Daily Digest - October 25, 2013

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"The three Hindu men with me in the parking lot, we prayed together. So, here's this United Methodist and these Hindus, and we're praying to our spiritual leaders together as the shooting's going on. To get to cry together and have genuine feeling &ellipsis; there was a shared experience you can't replicate in any other way." - Scott Gilpin, executive director of fund development for the United Methodist Board of Discipleship.

'Grateful to God' for Kenya mall experience

NAIROBI, Kenya (UMNS) - Scott Gilpin had traveled to Nairobi for a historic first meeting of presidents of African Methodist colleges and universities. The executive director of fund development for the United Methodist Board of Discipleship reflects on how a four-day deadly siege at a mall became a blessing for him.
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United Methodist Church intensifies ministries with poor

NEW YORK (UMNS) - Efforts are under way to expand, strengthen and promote United Methodist ministries with the poor in the United States through connecting local models of successful ministries that cross class, ethnic and racial lines. The undertaking reflects a four-point plan agreed to earlier by the Justice and Reconciliation Table of the denomination's Council of Bishops and representatives of the United Methodist boards of Church and Society and Global Ministries.
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Ohioans reach out in church fire loss

CLEVELAND (UMNS) - United Methodists across the North Central District are joining in prayers and reaching out to members of Willson United Methodist Church, whose 120-year-old church building burned Oct. 19. Parishioners looked on in tears as the Cleveland Fire Department doused hot spots Sunday morning. Initial secular news reports misspelled the name of the church. Rick Wolcott of the East Ohio Annual (regional) Conference offers an overview of the impact of the fire and how United Methodists are responding.
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Protect your church property

Just save one child, urges Global AIDS fund

NEW YORK (UMNS) - The United Methodist Global AIDS Fund Committee asks local congregations to observe the 15th anniversary of World AIDS Day, Dec. 1, by raising awareness of the HIV and AIDS crisis and committing to "just save one" child from contracting the disease. This year, Dec. 1 lands on the first Sunday of Advent. The fund has developed resources to help churches observe World AIDS Day.
For more information

Come together: Responding to the government shutdown

ALCOA, Tenn. (UMNS) - How should United Methodist Christians have responded during the recent government shutdown and related political drama? Annette Spence, editor of The Call, offers responses from four Holston Annual (regional) Conference members.
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Church opens gym to give kids a safe place

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (UMNS) - Hay Street United Methodist Church opens its gym once a week after school, inviting children to shoot hoops, play badminton or use a bowling set with foam pins. The Rev. David Blackman, the church's pastor, said he came up with the idea after reading that residents complainined of teenagers playing basketball with portable goals in neighborhood streets in violation of a city ordinance. The Fayetteville Observer has the story.
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Texas church joins search for missing 82-year-old

GARLAND, Texas (UMNS) - First United Methodist Church of Garland has gathered a "spontaneous army" to blanket the state - in the air and on the ground - with teams to help in a search now nearing two weeks for missing 82-year-old Hal Ticknor. The Dallas Morning News tells how the church has divided North Texas into grids and sent out more than 50 volunteers with fliers and maps to scour streets for signs of their church member, who has dementia.
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Correction: 2016 General Conference to see drop in delegates

The article published Monday, Oct. 21, misidentified the home annual (regional) conference of Stephanie Deckard Henry. She is a member of the Upper New York Conference.
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