News from your district
ABINGDON: When Bristol Motor Speedway fans are in town, they're used to seeing business signs that call out, "Welcome, Race Fans!" The sign at Pleasant View UMC last month, however, prompted some to stop and take pictures. The sign said: "Welcome, Grace Fans."
BIG STONE GAP: Scott County received an $8,000 grant to organize and equip a CERT (Citizens Emergency Response Team). Three Bells UMC will host the new team, house the trailor, and provide facilities for recruits, training, and meetings. "This is just one way the Three Bells church and pastor Ed Blair are seeking to reach out to the Duffield area," said the Rev. Archer Coppedge, district superintendent. Located across the street from a public housing project, nursing home and mental health housing, Three Bells UMC is "working on other community ministries," Coppedge said.
CHATTANOOGA: Chattanooga is organizing Holston's first district relationship with Yei, Sudan. According to the Rev. Tom Hancock, the district's 63 churches are pairing with Yei's 19 churches and commiting to support each Sudanese pastor at $100 per month. "We hope that, as these relationships are nurtured, other needs can be met, such as school supplies, agricultural supplies, eyeglasses, Bibles, and UMC material," Hancock said. Other goals are to provide orphan support at $80 per month and teacher support at $125 per month.
CLEVELAND: The Rev. Marvin Howard received the "Philip Award" in January at the National Association of United Methodist Evangelists' annual meeting in New Orleans. "He has traveled many miles for many years in his role as evangelist," said the Rev. Curt McKee, who saw Howard receive the award. "He is one who desires to see others come to know the saving power of Jesus Christ." Howard currently serves as pastor for Trinity UMC in Cleveland.
JOHNSON CITY: Isaiah and Bella are brother and sister whose birthdays are Feb. 1 and Feb. 15, respectively. After watching the news of Haiti's Jan. 12 earthquake and learning about the disaster in school, the sibling duo begged their parents for a birthday party. But instead of gifts, the twosome wanted party guests to bring donations for Haiti. "We kept telling them to come up with something else," says mother Wendy Woodard. But finally, an '80s style party was scheduled Feb. 20 at Edgefield UMC, where the Woodards are members. About 40 people came to celebrate Isaiah's 10th and Bella's 9th birthday, says Mom. "They had an awesome, radical time and raised $180 for Haiti."
KINGSPORT: Lonnie Broughton was attending Annual Conference 2007 when he saw an usual T-shirt. He later learned that it was a Nothing But Nets shirt, and he was impressed by the malaria preventive program that gives insecticide-treated bed nets to people at risk overseas. "God touched my heart to try and help," he says. Broughton talked to his Sunday school class, who set a goal of providing one net for every class member. When they surpassed that goal, the entire congregation signed on, pledging to provide one net for every church member. Hermon UMC ended up raising enough money ($10 per net) to send 105 nets to Africa.
KNOXVILLE: Students at Wesley House Community Center celebrated Black History Month in February by giving presentations on historically notable people. Among others, the students learned about J. Standard, inventor of the refrigerator; Granville T. Woods, inventor of the roller coaster; Henry Sampson, inventor of the cell phone; and local favorite Sarah Moore Greene, the first African American to serve on the Knoxville Board of Education.
MARYVILLE: Green Meadow UMC created a "desert" in its sanctuary to illustrate the biblical concepts of the living water that is Jesus Christ. "Journey Through the Desert" featured palm branches, cactus plants, and 850 pounds of sand, according to The Daily Times. The experiential display remained in the sanctuary through Lent.
MORRISTOWN: Shady Grove UMC coordinated a "Remote Area Medical Clinic" at Jefferson County High School Feb. 20-21. The clinic provided 1,224 free medical, dental, and vision services valued at $187,810 to 745 people. About 100 people from the church participated. "This event was the culmination of almost 18 months of planning by the church mission team," said Cynthia Glenn Wampler. Clinics in 2011 and 2012 are already in progress.
OAK RIDGE: Several youth from Concord UMC had roles or responsibilities in the musical production of "Oliver!" at Farragut High School, March 18-21. When the cast and crew suggested partnering with a local charity during a January meeting, Concord parents were quick to suggest Beacon School at Holston United Methodist Home for Children. On show nights, attendees were invited to bring school supplies for Beacon to the performances in exchange for free popcorn. "We ended up with four huge barrels worth of school supplies," says Claudia Stallings.
TAZEWELL: The Eighth Annual Blessing of the Bikes will be held Sunday, May 2, at Burke's Garden Community Center. "All bikes are welcome, and the event is rain or shine," says the Rev. Rodney Lawson, pastor at Burke's Garden UMC. Food will be served at 1 p.m. The blessing follows at 2 p.m. Live music by Travis Roberts. For information, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
WYTHEVILLE; Readers of The Carroll News, Carroll County’s weekly newspaper, chose First Hillsville UMC as the “Best Church in the Twin County Area," reports Publicity Chair Ina Horton. Visit www.hillsvillefumc.com.
See also these past editions of "District Roundup," available in PDF files from The Call: