Daily Digest - November 25, 2013

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"We say at United Methodist Communications that a clear message can save lives. The Philippines disaster is an example of the critical role communications technologies have in our lives today." - The Rev. Larry Hollon, top executive of United Methodist Communications.

Church helps rebuild communications in Philippines

MANILA (UMNS) - When Typhoon Haiyan hit the Philippines, it was not just food and water that desperately were needed. The country's communications infrastructure sustained a devastating blow. United Methodist Communications is helping to meet that critical need.
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Bringing comfort to survivors in the Philippines

MANILA (UMNS) - When the United Methodist Committee on Relief delivered food packages Nov. 20 to six storm-ravaged communities in Dagami, the Philippines, it was the first substantial emergency relief aid there since Typhoon Haiyan struck nearly two weeks earlier. Linda Unger, a senior writer for the United Methodist Board of Global Ministries, and Mike DuBose, a photographer for United Methodist Communications, were there to tell the story.
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Schaefer says he does not blame others for trial

SPRING CITY, Penn. (UMNS) - When asked what he would say to the people who brought charges against him for officiating at his son's same-sex marriage, the Rev. Frank Schaefer said, "I cannot blame them because at one point I also had a different opinion."
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Call for release of abducted Syrian bishops

VIENNA, Austria (UMNS) - A call for the release of two abducted bishops in Syria has come from religious leaders at the 9th World Assembly of Religions for Peace. The bishops, Metropolitan Mar Gregorios Yohanna Ibrahim, the Syrian Orthodox Archbishop of Aleppo, and Bishop Boulous Yazigi, a Greek Orthodox Bishop in Damascus, were kidnapped in Aleppo on April 22, 2013.
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Winkler move to NCC official

WASHINGTON (UMNS) - It's official. Jim Winkler will be the new top leader of the National Council of Churches, after a nearly 30-year career at the United Methodist Board of Church and Society, including serving as its top executive since 2000. Though he's changing jobs, Winkler will still be in the United Methodist Building in Washington, headquarters for both agencies.
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United Theological launches doctorate in sports chaplaincy

DAYTON, Ohio (UMNS) - United Methodist-related United Theological Seminary is launching a Doctor of Ministry in Sports Chaplaincy program. The program is designed to enhance the role and skills of chaplains ministering in sport environments.
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About sports chaplaincy

Looking Ahead

Here are some of the activities ahead for United Methodists across the connection. If you have an item to share, email [email protected] 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.

Thanksgiving, Thursday, Nov. 28 - Worship resources from the United Methodist Board of Discipleship and the United Methodist Publishing House.

Online course "Behold! Cultivating Attentiveness in the Season of Advent," Dec. 1-25 - e-retreat 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. Ministry Matters, part of the United Methodist Publishing House, also offers the free Advent series "Follow the Star."

World AIDS Day, Sunday, Dec. 1 - The United Methodist Global AIDS Fund Committee asks local congregations to observe the 15th anniversary of World AIDS Day committing to Just Save One child from contracting the disease. The committee developed downloadable resources in cooperation with the United Methodist boards of Church and Society and Global Ministries. The UM Global AIDS Fund. To donate

#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

Lecture by former ambassador, Tuesday, Dec.3 - 5 p.m. CT, Miguel H. D

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