Daily Digest - January 30, 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
Wednesday, January 30, 2013

"This decision by the Boy Scouts of America alleviates a conflict between their discriminatory rules and our denomination's guidance on faithful social witness." - Jim Winkler, United Methodist Board of Church and Society.

2 agencies agree with change in Boy Scout ban

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) - Leaders of two United Methodist agencies - United Methodist Men and United Methodist Board of Church and Society - welcomed news that the Boy Scouts of America is considering ending its decades-long ban on gay scouts and scout leaders. But church leaders also were hearing mixed reactions in their communities.
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Bishop Carcao at Obama immigration conference

LAS VEGAS (UMNS) - When President Barack Obama outlined his plan for immigration reform at a high school in Las Vegas Jan. 29, he made sure The United Methodist Church was represented in recognition of the "hard work" the denomination is doing for undocumented immigrants. Bishop Minerva Carcao, episcopal leader for the California-Pacific Annual (regional) Conference and chair of the United Methodist Interagency Taskforce on Immigration, was invited by the president to be at the conference.
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Church takes fresh look at Christian unity

NEW YORK (UMNS) As United Methodists reorganize efforts to promote Christian unity and interfaith relationships, they face a challenging ecumenical landscape.
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Clergy health survey in February

GLENVIEW, Ill. (UMNS) - The Center for Health of the United Methodist Board of Pension and Health Benefits will conduct its annual online clergy health survey in February 2013. The survey continues to provide comparative data for the center's clergy health research. A sample of 5,000 U.S. clergy - representing a cross-section of active United Methodist clergy by jurisdiction, gender, race/ethnicity and clergy type - will receive a brief online survey.
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Mission field awareness leads to Homework Club

FORREST CITY, Ark. (UMNS) - Marvellia Key and her husband, the Rev. Kennis Key, who serves as part-time local pastor of Kynette United Methodist Church, wanted to find new ways the church could have an impact on the surrounding community. With an average worship attendance of 15 to 20 people, the church certainly fits the definition of "small church." But size didn't stop it from reaching out into its mission field in a new way this year: through Key's Afterschool Homework Club, housed in a newly remodeled room of the building. Amy Forbus of the Arkansas Annual (regional) Conference reports on the program, which is scheduled to launch Feb. 1.
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Asbury adds church-planting programs

WILMORE, Ky. (UMNS) -Asbury Theological Seminary has announced a new Master of Arts in Church Planting and a Master of Divinity with a specialization in church planting for fall 2013. The new degree programs are key components of Asbury's 2023 Strategic Plan announced last spring.
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Rev. John Southwick joins Good News

THE WOODLANDS, Texas (UMNS) - The Rev. John Southwick has become the new director of research, networking, and resources for Good News, an unofficial evangelical caucus. Southwick was director of research at the United Methodist Board of Global Ministries where he analyzed trends in culture, ministry, demographics, and ministry practices to help lead United Methodist churches toward renewal and revitalization.
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