Daily Digest - November 19, 2013

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UMNS Daily Digest - November 19, 2013 (Clergy trial, Typhoon Haiyan, National Council of Churches, Philippines, Midwest tornadoes, British Methodist Church, corrected obituary)

"There is pain all around; there is no wonderful solution that will make everyone happy." - Bishop Peggy Johnson, episcopal leader of the Eastern Pennsylvania Annual (regional) Conference, at the start of the trial for the Rev. Frank Schaefer.

Schaefer found guilty; penalty phase begins

SPRING CITY, Pa. (UMNS)-The Rev. Frank Schaefer faces another long day Nov. 19 as a jury of ordained United Methodist clergy decide on his penalty after finding him guilty of breaking church law by officiating at the same-sex marriage of his son in 2007. The penalty could range from losing his ordination credentials to being suspended for a time determined by the jury.
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Ecumenical ties in Philippines assist aid efforts

MANILA (UMNS) - The 50th anniversary of the National Council of Churches in the Philippines originally was planned as a jubilee celebration. But the council, whose members include The United Methodist Church there, took a more somber tone Nov. 15 in the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan. An ecumenical relief effort is emerging.
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Young adults reach out to Philippine survivors

LEYTE, Philippines (UMNS) - Bearing relief supplies and hope, seven United Methodist young adults in the Philippines traveled 255 kilometers over the weekend to reach Typhoon Haiyan survivors in Leyte. Abelardo Alviola, president of Visayas Phils Annual Conference United Methodist Youth Fellowship, led the team, which rode by bus from Negros Oriental to Cebu and then by boat to Leyte Saturday, a 12-hour journey.
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Filipino bishop asks Chicago area to help

MELROSE PARK, Ill. (UMNS) - United Methodist Bishop Ciriaco Francisco of the Philippines told parishioners at Cosmopolitan United Methodist Church that in the typhoon's wake, "we have to reconstruct their communities, their lives." The Chicago Tribune says that in his appeal for help to rebuild the communities, Francisco said, "Life will no longer be the same again (for the people affected)."
Read story

Illinois, Indiana assess tornado damage

WASHINGTON, Ill. (UMNS) - United Methodists are working throughout Illinois and Indiana to determine the extent of damage from multiple tornados that swept through the two states Nov. 17. While there were reports of damage in other states, the storm's path took its greatest toll in Illinois.
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Help us to provide hope, bishop asks

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (UMNS) - "God is our refuge and our strength, an ever present help in the time of trouble" (Psalm 47), reminds Bishop Jonathan D. Keaton of the Illinois Area as he asks for prayers and relief help after the weekend's tornado devastation.
Read bishop's statement

'When the storms of life are raging'

INDIANAPOLIS (UMNS) - Indiana Area Bishop Mike Coyner, echoing a popular hymn, observes that the storms of life seem to be raging around us, whether in the Philippines or in the U.S. Midwest. "Just as The Lord stands by our side when we go through a variety of storms of life (physical, emotional, and spiritual), so too we, who follow The Lord, also stand by those who need help and support," he writes.
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British Methodist minister apologizes after drug report

LONDON (UMNS) - The Rev. Paul Flowers has apologized in a statement released by the British Methodist Church after a newspaper reported that he allegedly bought and used cocaine. He has been suspended from ministerial duties for three weeks pending investigation.
Read BBC story
Read statement from British Methodist Church

Editor's note: This obituary corrects an earlier version in which the name was inaccurate. UMNS regrets the error, and we extend our condolences to the family.

Bishop's daughter dies of malaria

KINDU, Democratic Republic of the Congo (UMNS) - Yema Blandine Unda, known as Kabibi, daughter of Bishop Gabriel Unda Yemba of the East Congo Episcopal Area, died Oct. 17 of cerebral malaria. Her mother, Omba Charlotte Unda, also died of malaria Feb. 1, 2007. Condolences from around The United Methodist Church go to the Unda family and to the people of the East Congo Episcopal Area.

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