives.
View slideshow

Remembering to see Jesus through the eyes of a child

FRANKFURT (UMNS) - Bishop Rosemarie Wenner, president of the United Methodist Council of Bishops, reminds us that God becomes a child. Jesus puts children at the center and tells us that they are teachers in matters of faith. It is, therefore, in our best interest to pay more attention to children in church and society.
Read Christmas message and post a comment
Watch video message

UMTV: Trash trees for Christmas

NEW YORK (UMNS) - Members of New York City's Church of St. Paul and St. Andrew United Methodist turn Hula Hoops, Styrofoam and bottle caps into must-see Christmas trees. "Especially around the holidays, people need to see maybe it's not all about money and spending and buying and pretty trees and lights and stuff but just &ellipsis; a bottle cap tree created. It just makes them smile," says church member Jordan Nieblum.
Watch video

Here we raise our Ebenezer

COLUMBIA, Mo. (UMNS) - You won't find many boys called Ebenezer in the United States, but you will find plenty of churches with that name. It's not a reference to "A Christmas Carol," but to a far older text. Fred Koenig of the Missouri Annual (regional) Conference offers the rock-solid truth on this far from miserly name.
Read main story
Read about Ebenezer in the Bible


An item in the Dec. 20, 2012 digest misspelled the publisher of "Flames of Love: Hell and Universal Salvation" by the Rev. Heath Bradley. The publisher is Wipf and Stock.

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