Commentary: Holston responds to virus with innovative faithfulness

Commentary: Holston responds to virus with innovative faithfulness

"We face a very serious challenge, one that calls for faithful and sacrificial action." - Rev. Gordon Goodgame | Photo by Kristopher Roller on Unsplash

A letter to The Call

Thank you for your recent article highlighting the faithfulness alive and active within the people of Holston. (See “Holston churches gain new vision during virus pandemic,” March 28).
These are difficult times for many, but once more God is providing grace, strength, and doorways for creative response to the challenge. 
Across the years, Holston Conference has been blessed by innovative lay and clergy leaders who responded to the need of the moment with faithful action. Much was truly homegrown, prompted by sensed need and spirit-guided decision like Resurrection, Emerald Avenue Ministry, to name but a few, as well as the current activities you reported.
Often we have been early joiners with inspiring ideas or movements: establishing schools, creating safe places for children, developing camps, pioneering in retirement communities, assuming responsibilities for hospitals. In some instances we led the way by accepting a wave of dedicated Church and Community Workers, early merging our efforts into an inter-board council process, pioneering in cooperative schools of mission, leading the church in UMY fundraising, sending out a mighty flow of Volunteers-in-Mission, inspiring our congregations with Vision 2000 (a church revitalization and evangelism initiative in the late 1990s).
Some of these movements in the Spirit have continued. Others fulfilled their moments of faithful service or morphed into renewed forms. For all of them we are grateful.
Once more, we face a very serious challenge, one that calls for faithful and sacrificial action. It may well call for innovative approaches that we have chosen in the past. But already, the faithful across Holston are responding once more with others to keep moving forward.
Thanks again for priming our pumps with accounts of what is being done and reminding us of our heritage in innovative faithfulness. May God's grace be more than equal to our need as we move forward with trust in God who is ever present and still creating.

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Gordon Goodgame

The Rev. Gordon Goodgame is a retired Holston Conference clergy member. He served as director of the Conference Council on Ministries 1990-1993 and executive director of the Southeastern Jurisdictional Administrative Council 1994-2000. He now lives ...