Daily Digest: August 08, 2013

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"It's slight but perceptible. And combined with anecdotal evidence, the buzz you get about how churches are feeling, I think we're seeing a positive trend." - Randy Bowman, president of the National Association of Annual Conference Treasurers, on the increase in annual conference budgets.

Conference budgets show modest growth

DALLAS (UMNS) - The fiscal health of United Methodist annual (regional) conferences in the United States seems at least stable, maybe a tad better, coming out of annual meetings at which budget matters were a major part of the agenda. A survey of conference treasurers showed more conferences are increasing budgets rather than cutting them or staying flat.
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UM school association names new leader

SPARTANBURG, S.C. (UMNS) - Colleen Perry Keith, Spartanburg Methodist College president, was named president of the National Association of Schools and Colleges of The United Methodist Church for a one-year term beginning August 2013, during the organization's annual meeting this week. NASCUMC is a voluntary association of schools, colleges and universities committed to the historic and distinctive values of United Methodist-related education. The Fort Mill Times reports.
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UMCOR offers help for war-affected Gaza

NEW YORK (UMNS) - Gaza's prolonged unresolved conflict and political situation have resulted in economic disadvantages and socio-cultural limitations for war-impacted communities. The United Methodist Committee on Relief has provided a grant to ACT Alliance for the Middle East Council of Churches to support the implementation of a counseling program for Palestinian individuals and groups, specifically women and children, to help alleviate the stress provoked by the crisis. An estimated 10,000 women and 600 children are expected to benefit from the program..
Donate to Advance #982450, International Disaster Response

Relief supplies needed

NEW YORK (UMNS) - At UMCOR Sager Brown in Baldwin, La., and UMCOR West in Salt Lake City, the inventory of relief-supply kits remains desperately low. UMCOR has several resources for churches wanting to collect a special offering to help replenish supplies.
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Donate to Advance #901440, Material Resources

'What does it mean to be United Methodist for me?'

ALCOA, Tenn. (UMNS) - "I am United Methodist because in this church there is opportunity to service for all who desire to serve the One that lives and reigns forever," writes the Rev. Arturo Reyna, Hispanic ministry coordinator for Holston Annual (regional) Conference and pastor of Rivers of Living Water United Methodist Church in Morristown, Tenn. He offers eight reasons to be United Methodist, first in Spanish and then English.
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