Daily Digest - January 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
Monday, January 14, 2013

"The bears and angels and flowers have been transformed into a compost destined for the memorial that will be built for them. So what do we do before this tragedy fades from the national psyche . . . until the next tragedy?" - The Rev. Mel Kawakami, pastor of Newtown United Methodist Church.

One month later, Newtown looks ahead

NEWTOWN, Conn. (UMNS) - The members of Newtown United Methodist Church are looking ahead to the next steps as they mark the one-month anniversary of the tragic school shootings that resulted in the deaths of 20 children, seven adults and the shooter. They ask United Methodists to consider at least two things.
Read commentary

United Methodists join call against gun violence

WASHINGTON (UMNS) - United Methodists will join other faith leaders Jan. 15 in a demand that political leaders respond to the gun violence crisis in the United States. During the event at the United Methodist Building, a letter to President Barack Obama and Congress, signed by more than 40 religious leaders, will be released. The letter calls on political leaders to require every person who buys a gun to pass a criminal background check, remove high-capacity weapons and ammunition magazines from our streets and make gun trafficking a federal crime.
Learn more

Book addresses world problems through prayer

NEW YORK (UMNS) - With the deadline moving closer for the international community to achieve significant goals to relieve human suffering, the Rev. Liberato Bautista decided he had to act. Bautista, the United Methodist Board of Church and Society's executive representative to the United Nations, has put together a prayer guide on the United Nations' Millennium Development Goals with contributions from writers around the world.
Read story and post a comment

Religious leaders urgeObama to Middle East action

WASHINGTON (UMNS) - Three United Methodists - Bishop Rosemarie Wenner, president, United Methodist Council of Bishops; Harriett Jane Olson, top executive, United Methodist Women; and the Rev. John McCullough, president, Church World Service - were among the U.S. religious leaders signing a Jan. 7 letter that asked President Barack Obama to "bring the full energies of your Administration... to end the Arab-Israeli-Palestinian conflict."
Read letter

Perkins names alumnus award recipients

DALLAS (UMNS) - Southern Methodist University's Perkins School of Theology, a United Methodist-related seminary, has named the Rev. Roberto Escamilla and the Rev. William K. McElvaney as recipients of the 2013 Distinguished Alumnus Award. Escamilla is an instructor in the Perkins School of Theology Course of Study School, where he teaches classes on evangelism, worship and the sacraments and preaching. McElvaney is Le Van Professor Emeritus of Preaching and Worship at Perkins. The two will receive the awards on Feb. 4 during Ministers Week.
Read news release

Looking ahead

Here are some of the activities ahead for United Methodists across the connection. If you have an item to share with others, email [email protected] and put Digest in the subject line.

Jan. 15 -Free webinar "SPRC Plans the Year," 6:30 p.m. CST, for staff-parish relations committees from the United Methodist Board of Discipleship. To register, visit www.gbod.org/webinars.

Jan. 17 - Free webinar "Lay Leader: What Do I Do?," 6:30 p.m. CST, from the United Methodist Board of Discipleship. Includes advice from lay leaders of congregations large and small. To register, visit www.gbod.org/webinars.

Jan. 20 - "America's Sunday Supper" focuses on honoring military veterans. Inspired by the legacy of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., the event invites people from diverse backgrounds to come together to share a meal, discuss issues that affect their community and highlight the power each one of us has to make a difference. Rethink Church, part of United Methodist Communications, offers resources.

Jan. 20 - Human Relations Day Special Sunday of giving. Offering can be designated to benefit Human Relations Day grants, which support United Methodist rehabilitation and community development ministries. Details.

Jan. 21 - The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday observed. Many churches celebrate King's legacy with a day of service. The United Methodist Board of Discipleship also offers worship resources.

Jan. 21-23 - "Winter Retreat: Feeding the Soul" at Scarritt-Bennett Center in Nashville, Tenn. Costs range from $100-235. Details.

Jan. 22 - Free webinar "Trustees Plan a Year of Ministry," 6:30 p.m. CST, from the United Methodist Board of Discipleship. To register, visit www.gbod.org/webinars.

Jan. 24 - Voight Lectures Series luncheon and preaching event featuring Missouri Area Bishop Robert Schnase, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. CST, McKendree University, Lebanon, Ill. Schnase will speak on his book "Remember the Future: Praying for the Church and Change." Cost is $10. Details.

Jan. 28-31 - New Church Leadership Institute, Mount Sequoyah Retreat and Conference Center, Fayetteville, Ark. Sponsored in part by Path1. Details.To register.

Jan. 29 - Free webinar "Church Council Leads Discipleship," 6:30 p.m. CST, for church leadership teams, from the United Methodist Board of Discipleship. To register, visit www.gbod.org/webinars.

Jan. 30 - Inaugural Robert Kragalott Lecture on Genocide, Mass Atrocity and Human Rights at 7:30 p.m. EST, Ohio Wesleyan University's Hamilton-Williams Campus Center, 40 Rowland Ave., Delaware, Ohio. The lecturer is Timothy Snyder, the Housum Professor of History at Yale University. Details.

Jan. 31 - Free webinar "Nominations Committee Develops Leaders," 6:30 p.m. CST, from the United Methodist Board of Discipleship. Learn how to identify, train and support leaders within your congregation. To register, visit www.gbod.org/webinars.

Feb. 1 - Early bird deadline for the 2013 Large Church Initiative Conference of The United Methodist Church, April 22-24, Hyde Park United Methodist Church, Tampa, Fla. Sponsored by United Methodist Board of Discipleship for large-church clergy, staff and lay leaders. Early registration offers discounts of nearly 15 percent. Details.

Feb. 1 - Priority application deadline for Belle H. Bennett House, an intentional community for empowering young women hosted by the United Methodist Women's Scarritt Bennett Center, Nashville, Tenn. Women, ages 18-30, live for 10 months in a spiritual community while serving a justice ministry and the Scarritt Bennett Center. Four positions available. Details.

Feb. 4-6 - Ministers Week at Southern Methodist University's Perkins School of Theology, Dallas. Details.

Feb. 13 - Ash Wednesday, the start of the season of Lent.

Feb. 14-17 -The United Methodist young adult event Relevance X 2013: Making New Disciples and LEAD 2013 in Las Vegas. Relevance Ministries, in partnership with United Methodist-related Claremont School of Theology, hosts the event for young clergy, leaders of young-adult ministries and young adults. To learn more and register.

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