Daily Digest - February 21, 2020

NEWS AND FEATURES

Cabinet members filed papers for new church group

LAKELAND, Fla. (UM News) — Three Florida Conference cabinet members recently filed articles of incorporation for an organization to be called The Florida Methodist Church. Two of those filing have since decided not to help start the group and will remain in the cabinet, Bishop Kenneth Carter said in a letter to conference clergy and lay leaders. The third said on Facebook that he felt called to start a "traditionalist expression of Methodism in Florida." Sam Hodges reports.
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Prague pastor goes ‘where God sends me’
PRAGUE, Czech Republic (UM News) — As leader of the only Russian-speaking United Methodist congregation in the Czech Republic, Pastor Lev Shults knows about the need for reconciled cooperation across the borders of cultures and nations. That is why he calls it a blessing that in his church, Russians and Ukrainians — despite the antagonism between their countries of origin — share a common journey. Urs Schweizer reports.
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East Ohio Conference
Police and firefighters offered lunches by church

MANSFIELD, Ohio — As part of their plan to serve first responders in their city, members of Main Street United Methodist Church are hosting quarterly luncheons for police officers, paramedics and firefighters. The events have led to the church pastor, the Rev. Jenny Whitmore, becoming a chaplain for the police department. Brett Hetherington reports. 
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Alabama-West Florida Conference
Program helping teenagers discern God’s call

MONTGOMERY, Ala. — The Alabama-West Florida Conference has launched a new partnership with Huntingdon College to nurture high school students who are discerning a call to ministry. Ministry as Calling, or MAC Track, is an effort to establish a stronger culture of call across districts and at local churches. Kari Barlow has the story. 
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CORRECTION 
An item in the Feb. 20 UM News Daily Digest incorrectly said that Course of Study credits could be earned through an online program at Wesleyan College. The program actually allows women who are licensed local pastors to use their Course of Study classes toward an online degree with the church-related women’s college in Macon, Georgia. UM News regrets the error.
Read Higher Education and Ministry press release


COMMENTARIES 
UM News includes in the Daily Digest various commentaries about issues in the denomination. The opinion pieces reflect a variety of viewpoints and are the opinions of the writers, not the UM News staff.

Faith & Leadership 
Taking a walk with the pastor

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. — The Rev. Melissa Earley, pastor of First United Methodist Church in Arlington Heights, leads weekend nature walks that double as spiritual retreats. Sometimes she even misses Sunday worship to take a group outside for contemplation and Scripture reading. “I wasn’t skipping church. I’d been to church,” she writes.
Read essay


RESOURCES

Mountain Sky Conference 
Conference to offer Daily Digital Devotion

GREENWOOD VILLAGE, Co. — The Mountain Sky Conference will offer a Daily Digital Devotion from Ash Wednesday, Feb. 26, through Pentecost. The 20-minute, early-morning program will be offered via Zoom conference call and will feature Scripture reading, sharing and prayer.
Read press release


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