Daily Digest - September 18, 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
Tuesday, September 18, 2012

"Where there is vitality in the rural church, there is vigor and strength and life in ministry among people." - The Rev. Amy Spivey, Hinton Rural Life Center director of program ministries.

UMTV: Center renews small churches

HAYESVILLE, N.C. (UMTV) - Clergy go to the Hinton Rural Life Center for rest, reflection and renewal. "This is a place that has a peace that is almost unexplainable, that you can sit out on the porch and just see the wonders of God and feel the presence of God just moving. It's a renewing kind of a place," says a Hinton board member, the Rev. Geraldine McClellan.
See video

Ministry boosts small-church vitality

HAYESVILLE, N. C. (UMNS) - United Methodists often say that rural congregations form the backbone of their denomination. For more than 50 years, the Hinton Rural Life Center in Hayesville, N.C., has been strengthening that backbone. With the denominationwide emphasis on vital congregations, the Hinton Center now plays a key role in cultivating vital, small, country churches across the United States.
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Tragedy strikes Ukraine mission again

CHICAGO (UMNS) - The Rev. David Goran, a United Methodist missionary who was injured July 10 in a construction accident in Li'iv, Ukraine, writes that the youth mission is once again grieving. A United Methodist volunteer from Texas and a Ukrainian student lost their lives in the accident that injured Goran, who now is recuperating in the United States. Goran wrote Sept. 16 in his blog that "&ellipsis;we now have to also bear the death of our friend Maksem Semenov. We do not know the details of his passing, except that it was a tragic accident. &ellipsis; Please pray that God would have mercy on us and our small community in L'viv. We need him now."
Read David Goran's blog

Texas church puts tornado behind

ARLINGTON, Texas (UMNS) - "The life lesson here is, we're more than our buildings," said senior pastor the Rev. Will Cotton before the 11 a.m. service Sept. 16 at St. Barnabas United Methodist Church. The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports the church celebrated a triumphant homecoming in their renovated sanctuary. The April 3 Easter week tornado devastated the campus of the 1,500-member congregation.
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After 60 years, she's still playing the music

ADAMS, Tenn. (UMNS) - The congregation of Port Royal United Methodist Church decided to thank Mildred Plummer for the 60 years she has played the organ every Sunday, theleafchronicle.com reports. The Rev. John W. Casey told United Methodist News Service that Plummer "is an important part of the church and the community. My sermon yesterday was 'A Great Witness.' That's Mildred. She's kind of quiet, but she always has a smile on her face and a word of encouragement."
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Alabama mom gives thanks for new home

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (UMNS) - Single mom Carla Surls said a big thank you to Montgomery Habitat for Humanity officials and First United Methodist Church volunteers who helped raise the walls of her new home. "If anything should happen to me, (my son) can say this is what my mother left for me," Surls told the group.
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Pastor spreads hope for teens who feel there is none

CHARLESTON, W. Va. (UMNS) - Suicide is the No. 2 killer of teenagers in West Virginia and throughout the United States, said the Rev. Gary Nelson, who almost lost his own son to suicide. Nelson, pastor at Cross Lanes United Methodist Church, now travels to talk about teen depression and suicide. "Many teenagers use drugs and alcohol to self-medicate for depression," Nelson told the Charleston Daily Mail. "Depression could kill more teens than anything else."

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