Several Holston districts followed an unofficial tradition by offering weekend training sessions for church leaders within the first two months of the new year.
The Chattanooga District held a “Day of Discipleship” at Brainerd United Methodist Church on Sunday afternoon, Jan. 13. Workshops were led by the Rev. David Graves, Kingsport District superintendent (“Leading Vital Congregations”); Rev. Michael Hubble, Chattanooga District superintendent (“Staff Parish Relations Committee”); Caroline Merrell, worship director at Long’s Chapel UMC in Waynesville, N.C. (“Inviting and Inspiring Worship”); and Devry Coghlan, groups coordinator at Cove UMC, Huntsville, Ala. (“Nurture Through Small Groups”).
About 240 attended, including those participating in a “Stop Hunger Now” food-packing activity. Participants packaged about 10,200 dehydrated meals and gave an offering of $1,288, to be divided between Ligoto United Methodist Church in South Sudan and Imagine No Malaria.
See photos from both district events on Facebook.
The Cleveland District also held a discipleship training event at Walker Valley High School on Jan. 13. About 180 attended. “Our theme was ‘Called Out to be the Church,' focusing on Matthew 16:18,” said organizer Debbie Stokes. “We tried to live out that theme by having the event at a location other than a church building.”
Seminar leaders included Rev. Jerry Jones, First Rogersville UMC (“Called to be Visionary”); Rev. Micah Nicolaus, Central-Lenoir City UMC (“Called to be Creative”); Rev. Richard Richter, Hillcrest UMC (“Called to be Hospitable”); Rev. Joe Green, Cleveland District superintendent (“Staff-Parish Relations Committee”); and Mike Goodman, Cleveland District treasurer (“Church Finances and Stewardship”).
The plenary gathering for worship included worship centers interpreting the “Called Out” theme; the praise team from Keith Memorial UMC; and the Rev. Will Shewey from Salem UMC as guest preacher.