Daily Digest - February 14, 2013

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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
Thursday, February 14, 2013

"We don't want anybody falling through the cracks and not being helped." - The Rev. Rich Walton, disaster response coordinator for the Peninsula-Delaware Annual (regional) Conference.

More teams needed for Sandy recovery

NEW YORK (UMNS) - United Methodist coordinators in New Jersey, New York and Maryland are beginning to schedule rebuilding teams for those whose homes were damaged by Hurricane Sandy last October. The relief phase, pointed out the Rev. Warren Ferry, a district disaster coordinator on Long Island, lasted 100 days and recovery is expected to be 10 times that, translating to several years.
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Fifth U.M. church fire reported in North Carolina

SUMMERFIELD, N.C. (UMNS) - On the morning of Feb. 13, a fire of "suspicious" origin was reported in an outbuilding at Bethany United Methodist Church, about 10 miles from the sites of four recent arson fires on United Methodist church property. The Rev. Jim Raines, pastor, said fans were removing smoke from the sanctuary, which was not damaged, and the Ash Wednesday service would go on as planned. He asked worshippers at the Stokesdale community service to pray for his congregation. WFMY News in Greensboro reported on the fire.
Read story
Read about recent United Methodist church fires

NCC to close New York headquarters

NEW YORK (UMNS) - After a decades-long presence at The Interchurch Center, the National Council of Churches is shuttering its New York headquarters, although the ecumenical organization said it hopes to secure space for satellite offices in the building. The NCC will consolidate its operations in Washington.
Read news release

Mississippi tornado damage extensive

HATTIESBURG, Miss. (UMNS) - The Rev. Wayne Napier, United Methodist disaster relief coordinator for Mississippi, reports that the damage after a tornado during the night of Feb. 10 is "extensive in Forrest and Lamar counties. As of Tuesday morning, search and rescue continues." Napier said state officials estimate 500 homes destroyed in the two-county area. Six Mississippi United Methodist structures sustained damage, reported The Circuit Rider, the weekly update of the conference. The damage included four churches, a community center and a parsonage, primarily broken windows and extensive roof damage.
See The Circuit Rider

Jackson, Tenn., area still cleaning up from storm

JACKSON, Tenn. (UMNS) - Cleanup work continues from a Jan. 29-30 storm that affected a large area of the Jackson District. Lane Camp of the Memphis Annual (regional) Conference reports that two churches in the district sustained damage. Winds of up to 110 miles per hour were reported.
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New plane on its way to Congo

OVER THE ATLANTIC (UMNS) - A larger, more energy-efficient plane for Gaston Ntambo to deliver everything from cholera vaccines to malaria nets to Bibles has been purchased and is about to begin its journey to the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The West Ohio, Greater New Jersey, Arkansas and North Katanga annual (regional) conferences as well as the United Methodist Board of Global Ministries helped make the dream a reality. The Caravan plane has left Norway and is on its way to Ohio, where it will be refurbished, including an engine upgrade, before going to the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Follow the plane's journey

Audio available of some training sessions

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) - The 2013 Quadrennial Training Event, sponsored by the United Methodist Board of Discipleship, drew nearly 1,000 United Methodist leaders to Nashville late last month. One of the gathering's main goals was getting denominational leaders on the same page as they head into the next four years. The Rev. Art McClanahan, the director of communications for the Iowa Annual (regional) Conference, captured audio of presentations by Bishops Hope Morgan Ward, Gregory Palmer and Rosemarie Wenner as well as a presentation by Philip Clayton, provost of Claremont Lincoln University.
Listen to some of the sessions

Pastors debate value of Lenten sacrifice

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (UMNS) - Renewing a centuries-old debate, Arkansas pastors took to the Internet to discuss the spiritual value of making personal sacrifices such as giving up chocolate or television for Lent. Which is better: To give something up for Lent or to do something new for Lent? This article is a reprint from 2010.
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Bishop Wenner sends letter to pope

FRANKFURT, Germany (UMNS) - Germany Area Bishop Rosemarie Wenner, president of the United Methodist Council of Bishops, expressed appreciation and gratitude for the ministry of Pope Benedict XVI, a fellow German, in a letter to the Vatican's representative in Berlin, Archbishop Jean-Claude Prisset.

Valentine's Day stories coming

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) - Check out umc.org on Feb. 14 for stories with a romantic theme. You can read about a United Methodist church that offers walk-in Valentine's Day weddings, and later in the afternoon, read about married couples who met through United Methodist ministries.

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