Daily Digest - November 26, 2012

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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
Monday, November 26, 2012

"We pride ourselves on our unique product assortments for churches and laity that meet much broader needs than other Christian retailers." - Cathey Clark, merchandise manager at The United Methodist Publishing House.

Final Cokesbury Christmas for retail outlets

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) - Shoppers can find old favorites and new products as the United Methodist book and gift stores offer their final Christmas "open house" events. Among the offerings at the retail division of the United Methodist Publishing House are an exclusive Nativity crèche, a Fisher-Price Little People Advent calendar and a plethora of Advent and Christmas books.
Read full story and post a comment

United Methodist billboards urge reclaiming Christmas

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) - United Methodist Communications' Rethink Church has leased billboards around the United States that urge people, "This Christmas, Spend Less. Give More." The billboards note that the message is brought by the people of The United Methodist Church. The billboards are in Birmingham, Ala.; Dayton, Ohio; Detroit; Nashville; Pittsburgh, and in Spanish in Pasco, Wash. The billboard message will be up through Dec. 25.
To see an image of the billboard
To learn more about "A Different Kind of Christmas"

United Methodists take over Pandora

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) - Today, Nov. 26, The United Methodist Church will be one of only three advertisers featured on the Internet radio site Pandora. On a website that shares its name with a Greek mythical figure famous for opening a box of bad gifts, the United Methodist message will call attention to the consumerism of the season and offer an alternative focus on Christ. Through Dec. 25, United Methodist Communications' Rethink Church also will offer as part of its ads on Pandora a free download of "Away in a Manger" recorded by country music duo Joey + Rory.
To see what Pandora looks like today
Read full news release

Global Ministries urges prayers for just Mid-East peace

NEW YORK (UMNS) - The United Methodist Board of Global Ministries released a statement Nov. 20 condemning the violence in the Middle East and calling for prayers for a just peace for Israelis and Palestinians. The United Methodist Committee on Relief, part of Global Ministries, has reached out to partners to respond to the crisis. Global Ministries has five mission staff in the Holy Land.
Read full story

Religious leaders send letter to Obama

WASHINGTON (UMNS) - More than 30 Christian, Jewish and Muslim leaders have sent President Barack Obama a letter congratulating him on his re-election and promising to work with the administration "during the next four years to help our nation live up to the promise of liberty and justice for all." Bishop Rosemarie Wenner, president of the United Methodist Council of Bishops and leader of Germany's episcopal area, and the Rev. John McCullough, president and chief executive officer of Church World Service, were the two United Methodist signers.
Read letter

Illusion of race too often supported by religion

BETHEL, Conn. (UMNS) - Brutally or subtly, racial animosity is still a defining American problem, writes Ray Waddle in a commentary for InterpreterOnLine. In October, an Associated Press survey said racial prejudice has actually increased since Obama's 2008 election. The poll shows high levels of anti-black sentiment - and anti-white feeling. Waddle ponders whether Christian belief can rescue us from these old habits of thought.
Read full commentary

Looking ahead

Here are some of the activities ahead for United Methodists across the connection. If you have an item to share with others, email[email protected]and put Digest in the subject line.

Before Advent - United Methodist Communications urges all churches to update their profiles in November on Find-a-Church on www.umc.org. Help people celebrate "A Different Kind of Christmas." To update.

Nov. 29-Dec. 1 - 2012 Multicultural Conference, "Creating a Church for All People," Lake Junaluska Conference and Retreat Center. Leadership includes retired Bishop Melvin Talbert, retired Bishop Linda Lee and Bill Cruse. Details.

Nov. 30 - United Methodist Grand Revival Worship Celebration, Philsports Arena (Ultra), Pasig City, the Philippines. Details.

Dec. 1 - World AIDS Day. Worship resources.Donate to the United Methodist Global AIDS Fund.

Dec. 2 - The Rev. Bill Britt, senior pastor of Peachtree Road United Methodist Church in Atlanta, will be the featured speaker for the first Sunday of Advent on the radio program "Day 1." To listen.

Dec. 2-5 - Imagine No Malaria "Days on the Hill," The United Methodist Board of Church and Society and annual (regional) conferences leaders will advocate to U.S. Congress members for continued support of global health aid. Prayers are welcome. Details.

Dec. 4-7 and 11-14 - Free Christmas concerts, 1-1:30 p.m., Wightman Chapel at Scarritt-Bennett Center, Nashville, Tenn. Details.

Dec. 9-13 - "The Art of Coaching, Conflict Transformation and the Intersection of the Two: Moving to a New Place" seminar facilitated by Chris Holmes and Craig Gilliam, Hilton New Orleans/St. Charles Avenue Hotel in New Orleans. JustPeace, the United Methodist Board of Discipleship and the Louisiana Conference Center for Pastoral Excellence are among the sponsors. To register or for further questions, contact Linda Gregg at 225-346-1646 or [email protected]. Details.

Dec. 14 - Deadline for United Methodist clergy, ages 35 and younger, to apply for United Methodist Board of Church and Society's Young Clergy Leadership Forum, Feb. 4-6, United Methodist Building on Capitol Hill. An additional event on Feb. 7-8 will give participants a chance to engage in public policy. Details.

Jan. 2-5 - 2013 Congress of Evangelism, Crowne Plaza at Rivinia, Dunwoody, Ga. Speakers include Bishop Lindsey Davis, the Rev. Sharma D. Lewis and the Rev. H. Eddie Fox. Details.

Jan. 10 - Deadline to apply for a Peace with Justice grant from the United Methodist Board of Church and Society. To download an application form.

Jan. 10 - Deadline to apply for an Ethnic Local Church grant from the United Methodist Board of Church and Society. To download an application form.

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