Daily Digest - September 24, 2013

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"He prayed to God that God would change him and make him 'normal' and when that didn't happen he became suicidal. When he came out, my wife and I just loved and supported him and told him there was nothing wrong with him." - The Rev. Frank Schaefer, who is facing a church trial, after officiating at his son's same-sex wedding.

Trial set for pastor in same-sex wedding

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) - A Nov. 18-19 trial has been set for a pastor in the Eastern Pennsylvania Annual (regional) Conference who officiated at the same-sex wedding of his son five years ago. The Rev. Frank Schaefer, pastor of Zion United Methodist Church of Iona, Lebanon, Pa., said he "followed his heart" when his son, Tim, asked him to officiate at his wedding in 2007.
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Top court to look at rulings on gay-related statements

BALTIMORE (UMNS) - Rulings on recent actions by United Methodist annual (regional) conferences regarding church law on homosexuality issues will be considered by the denomination's top court this fall. Those decisions of law by bishops are among the 17 docket items on the United Methodist Judicial Council's agenda when it meets Oct. 23-26.
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No chemical weapons, social action agency says

CHEVY CHASE, Md. (UMNS) - The United Methodist Board of Church and Society condemned the use of chemical weapons in Syria and called for a negotiated peace settlement under the auspices of the United Nations. A statement approved during the social action agency's Sept. 19-22 board meeting declares that those responsible for the "unconscionable act" of employing chemical weapons must be brought to justice.
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Pastor sentenced with anti-drone protesters

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (UMNS) - The Rev. Sharon Delgado, a United Methodist clergywoman, is among five found guilty of trespass last month in the first trial of anti-drone protestors in California. The United Methodist Board of Church and Society reports that the five were sentenced to 10 hours each of community service for trespassing onto Beale Air Force Base, where the Global Hawk drone is based.
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Mother's death reality of global health challenge

NYADIRE, Zimbabwe (UMNS) - "Why have we as a global community not crossed the finish line of reducing maternal deaths by 75 percent? There is no single reason for this - only the sum of many preventable reasons," observes Shannon Trilli, director of global health for the United Methodist Committee on Relief. Trilli reflected in the Huffington Post on the reality of the challenges.
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Sorrow over Christian deaths in Pakistan

GENEVA (UMNS) - The Rev. Olav Fykse Tveit, top executive of the World Council of Churches, has expressed "heartfelt sorrow" at the heavy loss of life from the Sept. 22 bombings at the All Saints Church in Peshawar, calling it a "single worst loss of life among Christians in Pakistan."
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History of Hymns: 'Great is Thy Faithfulness'

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) - "Great is Thy Faithfulness" is one of United Methodists' most beloved hymns according to a church survey. C. Michael Hawn of Southern Methodist University's Perkins School of Theology shares the story of the hymn for the United Methodist Board of Discipleship.
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