Daily Digest: July 02, 2013

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"As United Methodists, we grieve at the loss of this long-standing ministry in Chicago's communities. Our prayers are with the children and families, employees and staff of Marcy-Newberry." - Chicago Area Bishop Sally Dyck.

130-year-old urban ministry closes its doors

CHICAGO (UMNS) - After 130 years of providing crucial social services to the Chicago Near West, North Lawndale and Austin communities, United Methodist-related Marcy-Newberry Association, Inc. has announced it is shutting down. The decision came after an unsuccessful effort to raise much-needed funds to offset a growing deficit, the Northern Illinois Annual (regional) Conference reports.
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Bagging world record, feeding hungry kids

ATLANTA (UMNS) - North Georgia United Methodists joined with other volunteers to pack more than 18,500 sandwiches in in five cities on Saturday, June 29. The effort - in partnership with United Methodist Communications' Rethink Church and Action Ministries - aimed to bag a Guinness World Record and feed some hungry kids. All five locations appear to have bested the record for making the most sandwiches in an hour, which has stood at 2,706. Volunteers in Lithonia, in the Atlanta metroplex, made 4,226 sandwiches; Athens volunteers made 3,814, and those who turned out in Rome made 4,000; the Gainesville group made 3,546, and the volunteers in Augusta made 2,988 sandwiches. Guinness will respond in four to six weeks to confirm whether a new record has been set. The sandwiches will be distributed by the Smart Lunch, Smart Kid program that is trying to serve 200,000 healthy lunches to children in 20 Georgia cities this summer. More than 800,000 youngsters in Georgia qualify for free and reduced lunch during the school year. Many of them are hungry during summer.

Follow the action as it occurred on Twitter with #sandwichrace

New UMCOR leader nominated

NEW YORK (UMNS) - A former missionary and director for the United Methodist Board of Global Ministries has been nominated as a top staff executive for the United Methodist Committee on Relief. The Rev. Denise Honeycutt, a Virginia pastor who has served on UMCOR's board of directors for the past eight years, will serve on an interim basis, effective Sept. 16, until the nomination is considered by the mission agency's full board in October.
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N.J. United Methodists get $1.5 million grant for Sandy work

TINTON FALLS, N.J. (UMNS) - The American Red Cross has awarded a $1.5 million grant to the United Methodist Greater New Jersey Annual (regional) Conference for Sandy recovery work with the elderly, disabled and low-income families.
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Dealing with disaster

Conference launches news show

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (UMNS) - To try to be responsible stewards of conference resources and tell news differently, the Western North Carolina Annual (regional) Conference has launched a video digest.
Watch examples

Ohio Wesleyan receives biggest gift in its history

DELAWARE, Ohio (UMNS) - Ohio Wesleyan University has received an $8 million gift from an alumni couple to fund the restoration of Merrick Hall, an academic building closed more than 25 years ago. The contribution represents the largest single outright gift in the United Methodist-related university's 171-year history. The restored building, expected to reopen in 2015, will house elements of the OWU Connection curricular initiative as well as classroom and event space. The donors have asked to remain anonymous.
Learn more about Ohio Wesleyan's Merrick Hall and see historic photographs
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