Daily Digest - January 10, 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, January 10, 2013

"We started with an idea to intercept hikers and minister to their needs," Ashworth said. "But we had a desire for lasting relationships and long-term contact." - The Rev. Alan Ashworth, pastor of the three hospitable churches that began Appalachian Trail Outreach Ministry in Bastian, Va.

Chaplain to serve on Appalachian Trail

BASTIAN, Va. (UMNS) - Josh Lindamood, a 26-year-old preacher's son, aims to provide an encouraging spiritual presence to trekkers on the famed 2,200-mile passageway through 14 states. Three United Methodist churches and the Holston Annual (regional) Conference are supporting the chaplaincy, reports Annette Spence of The Call.
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Bishops launch interfaith office

NEW YORK (UMNS) - The new Office of Christian Unity and Interreligious Relationships was launched Jan. 1 by the United Methodist Council of Bishops as part of a transition in how the denomination's ecumenical and interfaith work is organized. An 11-member steering committee will convene in New York Jan. 24-26.
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More information on the transition

CWS sends letter to President Obama

WASHINGTON (UMNS) - In a Jan. 9 letter, the Rev. John McCullough, a United Methodist pastor and president of Church World Service, urged President Barack Obama to seek increased foreign assistance for hungry and impoverished people and to lead the way to "fair and generous" immigration reform.
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Daily devotions for children available

LAKELAND, Fla. (UMNS) - The Florida Annual (regional) Conference now offers daily devotions for adults to share with children. The devotions include Scripture and a conversation that takes less than a minute to read online, on a mobile phone or on an iPad or other tablet.
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To see today's devotion

Perkins to host 'Ministers Week'

DALLAS (UMNS) - Southern Methodist University's Perkins School of Theology plans to host Ministers Week Feb. 4-6. The theme will be "Hope for a Restless Church: Ancient Wisdom for Contemporary Leaders." Among the speakers are Perkins professors James Kang Hoon Lee, the Rev. Rebekah Miles, the Rev. Heidi Miller, Arlene Snchez Walsh and the Rev. Brad Braxton. Perkins is a United Methodist-related seminary.
To register and learn more

Asbury professor wins Christianity Today award

WILMORE, Ky. (UMNS) The Rev. Craig Keener, New Testament professor at Asbury Theological Seminary and ordained Baptist, has won the Christianity Today Award of Merit for his book, "Miracles: The Credibility of the New Testament Accounts." Asbury is a United Methodist-approved seminary.
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Blog: The local church's competition

LEXINGTON, Ky. (UMNS) - Some claim the local church competes with other churches. Others contend the church faces competition from secular nonprofits. The Rev. Teddy Ray, pastor for the Offerings Community and executive pastor of First United Methodist Church in Lexington, has a different take. "The church's competition is sin, injustice, and heresy!" he writes on his blog.
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