Daily Digest - October 28, 2013

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"As people of faith, we urge reforms that uphold the God-given dignity and rights of every person, each of whom is made in the image of God. We believe fundamental human rights, such as the right to migrate and the right to support a family, are critical." - Bishop Janice Riggle Huie of the Texas Annual (regional) Conference.

What St. Francis can teach United Methodists

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) - The man Christians around the world celebrate today as St. Francis of Assisi is likely the most popular saint outside the Bible. Francis' popularity extends to The United Methodist Church as well. Heather Hahn tells the story of this young rebel who became a saint.
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Church's animal blessing doesn't miss a bleat

GIG HARBOR, Wash. (UMNS) - Cats, dogs, pigs, horses and people gathered at Gig Harbor United Methodist Church for the congregation's first blessing of the animals. Similar events at other venues usually take place around Oct. 4, St. Francis of Assisi's feast day, to honor the Catholic saint's love for all creatures. The News Tribune reports on the barks and bleats.
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Houston clergy urge defeat of immigration bill

HOUSTON (UMNS) - Bishop Janice Riggle Huie of the Texas Annual (regional) Conference joined other faith leaders last week for a news conference to urge lawmakers to reject federal immigration legislation that would toughen penalties. The Houston Chronicle reports that leaders also urged those who oppose the SAFE Act to contact their representatives in Congress and ask for comprehensive immigration reform.
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General Conference 2016 worship/music leader named

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) - The Rev. Laura Jaquith Bartlett of Eagle Creek, Ore., has been named worship and music director for the 2016 United Methodist General Conference by the Commission on the General Conference. Bartlett is president-elect of the Fellowship of United Methodists in Music & Worship Arts and program director at the Alton L. Collins Retreat Center, as well as worship coach for several United Methodist churches.
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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.

Lunch and Learn on Christian Leadership in a Pluralistic Society, Monday, Oct. 28 - 11:45 a.m. to 1 p.m. CT. Southern Methodist University's Perkins School of Theology will present a free lecture by Robert Hunt at Houston-Galveston Extension Program in Houston. Details.

Welcome Table at Wesley Theological Seminary, Monday, Oct. 28 and Thursday, Nov. 21 - 4 to 7:30 p.m. ET, prospective students can join a meal and attend a class at the seminary. Details.

Free webinar "The ELI Project - Developing Young People as Spiritual Leaders," Wednesday, Oct. 30 - 3 p.m. CT. This webinar is an overview of the Experiential Leadership Initiative, a collaborative effort of the North Georgia Annual (regional) Conference Camp and Retreat Ministry and other ministries. To register.

"JustPeace101," Thursday-Saturday, Oct. 31-Nov. 2 - Event in the theory, theology, principles and practices of conflict transformation led by JustPeace, The United Methodist Church's Center for Conflict Transformation, in Nashville, Tenn. Details.

All Saints' Day, Friday, Nov. 1 - Worship resources for the day or nearest Sunday from the United Methodist Board of Discipleship.

Free webinar "Exploring the Bible through Multiple Intelligences," Tuesday, Nov. 5 - 6:30 p.m. CT, applying work of Harvard University's Howard Gardner to Bible study. To register.

Free webinar "Children and Worship: The Conversation Continues," Thursday, Nov. 7 - 10 a.m. CT. How did Jesus address children in worship? How should we address that ongoing question of whether children should worship with the gathered body? To register.

Free webinar "Developing Your Ministry Plan 3: Discovering your Discipleship Process," Thursday, Nov. 7 - 6:30 p.m. CT. This session will focus on four key areas of congregational life: values, small groups, worship and preaching. To register.

In Mission Together, Thursday-Saturday, Nov. 7-9 - The United Methodist Board of Global Ministries will hold 50/50 Partnership Roundtable for United Methodists in the U.S., Eastern Europe and the Balkans. The gathering is at Cheviot United Methodist Church in Cincinnati, Ohio. Details.

"Love across the Spectrum" Conference, Friday-Saturday, Nov. 8-9 - Sponsored by Ohio Wesleyan University Chaplain's Office. Details.

Red Bird Mission Appalachian Craft Fair, Saturday, November 9 - 9 a.m.-2 p.m., Bethel United Methodist Church-Chewsville, 21006 Twin Springs Dr., Smithsburg, Md. Details.

Spirituality of Advent Retreat, Saturday, Nov. 9 - 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. CT, Scarritt-Bennett Center, Nashville, Tenn. $25. Details.

Veterans Day or Armistice Day, Monday, Nov.11 - Resources for honoring military veterans, from United Methodist Communicationsand from United Methodist Board of Discipleship.

Workshop on Advocacy, Tuesday-Thursday, Nov. 12-14 - Training for anyone asked to be an advocate for a pastor or lay person. To register and learn the cost and location, contact the Rev. Jerry Eckert of Associates in Advocacy at [email protected]. Registration limited.

Free webinar on "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.

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