NEWS FROM YOUR DISTRICT
Abingdon: Meeting monthly for devotions, about 15 women from Sinking Springs UMC felt God calling them to reach outside the church. They filled some pocketbooks with personal hygiene items, feminine accessories, and a pocket Bible. Then they delivered the purses to a local women's shelter. "As people outside the church heard what they were doing, purses and supplies started pouring in," says Pastor Randy Powers. Since February, the women have distributed about 50 purses to three women's shelters.
Big Stone Gap: In May, about 95 golfers came out for the 7th Annual Golf Tournament for Camp Fort Blackmore at Cedar Hills Country Club in Jonesville. About 20 churches sponsored holes for $100 each or sent golfers to play. Amount raised: $7,200. On July 31, Camp Director Vickey Butler reported that Fort Blackmore had hosted 120 campers for VBS camp and 50 for overnight camp. Ten young adults made commitments of faith.
Chattanooga: In May, First Copperhill UMC sent a group of 17, ranging from age 13 to 70, to do mission work at Henderson Settlement in Frakes, Ky. "The unemployment rate this year in that area is 57 percent," reports Ron Pace. The group built a room on to a mobile home for an elderly couple, who can no longer afford propane or electricity for heat but will have a woodburning stove installed in the new room. The church has been sending groups to Henderson Settlement in rural Appalachia since 2004.
Cleveland: Trinity (Athens) UMC has a lot of space, but they don't have a lot of children. So the church expanded its Vacation Bible School to include five churches of other denominations. Those congregations invited others, so that Trinity ended up hosting children from 10 churches in all, including Mars Hill Presbyterian, Freedman Chapel, First United Presbyterian, A.O.H. Church of God, and St. Marks A.M.E. Zion. Average attendance each night: 150. "I wish we could say it was a highly planned effort to share our faith, but I believe it was more of an accidental discovery of common interest and available resources," said Trinity's Jim Thompson. "I say, 'The Lord leads.'"
Johnson City: Seven members from Wesley Memorial UMC participated in the Appalachian Service Project's "Women's Only Build" July 10-11. Missy Wright reports that it was a good opportunity to do mission work close to home and learn new skills. Projects included: stirring concrete, trimming in windows, building a handicap ramp.
Kingsport: First Broad Street UMC has joined the list of host sites for Crossroads Medical Mission, which offers free medical care to low-income communities. Crossroads is based at State Street UMC and already has routine stops in Bristol, Abingdon, St. Paul, Mountain City, and Blountville. The clinic van will now park at FBSUMC in Kingsport the second Thursday of each month. Visit crossroadsmedicalmission.org.
Knoxville: The district office has a new web site and a new Facebook page, too. "We are working to really connect our churches," reports Administrative Assistant Mary Hawkins. For more info, visit www.knoxvilledistrictumc.com.
Maryville: Send news to firstname.lastname@example.org or to: The Call, P.O. Box 850, Alcoa, TN 37701-0850.
Morristown: After Thera Love led a "Three Simple Rules" study for the United Methodist Women, members at Pine Grove UMC suggested that she teach the rules to the children, too. For five Wednesday nights, Love used art projects and stories to teach, "Do no harm," "Do good," and "Stay in love with God," as prescribed by John Wesley and explained in the book by Bishop Reuben Job. The children's new theme song: "They Will Know We are Christians by Our Love."
Oak Ridge: Cawood and Well Springs UMC joined in a one-day Vacation Bible School on a Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. "Our theme was 'One True Light: Jesus,'" reports the Rev. Ronnie Mutter. "We examined the life of Jesus with a photo scavenger hunt throughout the community, using the events and miracles that prove he is indeed the light of the world."
Tazewell: Sunday school teacher Connie Bane is proud of Santana "Annie" Montgomery, who raised $86 to buy rabbits for poor communities through Heifer Project International. Montgomery took on the project as part of Cokesbury's "Rock Solid" curriculum at Wesley Chapel UMC, Eggleston Charge. "It's good to see little ones like Annie take part in the mission of helping others," reports Bane.
Wytheville: Oakland UMC received six people (five youth, one adult) into membership on June 28. Four were youth who had previously made professions of faith as campers at Camp Dickenson. All six were baptized in New River at Camp Dickenson. Officiating at the baptism was Oakland Pastor John Ousley, who also is the former director of Camp Dickenson.