Daily Digest - February 15, 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
Friday, February 15, 2013

"This situation is so far beyond us, and there is no road map. We haven't been here before, and we must simply step forward one step at a time, 'looking to Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of our faith.'" - The Rev. Steven K. Conner of Taylor Chapel United Methodist Church, Fort Wayne, Ind.

Church fire offers 'moments of deep grace'

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (UMNS) - "Pastors and people from all denominations have rallied to our cause for prayer support, practical offers of assistance, and sincere concern and encouragement," writes the Rev. Steven K. Conner of Taylor Chapel United Methodist Church where a Dec. 3,fire of accidental origin destroyed the sanctuary. This is the third in a United Methodist News Service series about recent church fires and what churches can do to protect their property.
Read commentary and post a comment
Read series

Cupid in The United Methodist Church

LAFAYETTE, Ind. (UMNS) - About 20 United Methodists had a hand in helping Matthew Oates ask for his wife's hand. Oates is one of several United Methodists who share the stories of how United Methodist ministries led them to meeting their spouses.
Read story and post a comment

Valentine's Day made holy

AUGUSTA, Mich. (UMNS) When a couple said they couldn't afford a church wedding, the Rev. Nelson Hall created a celebration the whole church would remember.
Read story

5 years later: Still struggling with gun violence

DECATUR, Ill. (UMNS) - Retired pastor Miley Palmer of the Illinois Great Rivers Annual (regional) Conference and his family relived a nightmare when the December 2012 shooting occurred at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. It was Feb. 14, 2008, when a shooter entered a lecture hall on the campus of Northern Illinois University. Five students died, including 19-year-old Ryanne Mace, the granddaughter of Palmer and his wife, Janet, and the granddaughter of fellow retired IGRC pastor Gene Mace and his wife, Sally. Paul Black writes about how that event has - in the words of Palmer - "changed everything."
Read story

Remembering the day five years ago at NIU

DEKALB, Ill. (UMNS) - The Rev. Laura Crites, then associate pastor at First United Methodist Church in DeKalb, and Northern Illinois University Campus Pastor Efrain Avila rushed to offer comfort wherever possible when word came of the NIU shootings Feb.14, 2008. Jamie Greco writes about how The United Methodist Church reached out after the shooting.
Read story

Chicago religious leaders ask prayer for gun victims

CHICAGO (UMNS) - The Council of Religious Leaders of Metropolitan Chicago has called on all faith communities as they gather for worship from Feb. 15 through Feb.17 to join in prayer for the victims of gun violence and their families. The group is made up of leadership of major religious traditions in the broader Chicago area.
Read statement

Mississippi ready for disaster relief help

JACKSON, Miss. (UMNS) - An invitation has been issued to United Methodist Early Response Teams that are certified to assist with work that is already in progress by local churches in the area of southern Mississippi hard-hit by a storm during the night of Feb.10 storm. The area also received a federal disaster declaration Feb. 13 that makes available federal aid. The Mississippi Annual (regional) Conference and its disaster relief coordinator, the Rev. Wayne Napier, have provided details about how to help.
How to volunteer

Donations to support the relief work in Mississippi can be made through UMCOR. Checks should be made out to Advance GCFA, and the memo line should note U.S. Disaster Response (#901670) Mississippi storms. Donations can be placed in offering plates or mailed directly to Advance GCFA, P.O. Box 9068, New York, N.Y. 10087-9068. Online donations will go to the general U.S. Disaster Response and cannot be designated for a specific area, but the funds will be directed to the area of greatest need.How to donate

Bishop urges focus on child poverty

CHARLESTON, W. Va. (UMNS) - Three in 10 West Virginia children live in poverty, and Bishop Sandra L. Steiner Ball believes United Methodists in the West Virginia Annual (regional) Conference are called to help.
Read more about West Virginia efforts

New bishops attend Leadership Academy

EVANSTON, Ill. (UMNS) - For four days, United Methodist-related Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary hosted 11 newly consecrated United Methodist bishops as participants in the 2013 Leadership Academy. The Leadership Academy, an executive education program created specifically for the bishops elected in 2012, was led by senior faculty and practitioners from Garrett-Evangelical and the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. Bishops from across the United States as well as Europe and Russia participated in the leadership program.
Read news release

2013 program calendars still available at discount

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) - United Methodist Communications is still offering 2013 United Methodist Program Calendars at 60 percent discounts this month.
To learn more

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