UMNS Briefs

September 30, 2010

World Communion Sunday Helps Students
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) — When Dr. Dennis Marke graduated from Loma Linda (Calif.) University in 2009, he had new skills to take home to Sierra Leone to help young mothers and babies who are subject to early death. Sierra Leone has the highest maternal and infant mortality rate in the world.

The special offerings United Methodists give on October 3 during World Communion Sunday will provide the scholarships that Marke and hundreds of other students receive. The World Communion Sunday offerings support undergraduate and graduate racial- and ethnic-minority students from the United States and international students.
More about Marke's story and others who have benefited from World Communion Sunday is available at The United Methodist Board of Discipleship also has worship resources for World Communion Sunday here.
Poll: Americans OK with Student Religious Speech
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) — A majority of Americans think students should be permitted to express their religious views in public schools, according to a poll by the Freedom Forum's First Amendment Center.
The telephone survey of 1,003 adults found that 75 percent of Americans support students' religious speech, reports the Religion News Service. Fifty-two percent of Americans who do not practice religion also support such expression.
In addition, the survey found 80 percent of Americans think students should be allowed to offer prayers at public-school events. The full survey results are available here.
Noted U.M. Cartoonist Aguila Dies
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) — Daniel Dumuk Aguila, 82, died September 28. Active in the National Federation of Asian American United Methodists and in the Filipino United Methodist community, Aguila served on the General Commission on Communication board before joining the staff of United Methodist Communications in 1986. He retired in the mid-1990s.
Aguila's political cartoons drew global attention, and his puns were legendary. Born and raised in the Philippines, he immigrated to the United States in 1967.
He is survived by his wife of 50 years, Norma Alampay Aguila, two sisters, two brothers, two daughters, a son, and three grandchildren. Memorial services will be conducted Oct. 4 at 11 a.m. at Blakemore United Methodist Church, Nashville, Tennessee.
Foundry UMC Allows Same-Sex Marriages
WASHINGTON (UMNS) — Members of Foundry United Methodist Church voted 367 to 8 on September 26 to allow same-gender marriages to be performed in its building. Foundry is among many congregations in Washington, D.C., that have been discussing same-sex marriages since the city passed the Marriage Equality Act last March.
The Book of Discipline, the denomination's rulebook, says it is a chargeable offense for a clergyperson to conduct a holy union or marriage for gays and lesbians. Following Foundry's vote, Washington Area Bishop John R. Schol released a statement to clergy and lay leaders in the Baltimore-Washington Annual (regional) Conference. "In the midst of these difficult matters of the church," he wrote, "I will do all I can to be fair and compassionate as I work to maintain the unity and witness of the church." But as a bishop, he noted, he is responsible for upholding church law and "will process and follow through with any complaint or charge against a United Methodist clergyperson of the Baltimore-Washington Conference who performs a same gender wedding or holy union." More information is available at the website of Foundry United Methodist Church.
Laura Bush to Speak at Methodist Healthcare Luncheon
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (UMNS) — Laura W. Bush, a longtime United Methodist and former first lady, will reflect on her life and speak about her best-selling memoir, Spoken From the Heart, at the ninth Methodist Healthcare Foundation Cancer Center luncheon. The gathering is scheduled for 11:45 a.m. on November 12 at The Peabody Hotel in Memphis. Tickets cost $100 per person for general seating. Proceeds from this year's luncheon will benefit the Methodist Cancer Center. For reservations, call 901.516.0500 or visit