Christmas Roundup: 17 warming stories from all over Holston

Christmas Roundup: 17 warming stories from all over Holston


Invited to respond through district offices and Facebook, church members sent in their memories, news, and photos for this special expanded "District Roundup." Enjoy.

I SIT BEHIND MY STAINED GLASS WINDOWS on Dec. 3 waiting for the sounds of construction equipment. It has been three years in the making. We are ready to build. We are excited and anxious. This is almost the best Christmas present one could ask for. In nine months we will have an additional 10,000 square feet. You could fit two of the current churches in the new wing.

Some things will change. Some won’t. When floods, quakes, and tsunamis hit, I hear a murmur that goes something like this: “We are building so we can do ministry. We can’t stop doing what we’re doing just because we are building. We have to keep doing what we have done.”

So, out came the flood buckets. We only had room for 10. I just took them off to Harry Howe at Project Crossroads.

In rolled the truck filled with five tons of food. We sorted and handed it out to needy families in the community during the week before Thanksgiving.

I have in my hands the name of five families with developmentally disabled family members who need help this Christmas.

I wait for the sounds of construction to start. I don’t have to wait for the sounds of ministry to begin. I hear the sounds of kids handing out food and the older folks sorting it. I hear families discussing what Christmas presents they will buy for other families in need. I see meals going out to our shut-ins. I know this will be the merriest Christmas we have had here.

--Rev. Donald Smith, Shady Grove UMC, Abingdon District


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