Daily Digest - March 15, 2013

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"I personally pray that Pope Francis will challenge the church to become advocates of the poor at all levels in a world where the gap between the rich and the poor is increasing at an alarming rate." - United Methodist Bishop Sudarshana Devadhar of the Boston Episcopal Area.

More United Methodists react to new pope

BUENOS AIRES (UMNS) - The Rev. Juan Gattinoni, an executive of United Methodist mission relations in Latin America for the Board of Global Ministries, works in Buenos Aires and knows the new pope personally. He was among the United Methodists who have added their thoughts on the new spiritual leader of The Roman Catholic Church.
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Read full statement by Bishop Rosemarie Wenner

Pennsylvania bishops urge Medicaid expansion

HARRISBURG, Pa. (UMNS) - Pennsylvania's three United Methodist bishops on March 11 urged Gov. Tom Corbett and members of the state legislature to say yes to expanding Medicaid service to vulnerable individuals and families under the federal government's new health-care law. The bishops - Thomas Bickerton of the Western Pennsylvania (regional) Conference, Peggy Johnson of the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference and Jeremiah Park of the Susquehanna Conference - met with the governor and legislators.
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Justice for Our Neighbors opens new Chicago Clinic

CHICAGO (UMNS) - Justice For Our Neighbors, the United Methodist network of legal clinics, opened its Chicago Clinic site March 9 with six clients already on the schedule. Volunteers from Humboldt Park United Methodist Church and other communities of faith were there with hospitality, childcare and immigration legal services.
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Building community through ministry teams

CAPE CORAL, Fla. (UMNS) - "Large gatherings of people for corporate worship and teaching are important, but it isn't Christian community," writes the Rev. Jorge Acevedo in a commentary for the Lewis Center for Church Leadership at United Methodist-related Wesley Theological Seminary. "Real community doesn't happen in rows of chairs, but in circles," he says. Acevedo is the lead pastor of Grace Church, a multi-site United Methodist congregation in Florida. The commentary is adapted from his book "Vital: Churches Changing Communities and the World."
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Claremont offers ethical leadership degree

CLAREMONT, Calif. (UMNS) - Claremont Lincoln University is offering an online degree for working professionals seeking advanced education in professional leadership, ethics and organizational change. The M.A. in ethical Leadership consists of 10 online classes that can be completed in as little as 15 months. United Methodist-related Claremont School of Theology is a member of the Claremont Lincoln Consortium.
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Women's History Month: Everyone can be a change agent

WASHINGTON (UMNS) - "During Women's History Month, let's commit ourselves to celebrate the women who are named in history books and research, and identify those who are not named," writes Susan Burton for the United Methodist Board of Church and Society. "Those unnamed heroines are as significant in changing history and actively nurturing our girls and boys to create a world where God's kingdom has come and there is an end to oppression."
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