Holston's own nominee for bishop, the Rev. David Graves, has scheduled "Meet and Greet" opportunities throughout the conference as he prepares for an election in July.
The first meeting is Sunday, Jan. 8, in Kingsport, in the district where the 53-year-old pastor currently serves as superintendent.
"I feel very blessed and humbled by the fact that I am Holston’s nominee, and I have so many people who are joining me on this journey," Graves said recently. "These Sunday afternoon informal gatherings will be a time for me to meet people, share my thoughts, and to take questions."
Graves will be joined by his wife, Nancy, from 3 to 5 p.m. at each of these locations:
Jan. 8: Kingsport at Colonial Heights UMC
Jan. 22: Chattanooga at Hixson UMC
Jan. 29: Knoxville at Fountain City UMC
Graves will meet with pastors in the Big Stone Gap District on Jan. 23. He'll schedule visits with other Virginia districts in spring.
"For me, it is all about people and being with people," Graves said. "That is what I have done as a pastor and district superintendent and what I want to do as a nominee for bishop."
Holston's delegation to General and Jurisdictional Conferences nominated Graves for the episcopacy on Sept. 27. The nomination places the Knoxville native in an election for United Methodist bishop at the Southeastern Jurisdictional Conference in Lake Junaluska, N.C. on July 18-20.