"This was an extremely destructive storm, and UMCOR is well-positioned through its office in the Philippines to play a significant role in long-term recovery efforts." - The Rev. Jack Amick, head of UMCOR international disaster response.
UMCOR mobilizes disaster response in Philippines
NEW YORK (UMNS) - The United Methodist Committee on Relief is mobilizing resources to respond to Typhoon Haiyan, the latest and largest in a series of disasters to hit the Philippines in the last 12 months. Although an accurate casualty toll is yet to be determined, it is clear the destruction and disruption of lives is massive. Haiyan hit the Philippines Friday, Nov. 8.
More than 50 United Methodist clergy show support of marriage of gay couple
PHILADELPHIA (UMNS) - Inside a 150-year-old United Methodist church, Richard Kevin Taylor and William Robert Gatewood celebrated their 25-year relationship with a service of Christian marriage on Nov. 9. More than 40 faith leaders, mostly United Methodist, were in attendance for the service, and additional clergy who were absent expressed support. Such services are forbidden by the United Methodist Book of Discipline, which holds that the practice of homosexuality is incompatible with Christian teaching and that marriage is between a man and a woman.
Swenson elected vice moderator as WCC event ends
BUSAN, Korea (UMNS) - As the World Council of Churches 10th Assembly drew to a close Nov. 8, the new 150-member Central Committee was commissioned. Bishop Mary Ann Swenson, ecumenical officer for the United Methodist Council of Bishops, was elected vice moderator for the committee.
Korean pastor reflects on first assembly experience
BUSAN, Korea (UMNS) - The Rev. Thomas Kim, a Korean-American United Methodist pastor from the Northern Illinois Annual (regional) Conference, reflects on his experience at the World Council of Churches 10th Assembly in a Q&A with United Methodist News Service.
Grants for local churches and annual conferences
NEW YORK (UMNS) - Grant applications are being accepted for funding of up to $10,000 for the strengthening and development of the racial-ethnic local church. The United Methodist Board of Global Ministries provides the grants to assist local congregations and annual conferences for projects and programs in four specific areas: congregational development, health ministry, leadership development and ministry with the poor. For applications and more information, contact Sonia Brum at email@example.com. The application deadline is Monday, Dec. 2, 2013.
Here are some of the activities ahead for United Methodists across the connection. If you have an item to share with others, email firstname.lastname@example.org and put Digest in the subject line.
Native American Heritage Month, November - Worship and devotional resources from the United Methodist Board of Discipleship and more ministry resources from the United Methodist Native American International Caucus.
Free webinar "Creating Sacred Spaces and Praying through Our Senses," Thursday, Nov. 14 -7 p.m. CT. The final offering in the "Teach Us to Pray" series will look at the value of creating set-aside space for prayer and devotional time. As Advent approaches, the webinar also will look at how icons and other visual images, music and incense can enrich Christians' experience of drawing nearer to God through prayer. Details.
Free webinar "How We Handle Money in the Church," Thursday, Nov. 14 - 6:30 p.m. CT. Every church that has had a crisis of financial impropriety thought what it was doing was fine until the day the impropriety was discovered. What's your church's policy for handing the gifts people entrust to you? To register.
"Day1," Sundays, Nov. 17 and 24 - The Rev. Amy L. Gearhart, senior pastor of Missouri United Methodist Church in Columbia, will be the featured speaker on the nationally syndicated radio program "Day1." To listen.
Free webinar "Using Children's Literature in Children's Ministry," Tuesday, Nov. 19 - 10 a.m. CT. Children's ministers from across the connection will discuss ways to incorporate children's literature in Sunday school, weekday ministries, small groups, nursery and other activities in the church. To register.
Free webinar "Pastors Read - 'The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to our Brains,'" Wednesday, Nov. 20 - 10 a.m. CT, an interactive small-group discussion on the book by Nicholas Carr. To register.
Free webinar "Maximizing the Mission Through Debt Reduction," Wednesday, Nov. 20 - 3 p.m. CT, covers specific steps taken by Ceta Canyon Camp leaders and stakeholders that turned around a $1.4 million debt. To register.
United Methodist Student Day, Sunday, Nov. 24 - Celebrate the United Methodist college and university students in your church. Offerings for this Special Sunday supports scholarships and loans for students attending United Methodist-related and other accredited colleges and universities. To learn more.
Thanksgiving, Thursday, Nov. 28 - Worship resources from the United Methodist Board of Discipleship.
Online course "Behold! Cultivating Attentiveness in the Season of Advent," Dec. 1-25 - eRetreat featuring Pamela Hawkins's Advent resource "Behold! Cultivating Attentiveness in the Season of Advent," presented by Upper Room eLearning and BeADisciple, $40. Details.
Online course "The Uncluttered Heart: Making Room for God during Advent and Christmas," Dec. 1 Jan. 5, 2014 - eRetreat offers guided reflection through the weeks of Advent on through Epiphany. Each day provides a quotation, scripture passage, reflection, prayer. This online retreat is presented by Upper Room eLearning and BeADisciple, $40. Details.
Advent, Dec. 1-24 - Resources for Advent wreath lighting and sermons from the United Methodist Board of Discipleship and resources for drawing and welcoming visitors to Advent and Christmas services from United Methodist Communications.
#GivingTuesday, Dec. 3 - United Methodists are invited to participate in #GivingTuesday, when every gift made online through the The Advance will be matched dollar for dollar up to $500,000 total and $50,000 for any one project. Visit umcmission.org/give.
Free webinar "Best Practices for Teaching and Implementing Creation Care and Appreciation," Wednesday, Dec. 4 - 3 p.m. CT. Seminar highlights the best practices of United Methodist camp and retreat ministries through their operations and programs. To register.
Holy Spirit Seminar: Signs and Wonders, Friday, Dec. 6 - 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. ET, United Theological Seminary will present speaker Randy Clark, founder of Global Awakening, at Ginghamsburg (United Methodist) Church, 6759 S. County Road 25A, Tipp City, Ohio. Details.
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