Daily Digest - September 04, 2013

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"As Christians we are called to be peacemakers, even as we sometimes hold within our body very different understandings on how that peace might be achieved. But nothing in our disagreements should keep us from being united in our prayers for peace in Syria and around the world." - Bishop Grant Hagiya.

Council lists steps for resolving East Africa issues

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) -The directors of The United Methodist Church's finance agency have adopted a list of steps for resolving the audit issues in the church's East Africa area, including a call for Bishop Daniel Wandabula to resign.
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For peace in Syria

DES MOINES, Wash. (UMNS) - Greater Northwest Area Bishop Grant Hagiya asks United Methodists to accept Pope Francis' invitation to prayer and fasting on Sept. 7 for peace in Syria. The United Methodist Board of Church and Society was among 25 nongovernmental organizations that signed a letter to President Obama saying military strikes are not the answer in Syria.
Read bishop's letter
Read letter to president

UMTV: Africa's miracle tree

TUNUKUK PUYE, Liberia (UMNS) - What plant can lower cholesterol, purify the liver and prevent blindness? Learn how the United Methodist Committee on Relief helps farmers grow a nutritional powerhouse.
Watch video

History of Hymns: 'Hope of the World'

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) - Georgia Harkness, a United Methodist and leading U.S. theologian in the mid-20th century, wrote the words for this hymn. Composed in the early years of the ecumenical movement, the hymn won a Hymn Society contest. C. Michael Hawn has the story.
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Church offers love, hospitality to Chinese exchange students

THOMASVILLE, Ga. (UMNS) - Members at Thomasville First United Methodist Church provided friendship and a second family for 17 Chinese students at Thomas University. Each United Methodist family went through training, learning more about how to build genuine relationships and about watching and praying for opportunities to share their faith. Kara Witherow of the South Georgia Annual (regional) Conference reports.
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Read more about the Protestant church in China

The value of small groups

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (UMNS) - "Regular gatherings to share food, laughter, learning, prayer and service are what make 'small group ministry' a vital link in our relationship with others," writes Benton Heisler, West Michigan Annual (regional) Conference connectional ministries director. He offers tips for developing small-group ministry.
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300 pounds of tomatoes nourish hunger ministry

NORTHBROOK, Ill. (UMNS) - Members of The Tomato Project of the Northbrook United Methodist Church are living the reality of the story of Jesus feeding the masses. The Northbrook Star reports that the church's ministry to feed the hungry was itself impoverished until prayers were answered with 300 pounds of tomatoes.
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Bread and justice

The need for innovative lay people

DES MOINES, Wash. (UMNS) - The church places too much emphasis on innovative clergy, argues Patrick Scriven, director of communications and young people's ministries with the Pacific Northwest Annual (regional) Conference. "Relocating the process of innovation where we know the Spirit resides - the community - is our most faithful path forward," he writes.
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